We actively seek to give all our patients the best possible care and have strict practice protocol for in-house procedures and excellent standards of sterility. Because great service really matters to us, we have volunteered to be inspected by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and are an RCVS Accredited Small Animal Practice. Click here to find out more.
We strongly advocate vaccinating your pets annually to offer protection against several potentially fatal and often easily contractable diseases. A recent nationwide survey of vets through CICADA (Computer-based Investigation into Companion Animal Disease Awareness) supports fears that falls in vaccination rates since the start of the credit crunch may be leading to increases in potentially fatal pet diseases across the West Midlands and Britain in general. In the survey, completed in February 2011 for the preceding nine months:
- Almost 50% of vet practices countywide had confirmed or suspected cases of the infectious killer dog disease parvovirus.
- Reported cases of cat flu had increased by a third for the same period.
- Leptospirosis, carried by rats and transmittable to humans, continued to be a significant risk to dogs.
- The fatal disease myxomatosis which is spread by biting fleas and other insects, particularly during mild weather, represented a major threat to domestic rabbits.
What do we offer?
- Dogs: An annual booster course protects against Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza and Leptospirosis
- Cats: We use Purevax to protect against cat flu, enteritis and leukaemia. This is currently the most comprehensive vaccine with enhanced immunity which has the least adverse effects. We follow World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) and Advisory Board of Cat Diseases (ABCD) guidelines which recommend administering the leukaemia part of the vaccine every other year only.
- Rabbits: One single annual vaccine now protects against Myxomatosis and fatal Viral Haemorrhagic Disease
Patient Care Plans
If your pet is admitted for surgery, we will go through a personalised care plan with you to make sure we know your pet’s routine, likes and dislikes to make their stay here as comfortable as possible. The care plan is also used to assess the patient’s health and clinical needs and is referred to and updated as necessary throughout your pet’s visit.
We do not anaesthetise any dogs or cats without a pre-placed intravenous catheter. This massively increases the safety of anaesthesia by maintaining constant and immediate access to the blood stream should any problems occur.
During every dog and cat anaesthetic we administer warmed intravenous fluids via the catheter. This supports and maintains blood pressure for increased safety. Heat loss is a great concern during anaesthesia – warm animals recover faster and more smoothly from anaesthesia and in weak or frail cases heat loss can contribute to death under anaesthesia. Therefore, every procedure lasting more than 15 minutes, and every animal under 3kg in weight, is kept warm using a forced-air warming system (Bair Hugger®). Forced-air warming systems are the most efficient warming systems currently available.
All anaesthetised animals are connected to our pulse oximeter and capnograph, which aids accurate, safe assessment of the patient by telling us the heart rate, how much oxygen is in the blood and what level of carbon dioxide is breathed out at all times. This means we can respond rapidly and as necessary to any minor changes to keep your pet safe during treatment.
The anaesthetic gas system we use is Sevoflurane, which offers a big step forward in veterinary patient anaesthesia and care. Sevoflurane causes much less stress on the patient’s heart, lungs, blood pressure and body resulting in a smoother, faster and less stressful recovery. It is very sensitive to adjustment, so the depth of anaesthesia can be altered easily, and patients can be brought round quickly from surgery with much less grogginess and little, if any, after-effects.
Pain Management During Surgery
All surgical procedures receive at least two different types of analgesia (pain killer), both administered before the anaesthetic commences to ensure maximum effect. There is evidence that effective pain management speeds an animal’s recovery from surgery. We have recently audited our protocols to check that we are meeting our own targets, and to identify where any improvements can be made.
Preventing Temperature Loss During Surgery
It is very important to maintain a good body temperature throughout surgery, as significant temperature loss leads to much slower recovery, wound infection and breakdown is more likely and, in worst case scenarios, pets may not survive. We take every pet’s temperature on admission, when we start anaesthesia and when we finish, and at other intervals, to check body temperature is healthy throughout. During surgical procedures, pets are kept on a forced-air warming system (Bair Hugger®), we put socks on their paws to minimise heat loss, will cover in bubble wrap if necessary and always use warm intravenous fluids. We also cover pets in blankets post anaesthesia to ensure they keep warm as they come round. This is another area in practice which has been recently audited to enable us to check our own targets are being met and to assess if/ where we can make improvements.
Our Sterility Promise
Sterility is key to successful surgery and we take it very seriously. We have installed a surgeon’s scrub sink which is necessary for thorough and proper disinfecting of arms as well as hands prior to surgery. We scrub using sterile, disposable disinfectant-impregnated brushes to further increase our level of sterility.
We have a dedicated operating theatre in addition to our prep room. This is used exclusively for surgical procedures and animals – and staff – are only admitted when fully prepped and ready for operating to ensure high sterility.
When operating, we wear hats, masks, sterile gloves and surgical scrubs. For complex procedures where additional sterility is required (e.g. orthopaedic or abdominal surgery), we also wear single-use, sterile, disposable operating gowns.
Throughout the practice we have alcohol based anti-bacterial hand disinfectants (as used in good hospitals) to prevent contamination. Our new isolation room ensures the safe treatment of potentially infectious diseases with no risk to other patients.
Why choose 387 Vets to neuter your dog or cat?
We treat neuterings with the same standard of care as all other surgical procedures. Although we have reduced our neutering prices to make them as cost effective as possible we do not compromise on safety or sterility. Reasons to choose us:
- Every dog or cat that we anaesthetise has a dedicated intravenous catheter
- Every dog or cat that we anaesthetise receives warmed intravenous fluids during anaesthesia
- Every dog or cat that we anaesthetise receives gaseous anaesthesia
- All bitch spays and early cat spays are kept warm during the anaesthetic using a forced-air warming system (Bair Hugger®)
- Every anaesthetised animal is monitored with a pulse oximeter and capnograph (to check the amount of oxygen in the blood and the level of carbon dioxide in the breath).
- Every operation is performed using sterile gloves and single-use disposable sterile drapes
- Bitch spays have small wounds and no external sutures – quick to heal and minimal scarring
- All bitch spays and dog castrates are discharged with at least 3 days of post-op pain killers – we do not consider pain management an optional extra!
- Our cases virtually never need distressing ‘lampshade-style’ buster collars and we definitely do not use them as standard
Keyhole (laparoscopic) bitch spays as an alternative to traditional bitch spays
Did you know that we now offer keyhole surgery for bitch spays? Dogs recover much faster from laparoscopic spays, and can be back to off-lead walking within as little as 48 hours from discharge. Pain is also significantly reduced with a 2005 study stating a 65% reduction. In laparoscopic spays, entry wounds are smaller, surgery is carried out in situ internally using cameras and specially designed equipment (no need to move or tear structures to access or free the relevant anatomy) and only the ovaries are removed (compared to removal of the uterus and ovaries in a traditional spay). Even though the uterus remains intact in a laparoscopic spay, lifelong studies show no risk of uterine cancer. There is also no risk of pyometra (womb infection) as active ovarian tissue needs to be left behind for this to become a potential issue.