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Keywords:

  • radiation;
  • survey;
  • teletherapy

A survey of veterinary radiation therapy facilities in the United States was done in 2001 to determine the type of equipment available, radiation protocols used, case load, tumor types irradiated, as well as other details of the practice of radiation oncology. A total of 42 sites were identified and included 17 (40%) academic institutions, and 25 (60%) private practice external beam radiation facilities. The overall response rate was 79% (33/42 responded). Based on this survey there is substantial variation between facilities in all aspects ranging from equipment and personnel to radiation protocols and caseloads. American College of Veterinary Radiology boarded radiation oncologists direct 76% of the radiation facilities at academic institutions and 60% of the private practice facilities. Three facilities had orthovoltage radiation units only, and 30 facilities had megavoltage equipment: cobalt 60 or linear accelerator. A total of 18 facilities had linear accelerators with three of these off site at a human radiation facility. Patient load information was available from 31 sites (74% of the radiation facilities in the United States), and based on the responses 2790 dogs and 1081 cats were irradiated in 2001. Canine mast cell tumors were the most frequently irradiated tumor. This represents the first survey of veterinary radiation facilities in the United States and provides information on the specialty of veterinary radiation oncology.