Diagnostics

We offer a wide range of investigative techniques at Oakland Veterinary Hospital

Diagnostics

We offer a wide range of investigative techniques at OVH in order that we can provide you with a diagnosis and the best targeted treatment plans for your pet.

 

This might be as simple as running some in-house blood tests in our laboratory or doing some initial x-rays to rule out certain conditions.

 

Where more detailed investigation is needed we have a wide variety of imaging at our disposal, including a CT machine.

  • Cardiology
  • Dentistry & Dental Health
  • Dermatology
  • Imaging
  • Internal Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Orthopaedics
  • Laboratory

Cardiology

Heart disease is one of the most commonly diagnosed conditions in dogs and cats. It is very often associatedCardiology Machine with elderly dogs and cats but there are also some specific conditions that can affect younger animals.

In the last few decades the diagnostic and treatment options for heart disease have dramatically changed. These help improve the quality of life and can often considerably prolong the life span of affected pets.

Animals may not display any symptoms in the early stages of heart disease. Potential problems are frequently picked up during a routine visit to the vet; many owners are surprised by the discovery of a heart murmur or rhythm disturbance.

At our practice we encourage a thorough investigation to detect the cause of these changes and provide an assessment for the future health of the animal. Having a clear diagnosis of the condition is crucially important in achieving an appropriate treatment plan. The treatment of heart disease often involves a combination of drugs, therefore each pet has an individual treatment plan with regular monitoring by our team.

Cardiology investigations are carried out using different diagnostic techniques such as radiography (X-rays), electrocardiology (ECG) and ultrasonography. These techniques are not painful or invasive however occasionally patients will require sedation.

Dentistry & Dental Health

Unfortunately our pet's teeth can often suffer problems. Taking proper care of your pet's mouth can lead to a longer and happier life for you and your pet.

Dental disease in cats and dogs is somewhat different to that in humans. They suffer very few dental cavities but do suffer from peridontal disease (inflammation and damage of the teeth and surrounding tissues). This disease is caused by the build up of plaque and tartar around the gum line. Eventually this build up breaks down the attachments of the tooth causing gum recession or peridontal pockets. This can lead to dental abscesses and loss of teeth.  We now have a state of the art dental x-ray machine which means we are able to take detailed, very accurate images of your pet's mouth prior to and after a procedure. 

This enables our vets to pinpoint exactly where the issues are before starting a dental surgery and to ensure that any work done has been successful.

A few simple steps may reduce the chance of your pet requiring an anaesthetic to correct these dental problems. Our vets are always happy to discuss preventative dental care.

  1. Before Surgery Pre Dental Surgery Cat
  2. After SurgeryPost Dental Surgery Cat

Dermatology

Dermatology is the area of medicine dealing with diseases of the nails, skin and hair. Skin and ear diseaseDermatology represent a major component of small animal practice workload and forms one of the most common, frustrating and challenging areas of companion animal clinical work.

The most common diseases are: allergies to food and flea salvia, atopic dermatitis (allergy to environmental factors), bacterial infection, fungal disease, parasite infection and hormonal diseases that can affect the skin. There are often different options available when treating these conditions. Deciding which option is best will depend on the individual character of the animal and the circumstances of the owner.

Our aim is to improve the quality of life of our patients. To achieve this it is vital that we obtain an accurate and complete diagnosis of the fundamental causes of the problem and any factors that may be complicating the situation.

Treatments range from medication, immunotherapy and surgery to a simple switch to a special diet. Many patients have the best results with a mixture of interventions. We are experienced in helping owners decide how to achieve a good outcome for their pets and keeping costs at a reasonable level.

Imaging

Diagnostic imaging is the noninvasive method of making medical images of the body to diagnose diseases.

All of our imaging facilities are fully digital. This allows us to show images to our clients in the consulting rooms, view the images in the operating theatre or access them from elsewhere in the clinic to allow case discussion with colleagues.

Ultrasound if one of our most commonly used imaging methods, it can be show images in real time and can be a way of obtaining biopsies from organs without the need for major surgery. It allows us to see inside and behind the eye of some of our ocular patients, inside the abdomen (and occasionally the chest) of some of our medical and soft tissue patients and even into the muscles/ tendons of some of our orthopaedic patients.

Ferret being scanned

Endoscopy

In domestic pets we can use endoscopy to have a look within the gut, starting either at the stomach (gastroscopy) to check for tumours, ulcers, to retrieve foreign bodies, or to visualise the large intestine. Endoscopy can also be used to take samples from within the gut without having to undergo a major operation.
Visualisation of the upper respiratory tract can also be undertaken with smaller scopes.

Ultrasonography

Ultrasound has a wide range of uses when looking at the soft tissues in the body; we can diagnose pregnancy, investigate problems within the abdomen as well as obtain biopsies with ultrasonography.

Ultrasound is very safe in all animals and can normally be conducted in the conscious animal.

At Oakham we can offer echocardiography (the use of ultrasound to visualise and measure the heart); this is a great help in diagnosing and monitoring dogs with heart disease. Included in this service we also have a visiting specialist in cardiology who is available to see some of our patients on an outpatient basis.

MRI - magnetic resonance imaging

MRI is currently not available for Small Animals.

Digital Radiography

We use digital radiography to assess a wide range of diseases. It is best for looking at bone problems, but is used extensively to check for problems within the chest and abdomen as well.

We can also perform contrast radiographic studies for looking at gastrointestinal or urogenital disease.

The benefit of digital radiography is the speed in which the radiograph is visible to the vet; this has a huge benefit as it reduces the time your pet is under anaesthetic.

Most patients will have to be either sedated or under a full general anaesthetic in order to get the best radiographs of the area of interest. Only in very sick dogs or emergency situations do we not use some form of sedation.

Internal Medicine

Internal medicine covers a vast array of diseases and problems which can present with a variety of clinical signs. Multiple body systems can be affected such as gastrointestinal, urinary, liver/pancreas, respiratory, neurological, hormonal and reproductive. The body system mainly affected is often not obvious at initial presentation: dogs and cats presenting with weight loss or vague signs of ill health are not uncommon.

Investigations involve diagnostic tests varying from blood, urine and faecal tests to diagnostic imaging (e.g x-rays, ultrasound, biopsies and exploratory surgery).

Our vets will help guide you through the procedures and results of these tests and help you decide which tests and ultimately treatments are appropriate for your individual pet.

Catriona Laird has recently completed a further qualification in small animal medicine (BSAVA Postgraduate Certificate in Small Animal Medicine). Cat finds internal medicine cases particularly rewarding and enjoys the relationship with both owner and pet which often develops with long standing cases. Cat is very happy to give help and guidance to her colleagues who are dealing with medicine cases so that continuity can be maintained.

Oncology

Unfortunately, cancer is common in our pets. Signs can range from skin and mouth lumps to weight loss,Oncology reduced appetite, coughing or increased thirst. Any skin lump should be checked promptly to ensure there is no evidence of cancer. Samples can be taken during a normal consult. These are often examined in our in-house laboratory so results can be available by the following day.

If your pet does get cancer, we will take the time to discuss all the options with you. These options can range from palliative care with pain relief, to surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy. In some cases surgery can provide a complete cure.

We appreciate that many people have had personal experience of cancer, often with family or friends and therefore we provide support at all times. Chemotherapy in veterinary medicine is very different to that in humans. The emphasis is on maintaining or returning quality of life. A variety of chemotherapy protocols are provided by Oakham Veterinary Hospital, however if your pet would benefit from referral to a veterinary cancer specialist or to a centre with radiotherapy then this is a further option.

If any of our patients suffer uncontrollable clinical signs due to their chemotherapy, then the protocol is altered or stopped. At all times, their enjoyment of life is paramount.

Ophthalmology

Many of our pets suffer from eye conditions at some stage of their lives. These can range from grass seeds behind the eyelid causing a painful ulcer (which can be quickly cured) to lifelong conditions such as dry eye.

Catriona Laird has an interest in ophthalmology and is always keen to see your pets with any form of ocular problems. Her consulting room has been designed to give complete darkness, thereby facilitating a thorough ophthalmic examination. Catriona benefits from having access to advanced diagnostic equipment such as a tonopen for measuring intraocular pressure, a slit lamp and panoptic for detailed ocular examinations and a retinal camera for photographing the retina. Some of these were kindly provided by the University of Nottingham Vet School. In return Cat enjoys giving our visiting vet students ophthalmology tutorials and allowing them the time to practice using the equipment, thereby supplementing the excellent teaching already provided by the University.

In addition Cat is occasionally required to examine patients with ocular issues in our equine department.

Orthopaedics

Orthopaedics is the branch of veterinary medicine concerned with conditions involving the musculoskeletal system (bones and muscles).

At Oakham Veterinary Hospital our vets will assist owners whose pets have orthopaedic problems with the use of surgical and non surgical methods. They treat a diverse range of musculoskeletal disorders such as sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumours, congenital disorders and trauma.

Our vets will examine your pet thoroughly to determine the origin and cause of any lameness. Where necessary they will carry out complementary tests to investigate the cause of lameness involving radiography studies (X-rays), arthocentesis (joint tap), arthroscopy (inserting a camera into the joint) or other modes of advanced imaging. The vets will strive to return your pet to a fit, healthy condition to keep enjoying routine family activities: walking, playing, working, sport etc.

Laboratory

There is a well equipped in-house laboratory providing reliable and prompt results, run by Zoe Smith, our full-Laboratory Techniciantime technician.

A full range of haematology, clinical chemistry, microbiology, cytology and parasitology services are available. We have state of the art machines for running blood samples and we routinely analyse urine, faeces, hair, skin and aspirates allowing us to get you an answer much quicker than sending them off to an external laboratory.

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