We are all aware of X-rays but providing accurate radiography for animals, from the Irish Wolfhound to the mouse, can prove challenging.
As well as providing images of bones, radiographs are useful for examining the heart and lungs and providing contrast studies of all internal organs. They also help in monitoring progressive changes or tracking a foreign body through the bowel for example.
At Ark we have full digital imaging so we can obtain the images we need from the very large to the very small. Digital imaging achieves results in 1-2 minutes and views can be adjusted, focused and expanded with the touch of a button enabling us to find any problems immediately.
Most animals require some degree of sedation (often rapidly reversible) for radiographs, as unlike us, they don’t keep still or hold their breath on command – especially if it hurts.
Radiographs are an excellent non-invasive diagnostic tool and should be viewed as a ‘photo in time’. By downloading our images to your pet’s clinical record we can monitor pets over months or even years which is especially useful for ongoing cardiac and arthritis cases.
Although humans and animals are different in many ways some advances in human medicine are also very useful for veterinary patients. One of these advances, diagnostic ultrasound, has proven to be a powerful tool in veterinary medicine. As a practice one of our goals is to offer state-of-the-art medicine and diagnostic testing and we are pleased to offer ultrasound services as a means of providing a higher level of quality care to our patients.
Ultrasonography is a type of diagnostic technique that uses ultrasound waves to produce an imaging study. This means that when we perform ultrasonography we can see internal images of the patient’s body. Unlike some other imaging studies, like X-rays, ultrasonography does not use radiation. Instead, ultrasonography uses high-frequency sound (ultrasound) waves to create a picture of what is inside your pet’s body. Ultrasonography is a completely non-invasive, painless way to diagnose and evaluate many common diseases.
An ultrasound machine generates ultrasound waves. The machine is connected to a small probe that is held gently against your pet’s skin. The probe sends out painless ultrasound waves that bounce off structures (for example, organs) in your pet’s body and return to a sensor inside the ultrasound machine. The ultrasound equipment collects these reflected “echoes” and uses them to generate images that are viewable on a screen. Ultrasound waves can generate excellent images of abdominal organs, including the liver, spleen, gallbladder, and kidneys. It is also useful for assessing foetal health and monitoring pregnancy in breeding animals and it can help us diagnose and determine the severity of some forms of cancer.
Because ultrasound images are produced in real time this technology can be used to evaluate the heart as it beats. This can help us detect abnormalities in the motion of heart valves, blood flow through the heart and contractions of the heart muscle. It can also be used to assess the heart for defects. As we strive to provide our patients with the highest quality medicine and diagnostic testing we are pleased to offer ultrasound as one of our diagnostic capabilities.
Did you know cats and dogs show different signs of heart disease? Whilst dogs may slow down or have a cough; cats may breathe heavily, lose weight or be a bit quiet or off their food.
Fortunately at Ark Vets we have a variety of tools available to help us diagnose heart disease in your pet. Of course listening with our stethoscope may give us a clue but we also have digital x-rays to show us the size and shape of the heart, ultrasound to show us how the heart is working and ECG to look at the rhythm of your pet’s heart. We also have blood tests available to help identify heart disease earlier in those at risk.
These tests allow us to determine what kind of heart disease your pet may have and what the best treatment may be.
We routinely listen to your pet’s heart during health examinations and, as with many other problems, detecting things early can be beneficial. If you have any concerns we are always here to help and have special interest and knowledge within the practice in this area. Digital x-rays and ECG can be performed at either of our practices and we have a heart-specific ultrasound machine at our Northwich surgery where an ultrasound of the heart can be performed.
Monitoring of heart disease is required to check if the condition is stable or progressing and if we need to increase or change medication.
We therefore recommend regular examination of patients with heart disease to review their health and welfare.
We regularly invest in the onsite Laboratories at both our Mobberley and Northwich surgeries and we have some of the most modern blood analysers allowing rapid interpretation of blood in patients and helping to aid diagnosis and the monitoring of ongoing treatments.
Results from blood and urine analysis can be achieved in as little as ten minutes and can be automatically transferred to your pet’s clinical record.
In addition we also offer routine monitoring which is available either separately or as part of our practice membership plans.
This is very helpful in detecting conditions early or simply to monitor the overall health of your pet.
Obviously prevention is the best form of care and blood samples can be taken very easily from your pet during a consultation or routine vaccination.
A suitable container can be collected from the surgery for you to provide us with any additional samples. Samples need to be as fresh as possible and we can easily advise you about doing this.
In addition we have an extensive network of external laboratories that we utilise and our courier service ensures optimal turnaround of results which adds to the service we provide.
So, whether for routine or more advanced diagnostics or if you are travelling abroad and require specific investigations, we have the equipment and options available to meet your pet’s needs.
83 Town Lane,
Cheshire WA16 7HH
Tel: 01565 872035
Regency Way, Northwich,
Cheshire CW9 8UW
Tel: 01606 810777
Mon: 8.30am – 6.30pm
Tue: 8.30am – 6.30pm (7.30pm at Northwich)
Wed: 8.30am – 6.30pm
Thur: 8.30am – 6.30pm (7.30pm at Mobberley)
Fri: 8.30am – 6.30pm
Sat: 9.00am – 12.30pm Northwich
Sun: 9.00am – 12.30pm Mobberley