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New state-of- the- art ultrasound machine and new digital x-ray unit.
We are proud to announce an upgrade in our diagnostic imaging equipment. We have a new ultrasound machine that allows more advanced and detailed imaging usually associated with specialist referral centres. Finer detail of tissues can be viewed for diagnostic procedures and the imaging of the heart (echocardiography) can be performed to an advanced standard using "colour flow" imaging to measure speed of blood flow through the heart and across valves within the heart. Very accurate assessment of the relative sizes of the heart chambers can be obtained and the contractile performance of the heart can be calculated also.
This machine often allows us to diagnose abdominal and thoracic conditions immediately without the need for more invasive procedures like exploratory surgery. We can simply view the organs in real time and litterally "see" the problems. We can when necessary collect diagnostic samples (biopsies) of tissues using the machine to view the area of concern and direct biopsy equipment into them accurately. Ultrasound is a pivotal diagnostic tool in this practice.
The new digital X-ray unit allows rapid development of X-ray images onto a computer file which can be viewed showing far greater detail than traitional x-ray films. The digital images can also be emailed to specialist centres for further appraisal if necessary
Booster reminder text service
From February 2010 the surgery will be offering a text reminder service to alert owners that their pets vaccinations are due. Please ensure that we have the correct contact mobile number on your file.If anyone does not wish to be contacted in this way please let a member of staff know so that we can note this on you file.
The lungworm threat in London
For the past 5 years the rates of canine lungworm diagnosed in veterinary clinics in London has been steadily increasing.This parasite presents a potentially fatal disease risk to dogs.The risk is associated with foxes, snails and slugs and to some degree frogs existing together in gardens.
The adult parasite lives in the fox lung. Eggs are coughed up and swallowed and passed in the fox dung. The larvae from the eggs then penetrate and encyst in the snail or slug. These can also be eaten by frogs. A fox or dog that eats the snail/slug/frog or even licks the silvery trail or slime can become infected with the adult parasite in the lungs.
The disease can show as a cough or pneumonia or pleurisy. However meningitis, convulsions, haemophilia-like clotting disorders and sudden death can also be the main presenting signs.
Please enquire at the surgery for ways to prevent this dangerous condition.
Advocate spot-on oil is the most sure method of prevention. It should be done monthly. It kills lungworm and other internal parasites so you do not need other worming tablets anymore. It also kills fleas for a month at a time so no other flea control is necessary.
For more information please visit the Bayer
Be Lungworm Aware website.
Earlier detection of kidney problems in elderly cats
One of the most common old age diseases of cats is kidney failure. Currently this is detected using a blood test. This test is reliable in detecting kidney failure that has progressed to the point where toxins are beginning to build up in the blood. These toxins will make the cat feel very sick as the levels increase. Unfortunately these toxin increases are not detectable till 80% of the kidney function has gone!
A new test to detect kidney failure at a much earlier stage is now available. It can be done using urine collected in a special type of cat litter that will not contaminate the sample. This can be a first line test for kidney failure by detecting overly dilute urine and / or protein at high levels in the urine. A sample of urine collected during a consultation is even more beneficial as this allows us to check for low grade infections of the urinary tract which can be surprisingly common in older cats with poor kidney function. If we are seeing your elderly cat for a kidney check up it is wise to take the litter tray away for a few hours before the appointment to allow a volume of urine to build up in the bladder so we can more easily collect a sample. Detecting kidney trouble in the earlier stages means we can begin treatment then, increasing life expectancy and quality of life for your cat.
If your cat shows a positive indication of kidney problems on a urine test collected at home with the special cat litter, we can arrange to check your pet at the practice when a blood test may be indicated to see if the toxins are also already increased in the blood.
What can be done about kidney failure? There is no point detecting kidney disease if there is nothing we can do about it! But there is good news. Major advances have occurred over the past ten years.
Clinical trials have shown that changing a cat’s food to certain prescription renal diets can significantly increase life expectancy in the face of kidney failure, particularly when started early enough.
A drug called benazepril is now licensed for use in cats with kidney failure. It increases the blood flow through the kidneys. Anabolic steroids can help maintain appetite and body condition.
Appetite enhancers for renal cases can greatly improve quality of life by helping maintain a strong appetite for the correct types of food.
Diagnosis of kidney disease is not an immediate disaster if detected early!!
NEW POISONING HAZARD FOR DOGS
Xylitol is becomming a commonly used low calorie sweetener in some cakes, other confectionary and some chewing gums and can even be bought in granular form to be used as a sugar substitute in drinks (all the sweetness but no calories). This might be good news for dieters but this substance can be very dangerous to dogs. It causes massive insulin release from the pancreas causing low blood glucose with potential collapse and coma. It also causes liver damage.
DID TOU KNOW THAT GRAPES ARE POTENTIALLY VERY TOXIC TO DOGS AND CAN CAUSE KIDNEY DAMAGE. THIS INCLUDES RAISINS AND SULTANAS.
DID YOU KNOW ALL PARTS OF PLANTS OF THE LILY FAMILY ARE VERY TOXIC TO CATS AND CAN CAUSE FATAL KIDNEY DAMAGE. THIS INCLUDES THE WATER IN THE VASE.
DID YOU KNOW THAT ETHYLENE GLYCOL ( ANTIFREEZE) IN RADIATOR WATER DRAINED FROM THE CAR AND LEFT WHERE DOGS CAN DRINK IT CAN CAUSE FATAL KIDNEY DAMAGE?
DID YOU KNOW THAT CHOCOLATE CAN BE VERY DANGEROUS TO DOGS, PARTICULARLY DARK CHOCOLATE WITH HIGH COCOA CONTENT.