Our extensive facilities, coupled with our broad range of high-tech equipment, enable us to provide the highest level of veterinary care for your pet.
Our sickest patients are placed in our Intensive Care Unit (ICU). We have two dedicated ICU nurses and an ICU vet always on duty to look after and monitor these patients. Within the ICU we have the ability to house patients in humidicribs, provide piped oxygen therapy for those with cardio-respiratory difficulties and tube feed where required. Patients are monitored 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
Our CT scanner allows us to diagnose and treat many illnesses and conditions we would have previously been unable to. For example, a CT scan will help us diagnose cancer earlier and help to determine the extent of cancer in an animal to save the trauma of unnecessary surgery.
Fluoroscopy is a type of medical imaging that shows a continuous x-ray image on a monitor, much like a real-time x-ray movie of the animals’ interior. During a fluoroscopy procedure, an x-ray beam is passed through the body.
This technology is not common for animal hospitals or vet clinics with less than a handful of such machines in vet clinics across Victoria.
Pathology provides important information as part of our diagnostic work. We use the services of IDEXX, Australia’s largest veterinary laboratory for much of our blood and pathology work.
There are many tests we are able to do in-house without the need to send samples away. Our wet lab allows vets to analyse urine checks, cytology of ear infections or the investigation of skin mite infections.
We are equipped with advanced desktop machines that assist us with things such as blood work for pre-anaesthetic checks or follow-ups on kidney disease.
The ultrasound machine complements the radiology equipment in that they are both useful in obtaining images of what may be going on within the body when an external examination can’t reveal the problem. The ultrasound is excellent for looking at some of the finer details in internal organs such as the thickness of the heart wall in heart diseases, or the efficiency of the heart valve. It can be useful in detecting internal masses which may not show up readily on radiographs, or determining if a dog or cat is pregnant. It can be used to assist in taking biopsies of internal organs or tissues without requiring full exploratory surgery.
This service is available to all patients.
An endoscope is a camera at the end of a narrow flexible tube which is about 150cm long. The images from the endoscope can be viewed on an external monitor.
The structure of the endoscope lends itself easily to the visualisation of internal tubular structures of an animal including the oesophagus, the trachea or windpipe, the front portion of the small intestine or the back portion of the colon. We use it to look for possible foreign bodies, areas that may be indicative of cancers which can cause ulceration and bleeding, or growths with or without bleeding.
Due to its flexible design, it can also be used to take biopsies of certain portions of the bowel or stomach without the requirement for exploratory surgery. This is dependent on whether a lesion is located within a structure such as the bowel or stomach, or if it is outside, in which case an exploratory laparotomy procedure would be required.
When carers have difficulty maintaining their pets’ teeth or if the dental problems have advanced too far, the pets may require a dental procedure that is performed under anaesthetic.
We have two dedicated dental units that allow our vets to do whatever is required to return your pet’s mouth to a healthy condition by firstly scaling off any plaque and tartar, then extracting any decayed teeth and finally polishing the remaining healthy teeth.
This digital unit measures intraocular pressure. It is used to diagnose glaucoma, a condition where pressure increases inside the eye. The Tonopen is gently tapped on the cornea where four measurements are taken.
The Cryopen uses state-of-the-art cryosurgery with pen-point precision to freeze skin cancers, especially squamous cell carcinomas that develop in white cats with pink or unpigmented skin.
We have ten consulting rooms to cater for our clients and pets. With a large team of vets consulting each day, we have the potential to see as many as 130 appointments on weekdays and nearly 100 appointments on Saturdays and Sundays. This is not including the dozens of sick and injured animals we see as emergencies each day that do not have appointments due to the nature of their visits.
Consult rooms are where the vet will check your pet and discuss with you all the important aspects of your visit. There may be situations where your pet is taken to the treatment room while you wait, e.g. for pets requiring regular bandage changes, blood collection or skin scraping for mite infections.
Unfortunately, not all animals that are sick and injured can be treated at home and many require hospitalisation for further tests and analysis to determine what is causing their problem. We have several wards within the hospital to accommodate our sick patients.
In addition to our four operating theatres which are reserved for sterile operations and procedures, we also have a dedicated treatment area. This space is used for minor procedures for which a completely sterile environment isn’t essential. These may include small stitch ups, draining of cat-fight abscesses, treatment of blocked bladders, enemas for constipated and impacted pets, and dental procedures.
Many of the more routine procedures such as blood collection and intravenous drip placements are performed by our treatment nurses.
An autoclave is a steriliser used in our operating theatres. It ensures all our surgical equipment is sterile before it is used to operate on a patient. Once the operation is completed, the surgical instruments are cleaned, dried and reautoclaved before being used on another patient.
Our autoclave is an industrial-sized unit.
This is an instrument used to measure blood pressure. A blood-pressure cuff is applied to a limb or a tail, and the transducer or sensor is placed below the cuff. It is able to detect and amplify the sound of blood flow as the pressure on the cuff is deflated. The blood-pressure reading is taken from the moment the Doppler unit detects any blood flow past the cuff.
As the instrument is able to detect minute blood flow, it is commonly used by our Unusual Pet and Wildlife veterinarians to measure the heart rate of patients that would otherwise be difficult to measure when they are under anaesthetic.
An Electrocardiagram (ECG) is used to monitor very specific heart functions, especially how well the heart conducts electrical signals across its muscle tissue. It is a non-invasive way to measure the heart function and may be used to explain conditions of arrhythmia (irregular heartbeats), tachycardia (fast heart rate), or dropped beats due to problems with signal conduction through the heat muscles.
One of the most important and vital parts of the treatment of a sick patient or a patient undergoing prolonged surgery is intravenous fluids. It helps to correct any dehydration, restores fluid and electrolyte imbalances, administers support care in the form of glucose and antibiotics, maintains blood pressure, and provides constant pain relief for those patients who require high levels of anaesthesia from severe trauma such as motor vehicle accidents or dog attack wounds.
When a patient is undergoing a surgical procedure under anaesthetic its life is literally in the hands of the vet who is performing the surgery and the nurse who is monitoring. As this is a critical time, we utilise state-of-the-art monitoring equipment to observe a patient’s pulse, ECG, temperature, oxygen saturation, carbon dioxide output and blood pressure. These measurements allow the monitoring of vital information that is not possible from a physical examination alone. The unit alerts the veterinary team to any abnormal changes in the readout so steps may be immediately taken to correct the problem.
X-rays, or radiographs, are taken on an X-ray plate which physically looks much like the traditional X-ray plate. The difference is that the images are captured digitally and read by a special digital plate reader. Once this is scanned, a digital X-ray image is shown on screen and may be sent to a computer in another section of Lort Smith for viewing. In the event that we have to refer your pet, we can also email these X-rays to the referring vet.
To ensure we are able to obtain the best radiographic picture possible and for the safety of our staff (to minimise exposure to potentially dangerous radiation), animals undergoing radiography are given a light sedative or anaesthetic to avoid any distress on their part.