We have a variety of additional tools in the practice to assist us in diagnosing and treating our patients. We frequently use a combination of the facilities available to give the fullest picture of the medical situation.
Our operating theatre is situated right at the centre of the building, and is where most of our surgical procedures are carried out. We use modern anaesthetic agents for both induction and maintenance. Our trained nursing staff monitor your pet's anaesthetic throughout the procedure, supported by the latest in veterinary monitoring equipment. We have another room also equipped with an anaesthetic machine where we can carry out non-sterile procedures such as dentistry.
We have a variety of cages, kennels and pens available to accommodate most sizes and species of pet. Most of our surgical patients will go home the same day as their procedure, and all patients are kept warm and comfortable whatever their needs and however long their stay. Cats are provided with places to perch and to hide.
Our in-house laboratory is an invaluable aid in diagnosing illness and disease, as well as routine screening and pre-anaesthetic blood testing. For most species, we can perform rapid biochemistry analysis (to determine basic organ function and metabolic imbalances), examine blood smears for anaemia and cell abnormalities, check skin and hair samples for lice and mites, and test urine samples.
Samples requiring additional or more specialist testing are sent away for analysis. Most blood results from external laboratories are with us within 48 hours of the sample leaving the patient!
This enables us to obtain great quality radiographs very quickly. The digital format means that should we require an additional opinion on any image, it can be sent electronically for rapid examination and interpretation. X-ray images are used for various ailments, from the obvious suspected fractured bones to looking for "foreign bodies" - swallowed non-food objects!
We use ultrasonography across species for a variety of examinations, commonly for looking at "soft tissue”, usually inside the abdomen and chest cavities. We can image the major internal organs (liver, kidney, spleen, intestines, bladder and heart) and check for pregnancy. Ultrasound is often used as a non-invasive method of initial screening, as it is usually painless and does not require the patient to be completely still. It can sometimes be carried out in the consulting room.
Derek performs ultrasound pregnancy diagnosis for sheep and goats.
An Electrocardiogram trace is an excellent aid to diagnosis of certain heart conditions, with a trace developed by measurement of electrical activity across electrodes placed at specific points on the patient's body. It does require the patient to keep still and restraint must be minimised. We sometimes send the traces away for expert analysis.