A consultation with one of The Clinic’s Veterinary Surgeons is required whenever your animal seems unwell or you wish to discuss any aspect of their well-being.
Our appointments are at least 15 minutes in duration, this gives us time to listen to you and understand what your concerns about your pet are. This is followed by taking a detailed medical history and performing a clinical examination. If any treatment is necessary, all the options for your pet can be discussed.
We absolutely recognise how stressful medical examinations can be for the pet and sometimes the owner. We treat all our patients with the utmost care and respect as we would want our pets to be treated.
We are committed to providing our clients with a home visit service when they are required.
Ideally, we would always give treatment at the practice so we can have immediate access to all the drugs, equipment and staff that may be needed to help your pet. However, we also understand that sometimes it is beneficial to the animal to be seen in their home environment. This can especially be the case, when an owner has made the difficult decision to put an animal to sleep, and wish their passing to be peaceful in the home they know. We are entirely supportive of this and will always do our best to make a visit as soon as possible.
If you think that you would like us to attend a home visit, please try to give us as much notice as you can, so we can make the appropriate arrangements.
Surgery and Anaesthetic
Our surgical suite is equipped with a complete range of surgical equipment.
This allows us to perform all aspects of small animal surgery ranging from the routine, but highly important, neutering procedures, right through to complex soft tissue and orthopaedic (bony) procedures.
We take the anaesthesia of our patients very seriously. Anaesthesia is a very important discipline within a Veterinary Surgery. Shinfield Vets has advanced anaesthetic equipment beyond that found in most surgeries. This allows us to perform our procedures under anaesthesia to the highest levels of safety, ensuring the best outcome for our patients.
We use an advanced anaesthesia monitoring system to provide our Vets and Nurses with constant measurements of an animal’s heart rate, blood pressure, ECG (heart electrical activity), oxygen and carbon dioxide levels and temperature.
We also routinely maintain all of our surgical patients on a “Bair Hugger” blown warm air heating system, to stop the patient becoming cold during surgery. This advanced equipment, that is normally found only in referral animal hospitals, can be lifesaving to our patients.
Anaesthatised patients are always being closely monitored by our nursing staff throughout their operation and recovery.
To further increase patient safety, we can also run a pre-anaesthetic blood test in our in-house laboratory. If the test results are normal, we can proceed with confidence. If not, the information allows the Vet to discuss the findings with the owner and alter the anaesthetic protocol accordingly to further protect your pet.
Shinfield Vets performs all aspects of small animal dentistry, from a routine dental scale and polish to clean the teeth, through to surgical extractions if required. We have a full suite of dental equipment, including a state of the art digital dental x-ray unit, high-speed air driven dental drill, ultrasonic tooth cleaning and tooth polishing equipment.
Of course, we all know that our pets might not always pass the fresh breath test. However, if your pet has consistently strong smelling or offensive breath, this may be a sign of a more serious dental problem. It is currently estimated that 70% of adult cats and dogs suffer from dental disease.
Early signs of dental disease:
- Smelly breath
- Eating problems
- Rubbing at the mouth
- Red and sore-looking gums (gingivitis)
If your pet is showing any of these signs it is time for a dental check up!
Dental disease occurs in stages. The first stage is the formation of plaque on the surface of the teeth. Over time minerals cause the plaque to harden and to form calculus, which appears as a hard-brown covering over the teeth. The tartar and calculus is a perfect breeding ground for bad bacteria, leading to the development of periodontal disease - the inflammation and infection of the gums surrounding the teeth. Periodontal disease can lead to serious health problems affecting the heart, liver and kidneys.
Please feel free to pop in to see the practice nurse at one of their dental clinics for a free dental check, and for some guidance on how to brush your pet’s teeth and keep them in good shape.
The first line of treatment we can provide against established dental disease, is a routine ultrasonic scale and polish of the teeth performed under a general anaesthetic. However, if the disease has been allowed to progress, some teeth may need to be extracted.
Cardiology is the branch of veterinary medicine that deals with disease and abnormalities of the heart and vessels.
The Clinic utilises several ECG machines, including a digital PC based 6 lead system which allows immediate access to specialist opinion via telemedicine. An ECG is performed to monitor the electrical activity of the heart.
Echocardiography is an ultrasound of the heart that allows us to visualise the heart’s movements in the chest. The clinic has a referral level heart ultrasound machine and a range of probe sizes for different patients. This allows us to assess the size of the chambers of the heart, the flow of blood within the heart and the motion of the heart muscle. Since introducing this equipment and service, previously only available by referral, we have seen vast improvements in the quality of care that our patients with heart disease are receiving.
Blood pressure measurement
Shinfield Vets has various blood pressure machines including the latest veterinary technology - High Definition Oscillometric (HDO). There are various underlying diseases that can alter an animal’s blood pressure, which in turn can lead to damage of the internal organs. Blood pressure monitoring is performed in all our hospitalised patients.
Ophthalmology is the medical and surgical treatment of the problems of the eye. We carry an advanced range of ophthalmic equipment including:
- Slit lamp: this technology allows us to perform a very detailed exam of all areas of the eye. This goes far beyond that achievable with a normal ophthalmoscope.
- Digital tonometry: our tonometer allows us to monitor the pressure of our patient’s eye. This is very useful in an emergency situation but also when monitoring for long term conditions like glaucoma.
- Surgical Loupes: to improve our surgeons vision when performing advanced surgeries on the eyes and eyelids.
The Clinic’s digital x-ray suite allows us to take images of the inside of your pet’s body, this is especially useful for looking at the bones. Radiographs can also be very useful when investigating if an animal has swallowed a foreign body.
Shinfield Vets has a state of the art digital x-ray machine. The advantage to our patients of digital radiography, is that it is far quicker to process these images than the old film type of x-rays. This significantly reduces the amount of time that an animal is under sedation, therefore, improving the safety of our patients. The quality of the images is also very high, allowing for more accurate diagnoses to be reached.
Endoscopy is a developing field in Veterinary Medicine, most veterinary practices still do not have access to this technology. We are able to provide endoscopic services to our patients using our range of endoscopes.
This advanced equipment allows us to enter into an patient’s body cavities like the stomach, intestines, lungs and airways to retrieve foreign bodies swallowed or inhaled in error or take biopsies. This is, of course, all done pain free without the need for a traditional surgical incision.
An ultrasound scan, which can sometimes be called a sonogram in the human field, uses high-frequency sound waves to produce a computer image of the tissues of the body. We can then use these images to assess the condition of the internal organs such as the heart or kidneys, or sometimes, to look if one of our patients has swallowed something that they shouldn’t have (a foreign body).
Our onsite laboratory allows us to get vital test results within 15 minutes of taking a sample, this can often prove to be lifesaving in an emergency situation.
The facilities include full range of blood analysis machines (biochemistry, electrolytes and haematology) and in-house tests for common infectious diseases such as lungworm infection.
Microscopes are available for “on the spot analysis” of samples from our patients, and incubation facilities are available to test for bacterial and fungal infections.
We advise that animals who are to undergo a non-routine procedure have a pre-anaesthetic blood test on the day of surgery. This gives us an extra margin of safety, guiding us if increased support will be needed during the anaesthetic procedure.