• Emergency:01425 614482

Diagnostic Services

Diagnostic available services

Cardiology

Cardiology is a clinical speciality that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of the valves and muscles of the heart. Our New Milton Branch can offer complete cardiac evaluation, utilizing digital radiographs, ultrasound (electrocardiogram) and electrocardiographs (ECG).

After an initial cardiac evaluation, we'll discuss with you any additional testing or treatment that we recommend. In some cases, we may suggest referral to a cardiac specialist.

Discovering that your pet has a heart problem can be a difficult time for a pet owner. However, it is important to find out as much about the problem as possible to find the most effective treatment. The sooner treatment begins, the sooner the quality of your pet’s life is improved and the more likely we are to prolong your pet's life through treatment and management of the problem.

If we believe there is a heart problem, taking a digital radiograph or doing an ultrasound of the heart are critical steps in diagnosing the condition. Either of these tests is a safe non-surgical way for a vet to evaluate the chambers of the heart and visualize the valves. An ECG of the heart may also help to diagnose the extent of the problem.

What to look out for:

  • Early fatigue at exercise is an important early symptom which may be confused with other diseases of old age.
  • A cough - often occurring after a period of rest or exertion.
  • Weight loss - common in long-lasting (chronic) forms of heart failure.
  • Drinking excessively sometimes associated with a reduced appetite.
  • An abdomen distended with fluid.

Just like people, dogs and cats depend on blood circulation to carry nutrients and oxygen round the body. An adequate blood and oxygen supply is essential for correct functioning of all the vital organs. A poor blood supply to the brain can result in changes in behaviour, senility and even fainting episodes.

Dentistry

Dental disease is an often overlooked threat to the comfort and health of your pet. Because dental disease often has few very noticeable signs, it is often only when your pet is having a health check at the time of its annual booster that problems are detected. Following this check, your vet may recommend a change of diet, an oral cleaning schedule or even further treatment based on your pet's needs.

Dental disease is one of the most common diseases seen by vets and many animals over the age of 2 have some degree of dental disease.

The following are some of the signs of dental disease:

  • Bad breath
  • Yellow, brown or discoloured teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Red, inflamed gums
  • Swollen mouth, jaws or gums
  • Less playing with chew toys than normal
  • Pain when eating       

It is important to have your pet checked for dental disease, as this disease can have a major impact on your pet's organs, including the heart, liver and kidneys.

Booking your pet in for a dental involves them coming into the surgery as a day patient between 8.30 and 9.00am. They will have pre-surgery checks, and will have an anaesthetic administered before treatment begins. Depending on the severity of the case, they may have dental x-rays to see if there are any underlying problems, and then treatment to remove any loose teeth and cleaning using high-speed dental equipment will be carried out.

Once your pet has come round from the anaesthetic and made a good recovery, you will be able to take it home towards the end of the day. If there have been any complications the vet will call you to discuss the treatment plan, or make an appointment to see you when you come to collect your pet.

Dermatology

There are a large number of skin disorders known to affect pets. These disorders may be the result of single or multiple conditions. Because many of these diseases bear a close symptomatic resemblance to one another, proper diagnoses and treatment often require the consultation of a vet with a special interest in this area.

We can offer you a wide range of dermatological diagnostics, including:

  • Skin scrapes and hair plucks
  • Fungal and bacterial cultures
  • Cytology
  • Biopsy for histology and/or bacterial culture
  • Allergy testing - both serum and intradermal

While all of our vets can help you to understand your pet's dermatological problems, Rosie Beacham has a certificate in Veterinary Dermatology and has been working with dermatological problems for the last twenty years. She is always happy to take on new cases.

Diagnosing the cause of skin problems can be like detective work - ruling out one possibility at a time. It is important to use a methodical approach to be certain of the root cause, and we try simple solutions before offering more expensive diagnostics and treatments. We will obtain an extensive history from you, in addition to a physical and dermatological examination of your pet. Skin diseases can be frustrating for pet owners because some can only be managed and not resolved. In these cases, we will need to see your pet on a routine basis for follow-up care and continued treatment.

Some of the dermatological conditions we see are:

  • Flea allergy dermatitis
  • Atopy -environmental allergy
  • Otitis - ear disease
  • Bacterial diseases
  • Parasitic skin diseases
  • Fungal skin diseases, e.g. ringworm
  • Food allergy
  • Skin cancer
  • Skin diseases of the foot or nail
  • Seborrhoea and acne
  • Alopecia - hair loss
  • Nutritional skin disease
  • Endocrine and metabolic skin disease
  • Auto-immune skin disease
  • Drug reactions

Diabetic Monitoring

Sugar diabetes is quite common in both dogs and cats nowadays. It causes your pet to drink and eat more than normal and then pass more urine. If left untreated it causes liver damage, circulatory collapse and death. Sugar Diabetes is caused by a lack of insulin, which stops the cells in the body using the sugar in the blood.

The types of diabetes in cats and dogs differ; dogs usually suffer from Type 1 diabetes, where the cells that produce insulin have died, whereas cats usually suffer from Type 2 diabetes, where the cells that produce insulin have become exhausted. Therefore the treatment and monitoring of the disease is slightly different in cats and dogs.

Although long periods of a high blood sugar level causes problems, high blood sugar levels for a short time do little damage. However low blood sugar levels (hypoglaecaemia) are very dangerous, and can cause fits and death. We therefore have to monitor the blood sugar level to make sure that we are using the right dose of the right type of insulin at the right frequency to keep the blood sugar level from being too high for long periods but ensure that it never gets too low.

In dogs, diabetes is a lifelong condition that will need to be treated with insulin injections once or twice daily for the rest of their lives. Each dog has a different response to injected insulin, so we need repeated graphs of the way the blood sugar changes after an insulin injection. This usually requires hospitalisation for the day and repeated blood glucose tests. Once the diabetes has been stabilised, we monitor your pet's progress by checking their weight regularly and measuring the amount of fructosamine in the blood, which gives us a good idea whether their blood sugar level is stable or not. We rarely measure urine sugar any more as the above tests are so much better. Fibre-rich diets and diets with a low glycaemia index help stabilise the blood sugar level, stopping big swings from high to low, but it is not possible to control diabetes with diet changes alone.

In cats, reducing the amount of carbohydrate in the diet reduces the amount of insulin the pancreas has to produce and enormously helps control the disease; indeed it is possible to control the disease through diet changes alone, as in people. However, most cats still need daily insulin injections. Again monitoring is based on doing serial blood glucose estimations, usually when hospitalised, but they can be done at home using a blood glucose recorder. Routine checks of blood fructosamine and body weight are used to check all is well once your cat  is stable. Again we now rarely monitor urine sugar levels as the above tests are much more useful.

Doppler Blood Pressure Measurement

High blood pressure is quite a common problem in older cats. Sometimes it is associated with Hyperthyroidism, sometimes the cause is unknown. If left untreated high blood pressure damages the eyes, kidneys and heart, and often leads to blindness, heart and kidney failure.

The old method of assessing a cat's blood pressure was the use of an ultrasound blood pressure machine. This required the vet to listen to the heart beat with earphones whilst using a pressure cuff to measure the blood pressure. The new blood pressure machines use doppler waves to do the whole job automatically. They are much more efficient and quicker, making the whole experience much less stressful for the cat. Unfortunately, the new machines are very expensive!

As a practice we recommend blood pressure checks for all cats when they get to eight years old, as well as when indicated during clinical examination. If your pet is found to have high blood pressure we usually recommend chest x-rays and cardiac ultrasound as well as a detailed eye examination.

Dogs rarely have problems with high blood pressure and so we do not routinely recommend screening for it, but do check the blood pressure if there are clinical signs that suggest there might be a problem.

Endoscopy and Otoscopy

Endoscopy

Endoscopy is a diagnostic, non-invasive technique used to look inside the orifices of the body. There are two types of endoscope, flexible and rigid, each having a tiny camera at the end, which take continuous images that can be viewed on a high definition TV screen. Biopsy instruments can be used in conjunction with the scope to enable tissue samples to be taken.

To a large extent the rigid endoscope is used to look into the nose, urethra and bladder of female dogs and cats, whilst the flexible endoscope is largely used for examination of the lungs, stomach, intestines, rectum and colon, and the urethra of male dogs. The rigid endoscope is also used for laparoscopies, including biopsies of the liver and kidneys. It may also be used on an emergency basis to remove gastric and oesophageal foreign bodies, and may be an alternative to surgery. Endoscopy has to be performed under anaesthesia, so food and water have to be withheld for 12-18 hours prior to the procedure.

Otoscopy

Otoscopy is the use of a tiny rigid scope especially designed to examine ears. It enables the vet to see whether the tympanic membrane has been ruptured, to flush out the ear or to remove foreign bodies such as grass seeds. The images are also viewed on a TV screen. Otoscopy also has to be performed under anaesthesia.

Glaucoma Tonometry

Increased pressure inside the eye is called Glaucoma. It is fairly common in dogs but can occur in cats. It is extremely painful and if left untreated rapidly causes irreversible blindness.

There are a number of causes. Some dogs have an inherited susceptibility, often associated with luxation of the lens. In some dogs it is caused by trauma or infection. The way it is treated is usually the same initially, but the long term treatment and prognosis depends on the cause.

The most important thing is to correctly diagnose the problem, then treat it appropriately to reduce the pressure inside the eye to safe and comfortable levels. This we do with a tonometer pen (tono pen), which will accurately and repeatedly tell us what the pressure inside the eye is.

You will find that we will measure the pressure inside the eye if we are suspicious of a problem. If we find the pressure is raised, we will usually start your pet on treatment and book them in for repeated measurements every few days or weeks until the pressure is reduced to a safe level.

Ophthalmology

Animals can suffer from eye problems that are similar to those that affect humans as well as diseases that are unique to each species. We believe that treatment of eye diseases can contribute greatly to the quality of your pet's life.

Whilst all of our vets can diagnose and treat many diseases and injuries of the eye, Kate Lord has a certificate in Veterinary Ophthalmology and can carry out many surgical and other procedures to rectify problems.

Such procedures include:

  • Eyelid surgery
  • Reconstructive surgery
  • Corneal surgery
  • Ocular ultrasound
  • Intraocular lens removal (lendectomy)

Our surgery is equipped with highly specialized equipment that we use to evaluate and diagnose eye issues, including:

  • Instruments used for measuring intraocular pressure (tono pen)
  • Indirect ophthalmoscopes for retinal exams
  • Fluorescein stain to diagnose corneal scratches or ulcers and Rose Bengal stain to diagnose viral ulcers in cats.
  • Schirmer tear test strips to diagnose 'dry eye'
  • Slit lamp for evaluation of the anterior chamber of the eye

Practice information

Lymington

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  • Mon
    8:30am - 6:30pm
  • Tue
    8:30am - 6:30pm
  • Wed
    8:30am - 6:30pm
  • Thu
    8:30am - 6:30pm
  • Fri
    8:30am - 6:30pm
  • Sat
    8:30am - 1:00pm
  • Sun
    Closed

Emergency Details

Please call:

01590 673687
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Find us here:

66 Milford Road Pennington Lymington Hampshire SO41 8DU
get directions with Google Maps
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Please call this number for emergencies:

01590 673687

New Milton

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  • Mon
    8:30am - 7:30pm
  • Tue
    8:30am - 7:30pm
  • Wed
    8:30am - 7:30pm
  • Thu
    8:30am - 7:30pm
  • Fri
    8:30am - 7:30pm
  • Sat
    8:30am - 5:00pm
  • Sun
    Closed

Emergency Details

Please call:

01425 614482
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Find us here:

14 Barton Court Road New Milton Hampshire BH25 6NP
get directions with Google Maps
Back

Please call this number for emergencies:

01425 614482