Radiographs (x-rays) – A valuable tool used for both medical and surgical investigation. They give pictures, not only of bones but the soft tissue structures in the abdomen and chest too. It is often
necessary to anaesthetize a patient to obtain good quality x-rays.
Ultrasound scans – Generally used to investigate soft tissue pathology. Specifically, procedures such as heart scans, pregnancy scans and other organ scans can give valuable information in order to make a diagnosis or decide whether surgery is indicated or not. Samples for further analysis can often also be taken using ultrasound guidance.
Laboratory – Our lab area is well-equipped. We have a full IDEXX in-house laboratory where we run blood tests including haematology, biochemistry and electrolytes. We also run full urinalysis and
faecal analysis as well as routine microscopy. For more investigative tests we send samples to dedicated veterinary pathology laboratories.
Endoscopy – This is a special camera that we can pass down into the oesophagus (food pipe) and trachea (windpipe) to determine if there are any abnormalities.
Arthroscopy – We use a camera and scope to look inside joints. This can assist us in making a diagnosis. Often the surgery will also be performed through the scope. This is minimally invasive and
usually leads to quicker recovery with less chance of complications than open joint surgery.
We also have access to MRI and CT.
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans are an advanced procedure, using a powerful magnetic field to align atoms in the body and process this information with help from a computer, to form and image. This image can be generated in cross-sectional planes, for precise and detailed information. While radiographs are particularly useful in evaluating bone, MRI is helpful for assessing soft tissue, especially the brain and spinal cord.
CT (Computerised Tomography) scans are similar to MRI scans in that they also produce detailed images. We use this where regular x-rays may not be sensitive enough to offer a diagnosis. For
example, with CT scans we can search the whole body for signs of cancer.