Here at Avonvale Vets in Wawickshire, we have invested in the HT Vista, an artificial intelligence skin cancer screening device. Sadly, half of dogs over 10 years develop cancer, and 1/3 of those cancers are skin-related. Catching cancer early means a better prognosis, which is why we want to introduce this new technology to our dog owners. The device is safe to use on the skin and is well tolerated by patients. No-needles give instant results, are good value for money and are highly accurate.
The HT Vista is the first artificial intelligence skin cancer screening device for dogs, performed by vets and nurses. It is a 40-second scan with no needles; the results take two minutes. In order to conduct the scan we will need to clip the fur around the area that will be scanned.
The HT Vista uses heat diffusion imaging technology (HDI) to determine if a mass is most likely benign or requires further investigation. The device heats the lump by 6 degrees and is left to cool. The device then monitors the thermal activity and special features of the tissue. The data is sent to an artificial intelligence program for analysis, and results are returned in two minutes.
The device can do this as different types of skin react differently when heated. For example, healthy skin maintains temperature well and unhealthy does not. This is because healthy and unhealthy skin have different structures, metabolism, and blood supply.
Your dog’s mass will receive a score between 1-10 and a percentage of how likely it is to be benign. For example, a 10 HDI score is suggestive that the mass is 99% benign, and a 4 HDI score is suggestive that it is 89% benign. The vet will discuss the results and the follow-up that may be required once the results have come through.
If you find a lump on your dog, book in with our team today. We can discuss your options, perform the 40-second scan and devise a plan that works for you.
HT Vista scanning is available at our Wellesbourne clinic. Call us on 01789 841072 to book an appointment.
HT Vista Screening FAQs
How does the appointment work?
Give us a call and at Avonvale Vets and let us know if you want to have your pet’s mass checked by a vet. We will book you in for a vet consultation, and the vet will discuss whether the HT Vista scan is appropriate. If they decide it is, your pet will be booked in with a nurse to perform the scans. We must clip fur from the skin so that the device can scan properly, so let us know if this is a problem.
Once the scan results are back, your vet will discuss the results and next steps with you. Suppose a lump is given a low score on the device. In that case, we can discuss the next steps for gaining a diagnosis, which may include sampling through fine needle aspirate, wedge biopsy or removal under general anaesthetic and sending the mass for laboratory histology.
Will the device hurt my dog or affect the lump if it is cancer?
No, the device is non-invasive and heats the skin by 6-7 degrees only with an LED light, which is safe for everyone involved.
What if a mass gets a score between 5 and 10?
This is a new, non-invasive test which may help with the diagnosis of malignant tumours. We use it as part of an investigation, and it can instantly provide some reassurance.
In cases where we receive a high score, we may advise monitoring for changes in the mass and retesting again in the future. We recommend further tests if we are concerned about the mass and want a definitive diagnosis.
What if a mass gets a score between 1 and 4.
It does not mean automatically that the mass is malignant. The mass might have shown some suspicious thermal features; therefore, we highly recommend further investigating this mass. By not sampling the mass, we are taking a risk that a malignant mass might get missed. Early detection of malignant masses offers better prognosis and treatment options. The result might still return benign; however, it is better to be safe than sorry.
My dog has a lump on his eye and foot pad. Can we scan it?
Unfortunately, not. The light is too close to the eye, therefore, might damage the eye and won’t be tolerated. Also, the footpad cannot be scanned with healthy tissue needed to complete the scan.
My dog has a lump on his testicle. Can we scan it?
We cannot scan testicles, mammary tissue, or lymph nodes as they are different types of tissues and present differently to dermal masses.
My dog’s lump is ulcerated, can it be scanned?
Unfortunately, due to the disease process’s biological nature, these masses are excluded from our algorithm.
Does the size of the mass matter?
The mass can be a minimum of 0.5cm.