Diagnostic Facilities

Once a full clinical examination has been completed it is sometimes necessary to investigate a complex case further. The full range of diagnostic facilities at Paragon allow such procedures to be carried out at the earliest time and with the minimum inconvenience to patient and owner.

In-house diagnostics for small animals include -

X-Rays

Our X-Ray machine is capable of a wide range of exposures, producing images of equal quality for patients of all sizes. X-Rays are of great diagnostic value for imaging not only bones but soft tissue structures as well. Different sizes and types of X-Ray cassette and film can be chosen to produce the best quality result for any given animal and area. Whereas people can be asked to sit still for an X-Ray, animals must be sedated or anaesthetised to prevent movement during exposure which would result in a blurred image.

 

Once exposed our X-Ray plates are developed in-house by an automatic processing machine. This takes less than a minute and allows rapid assessment of radiographs while the patient remains under anaesthesia.

Some examples of radiographs taken before and after surgery can be seen in the orthopaedic case review section

 

Ultrasound

Ultrasound is a very useful tool for imaging soft tissue structures such as the liver, bladder, heart, kidneys, prostate gland and eye. The ultrasound probe sends out pulses of very high frequency sound which can penetrate the tissues of the body. Some of the sound waves are reflected when they meet an internal surface or change in consistency. The probe measures these reflected waves and an image is created on the screen. To ensure good contact between probe and skin any hair is shaved off and a viscous gel applied to skin and probe. Any images can be printed for future reference. 

 

The image produced on the screen represents a 'slice' or cross section through the body in the same plane as the scanner head. This is a screen image from the patient above. Although the quality of reproduction here is rather poor the bladder (arrowed) can be made out at the top of the screen.

 

 

Electrocardiogram (ECG)

An electrocardiogram is a visual representation of the electrical changes that occur in the heart during every beat. Four conducting leads are attached to the skin to detect these changes. Many heart conditions produce abnormal ECGs, as do certain more generalised conditions such as Addison's Disease.

Endoscopy

Here Ann Noble is using one of our flexible endoscopes to examine a dog's stomach. A flexible endoscope contains a bundle of fibre optic elements which transfer an image from the tip of the device to the eyepiece. We can therefore take a look at the oesophagus, stomach and top of the small intestine without having to do surgery. It is sometimes possible to take samples for analysis via the endoscope as well.

 

 

 

Blood Pressure Monitoring

 

Our blood pressure monitor is valuable both for anaesthetic monitoring and for the investigation of certain medical disorders in the conscious patient, most commonly high blood pressure in the older cat. Low blood pressure during anaesthesia can cause poor blood supply to vital organs which can lead to damage. We can minimise this possibility by regular blood pressure checks in at-risk patients.

 

 

Laboratory Investigations

Our laboratory is equipped to process blood samples to aid in the investigation of a wide range of suspected disorders. We can test blood for levels of enzymes and other chemicals, as well as counting the numbers of various types of cells in the blood. Urine analysis can also be carried out in-house.

Our microscope allows detailed examination of samples such as blood, hair and faeces, as well as the examination of cells collected during the investigation of abnormal lumps and fluids.