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Our Hospital

Our hospital operates just as a human hospital does. Here you can read about our facilities and equipment.

Facilities:
Consult rooms
Intensive Care Unit
Wards
Treatment room

Equipment:
Autoclave
Dental base
Ultrasonic doppler unit
Endoscope
Fluid pumps
Pathology machine
Ultrasound machine
Surgivet monitors
Tonopen
Cryopen
CT scanner

Facilities

 Consult rooms

Lort Smith has a total of eight consulting rooms to cater for our pet owners and their 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 which 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 may be taken out to the treatment room whilst you wait. This may include pets requiring regular bandage changes, blood collection or skin scraping for mite infections.

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 Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

Our Intensive Care Unit consists of dedicated ICU veterinary staff who look after the sickest patients in the hospital. Within the ICU we have the ability to house patients in humidicribs and provide piped oxygen therapy for those with cardio-respiratory difficulties. Patients are monitored 24-hours every day, seven days a week.

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 Wards

When a pet is admitted into hospital it is housed in an enclosure appropriate for its size and species. We have separate wards for our feline and canine patients as well as our exotic and unusual pets. Our dog wards can cater for all sizes, from the smallest of toy breeds to the largest of the giant breed dogs.

For cats, we have both a cat medical ward as well as a cat surgical ward. For our dogs, we have two wards for small to medium sized dogs, one ward for the large to extra large dogs, and a separate surgical ward for dogs.

All pets are provided with bedding of blankets or towels so they are not on cold, uncomfortable surfaces. They are provided with food and water where appropriate and monitored by our inpatient team of vets and nurses.

Due to our high capacity of inpatients and the heavy use of bedding, we do request that owners do not leave their pets’ favourite blankets or toys with them. The reason is that all soiled items are laundered, and with so many items being washed, it may be difficult to keep track any favourite items that go missing.

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 Treatment room

In addition to our four operating theatres which are reserved for sterile operations and procedures, we also have a dedicated treatment area which is for treating minor procedures which may not need to be so sterile. 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.

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Equipment

 Autoclave

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 re-autoclaved before being used on another patient.

While the autoclaves in most vet clinics sit on bench top and are no larger than the size of a couple of microwave ovens, our autoclave is an industrial sized unit which costs about the same as a small car!

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 Dental base

There are many ways owners can help ensure their pets’ teeth are clean and in tip top condition. However, there are also times when for one reason or another, they start developing problems with gingivitis and plaque, which then leads to tartar and eventually tooth decay.

When owners have difficulty maintaining their pets’ teeth or if the dental problems have advanced too far, the pets may require a dental procedure which is performed under anaesthetic.

We have two dental units which 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.

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 Ultrasonic doppler unit

This is an instrument used to measure blood pressure, particularly in geriatric cats. 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 also used by our Exotics and Unusual Pet vets to measure the heart rate of our patients that would otherwise be difficult when they are under anaesthetic.

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 Endoscope

An endoscope is basically 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 nature, it can also be used to take biopsies of certain portions of the bowel or stomach without the requirement of an exploratory surgery. This will depend 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.

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 Fluid pumps

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.

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 Pathology laboratory

Pathology provides very important information as part of our diagnostic work up. We have access and use the services of Australia’s largest veterinary laboratory for much of our blood and pathology work.

However there are many tests we are able to do in-house without the need to send away the samples. Our wet lab allows vets to do some analysis such urine checks, cytology of ear infections or the investigation of possible skin mite infections.

We also have advanced desktop machines which are able to help us with blood work for pre anaesthetic checks or follow ups on kidney disease, for example.

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 Radiography machine

We are fortunate to have state-of-the-art radiology equipment installed at Lort Smith Animal Hospital.  Xrays, or radiographs, are taken on an xray plate which physically looks much like the traditional xray plate. The difference is that the images are captured digitally and read by a special digital plate reader. Once this is scanned, a digital xray image is shown on screen and may be sent to a computer in another section of the Lort Smith Animal Hospital for viewing. In the event that we have to refer your pet, we can also email these xrays to the referring vet.

For the safety of our staff (to minimise exposure to potentially dangerous radiation), most animals undergoing radiography are given a light sedative or anaesthetic to avoid any distress on their part and to ensure we are able to obtain the best radiographic picture possible. 

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 Ultrasound machine

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.

Many of our vets have training in the use of the ultrasound unit. We also have a practitioner with an interest in small animal medicine who is able to ultrasound some of the more complicated and difficult cases.

Should your pet require an ultrasound scan, your vet will be able to discuss that with you. 

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 Surgivet monitors

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 monitor a patient’s pulse, ECG, temperature, oxygen saturation, carbon dioxide output and blood pressure whilst it is under anaesthetic. These measurements allow monitoring of vital information which is not possible from just physical examination alone. The unit alerts the team to any abnormal changes in the readout so that steps may be taken immediately to correct the problem before it is too late.

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 Tonopen

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. 

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 Cryopen

The Cryopen uses state of the art cryosurgery with pen-point precision to freeze skin cancers, especially squammous cell carcinomas that develop in white cats with pink or unpigmented skin.

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 CT scanner

Thanks to some generous donors and GE, the Hospital has acquired a state-of-the-art CT scanner. A CT is a type of x-ray that takes 3D pictures and can provide more accurate diagnostic information and better quality information to help our vets plan surgeries.

The CT scanner allows us to diagnose and treat many illnesses and conditions we would have previously been unable to treat. For instance, a 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. It will help us to diagnose countless other condition.

CT scans are available with our standard discounts for health care and seniors cards. Payment plans also apply.

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Lort Smith Contact Details