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Danescourt Surgery 02920 564 626


Heath Vets have modern facilities and equipment to ensure the best treatments

  • Anaesthetic Monitoring
  • Electro Cardiogram
  • Laboratory
  • Endoscopy
  • Laser Therapy
  • Ultrasound
  • X-Rays
  • Laparoscopic Surgery

Anaesthetic Monitoring

A sophisticated monitor is used for any patient undergoing major surgery. It is very sensitive to changes in the patient’s condition and helps keep the anaesthetic at a safe and effective level.

As well as monitoring heart rate, an ECG is displayed, which displays the electrical activity in the heart, which can be a useful early warning if something is not quite right. The oxygen levels of the blood, the respiratory rate and the temperature can also be constantly measured to ensure the highest levels of safety while you pet undergoes an operation.

Electro Cardiogram

ECG, or Electro-cardiogram, is an instrument which records the electrical activity in the heart muscle.

Leads are attached to specific points on the patient’s skin, and these detect the heart activity. This is then shown as a trace on a piece of paper. ECGs are mainly useful for analysing heart rhythm problems, but can also give information about chamber enlargement, and electrolyte disturbances in the blood.


We believe in the value of having rapid results of tests - we do not like to be at the mercy of the postal system - and so we have invested in a sophisticated laboratory at the practice. We have the latest in automated biochemistry and haematology analysers, blood electrolyte analysis, and a binocular microscope.

We are able to process most samples within a few hours of taking them, giving analysis of blood cell counts and many biochemical tests immediately. Speed can be critical to the outcome of the case on a few occasions; in most cases, it is merely very convenient.

We often perform pre-anaesthetic blood profiles on elderly patients to improve the safety of general anaesthesia. It is a major advantage to the patient (and owner) for us to do the blood test followed by the operation on one visit to the surgery.

As well as blood tests, we often perform microscopic evaluation of samples taken from the skin, ear discharges, and skin masses. These procedures permit a more accurate diagnosis, and therefore more specific and effective treatment.


An endoscope is basically a long tube with a light, through which the vet is able to see into inaccesible places, such as the stomach, airways, etc. The most basic endoscopes are just rigid hollow tubes with a lens system rather like a telescope.

By shining a light down the tube, and looking through the eyepiece, the operator can see a magnified view of what is at the other end of the tube. More sophisticated endoscopes have fibreoptic fibres which conduct the light to the far end, which gives much better illumination. The most useful sort have not only a fibreoptic light source, but also fibreoptics to return the image to the eyepiece. The great advantage of this is that the tube can bend, enabling visualisation of organs deep inside the body.

We have several endoscopes at the practice. Most commonly, we use flexible fibreoptic endoscopes for looking in the stomach and small intestine of patients with vomiting or diarrhoea problems. Sometimes a diagnosis can be made just by looking. Often biopsies are taken, and a pathologist’s report diagnoses the cause. Occasionally the cause of the problem can be removed there and then – for example, we recently removed two socks from a dog’s stomach using the endoscope. This saved the patient from having major surgery.

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy is the use of wavelengths of light to stimulate the bodies natural ability to heal. The effects of laser therapy include improved healing time,‚Äč pain reduction, increased circulation and decreased swelling. Its uses are many we frequently use it for pain arthritic conditions in dogs.

These sessions are often carried out by our nurses once an initial consultation with the vet has taken place. Once the vet is happy that the treatment will be suitable and beneficial to you pet the course can start. It doesn’t take long, you can wait while our nurses give the treatment. You may even sit in on the session - though you maybe asked to wear dark glasses!

Laser therapy is totally safe, the light emitted from the laser is directed towards tissues showing inflamation. No anaesthetic or sedation is needed and it is a pain free procedure.


Ultrasound is rather like small-scale radar. Pulses of very high frequency sound waves are emitted from a probe, directed into the tissues being examined.

The sound waves are reflected in different proportions whenever tissues of different density join. The probe collects the reflected sound waves, and the computer analyses them and is able to tell from how deep in the tissue they have been reflected. This information, combined with the amount of reflected waves, is built up into a cross-sectional picture of the body at that point.

How do we use ultrasound?

We have a powerful ultrasound unit which is used for a variety of purposes, among them pregnancy diagnosis, investigation of bladder problems and heart disease.

Ultrasound examinations give different information from radiographic examinations, and so both may be used on the same patient. It is not quite so important to have a still patient for ultrasound examinations (compared to X-rays) so we can often do them on fully conscious patients.


X-ray images ('radiographs') have been used for many years now, and most people know that they can show some of the internal parts of the body.

The principles of X-rays

X-rays pass through different materials to different degrees. The denser the material, the less X-rays pass through. X-rays cause black and white photographic film to react in a similar way to light or a special film records the x-ray digitally. Radiographs are taken by passing x-ray beams through the part of the body being examined. Since fewer x-rays pass through hard tissues (for example bone) than soft tissues (such as skin and muscle) an image is produced on the photographic film.

The density of different soft tissues varies very slightly, and much information about internal organs can be obtained from radiographs, as well as diagnosing broken bones.

Radiography at the Heath Veterinary Group

We use a digital system which gives much better pictures and uses less xrays so is safer.

The x-ray equipment we have is very high-powered, enabling very good quality pictures to be taken. We are able to take radiographs of all sizes of creature from the smallest hamster to the largest Great Dane. Many veterinary practices manage with cheap low-powered machines which cope adequately with average-sized pets but struggle with large dogs and more sophisticated techniques. We have recently upgraded to a digital system which gives quicker results, better images and uses less x-rays so is safer.

Taking radiographs is quite safe and painless for the patient - no different to having a photo taken. However, it is essential that the patient lies still during the procedure, so sedation or general anaesthesia is usually needed, depending on what part is being x-rayed.

Apart from broken bones, radiographs are used to give information about heart disease, tumours, spinal conditions, coughing problems, intestinal problems and many others. Radiography can give information about almost all organ systems.

Results of radiographic examinations are usually available the same day. Occasionally, we may recommend an expert opinion to help with a diagnosis; we have good working relationships with several specialists.

We regularly take x-rays for the Official Hip Dysplasia Scheme.

We have two -xray machines - a large one for most x-rays, and a smaller one specifically for dental x-rays.

Laparoscopic Surgery


Laparoscopy is the term given to examination and surgery of the abdomen using a camera (endoscope), rather than making a large incision.  

The Advantages of laparoscopic Surgery 

  • Less pain after the operation 
  • Smaller incisions 
  • Faster recovery time 
  • Faster healing times 
  • Fewer post operative complications 
  • Minimally invasive 
  • Much clearer view for the surgeon 
  • Often no stitches in the skin – so usually no need for buster collars 

Which types of surgery can be done via keyhole? 

  • The most common procedure performed is bitch spays - keyhole spay
  • Biopsies can be taken of the kidney, liver, pancreas and intestines. 
  • Retained testicle removal - The keyhole procedure has huge benefits over traditional surgery, which frequently requires larger painful wounds.