Ultrasound Scanning.  Is this necessary?

At Watkins and Tasker Vets we are always looking to better our service to you, our clients which is why we have invested in more advanced technology.


What is scanning?


Scanning is a superb non-invasive way of peering inside the body without having to have general anaesthetic or surgery.


When is scanning useful?


Scanning has a variety of uses, from assessing, in real time, how well a heart is beating, or checking the size of the organs such as the pancreas or intestines in the tummy, or even to see whether a pet has a growth inside the body. The system can easily check other areas such as the liver, the bladder and the womb, for example for pregnancy or infection.


Why not just X-ray?


Each case is different, and sometimes X-rays are the best way to help diagnose a problem. Equally, ultrasound scanning provides a moving image, in real time, and so is better than X-ray for certain situations. The two methods complement each other very well.


Who carries out the ultrasounds?


All of our vets can carry out ultrasounds but where possible our vets Mario Amaral, Amy Parsons and Andrew Fullerton carry out these procedures, due to their experience and advanced training.



If you have any questions about ultrasonography please ask your vet.

Laparoscopic Spay

What is a Laparoscopic Spay?


Laparoscopic (or keyhole) spay is a minimally invasive technique of spaying a female dog, using three small incisions (between 0.5 to 1 cm in diameter) to pass a camera and remotely operated surgical instruments to remove the ovaries (ovariectomy).


Traditional spay technique requires a bigger abdominal incision, around 5 to 15 cm long depending on size of the dog, and manipulation of the abdominal organs, in particular handling the ovarian ligaments which can be painful. The ovaries and uterus are then surgically removed through this larger hole (ovariohysterectomy), which is then closed using several layers of suture (surgical stitches).


What are the main benefits of a Laparoscopic Spay?


  • Reduced surgical pain and faster healing, because of the smaller keyhole wound (three small 0.5 to 1 cm wounds, instead of a bigger 5 to 15 cm wound of a traditional spay)

  • Reduced abdominal trauma, and decreased risk of post-operative complication, as only the ovaries are removed, and there is reduced handling of the ovarian ligaments

  • Reduced discomfort and licking of surgical wound, as minimal sutures are used


What are the disadvantages?


  • Higher cost - this is because the equipment is expensive to buy and maintain, and staff need to undergo specialist training to be familiar with the technique


  • It is not suitable for small dogs and older dogs who may be overweight – we will discuss with you the best approach for your dog


  • Availability – please contact the practice to find out when we can schedule the operation