When you bring in your pet with an illness, they obviously can’t tell us what’s wrong. None of us claim to be Dr. Doolittle! Initially, we will seek to gather as much information as we can about what has been happening. We refer to this as history taking and we’ll often ask some questions which seem a bit odd, and we may even repeat ourselves in an effort to get an idea of what’s wrong. We’ll often also refer to previous episodes recorded on our notes.
Just like your doctor may want to get blood samples for investigation, we also look at organ function by means of blood tests. Just like the nurse at your doctor’s surgery might obtain the blood, we too have nurses who help us with samples.
At some point in our lives, virtually all of us with have had an x-ray. X-rays are a type of radiation produced as the result of high speed electrons hitting a metal target. Better explanations can be found elsewhere if the physics are of interest to you.
Ultrasound uses sound waves of various frequencies to pass through tissues and then when they bounce back, they give us a picture of the organ in real time, together with movement, this becomes incredibly useful if we are looking at the heart where we can look at the movement of the muscle, and with specialist equipment, the direction of blood flow.
Fibre optical devices are incredibly useful because they enable us to view inside the body. They are made up of bundles of flexible glass fibres that effectively bounce light along their length to a lens, or to a camera which allows us to view the image on a screen. The same technology allows signals to be transmitted for televisions, phones and broadband.
Gareth Harries achieved the Royal College Certificate in Small Animal Surgery in 2005. Whilst not being classed as a ‘specialist’ this advanced qualification was achieved by studying surgery at a great depth and demonstrating his knowledge and skills with a casebook of his work, and then written, oral and practical examinations.
Whether your pet is having an anaesthetic for a routine neutering, or having an anaesthetic to attend to serious injuries, your pet will receive the same level of attention to detail.