Our cattery is completely separate from the kennels and only ever used for our feline patients. Its designed prevents cats from seeing one another which can lead to stress, whilst the window at front allows staff to keep an eye on patients when passing. Normally the door is kept closed and the lights are turned off to help keep our patients as calm as possible. All out patients are provided with a comfy fleece bed, a box to hide in, fresh water, litter tray and specialist food as required.
Pressure sensitive heat mats are used to keep patients warm during recovery. As with the kennels we also have a screen to help conserve heat for especially chilly cats or kittens. For patients who are having difficulty breathing we also have the ability to supply oxygen within the cattery. In the back left corner we have our weighing scales– all patients are weighed on admission and daily if staying overnight to ensure that medication is dosed precisely.
We have four specially designed consultation rooms each with their own internal skylight and ventilation. The consultation table folds away to allow more space for larger dogs. We have a wall mounted otoscope (for looking in ears) and ophthalmoscope (for looking at eyes). Hygiene is a priority and all rooms have a sink so that vets can wash their hands and disinfectant spray to wipe down tables between consults.
Our CT Room is a purpose built radiation proof room with lead lining. The air conditioning system keeps the scanner at a constant 21°C preventing overheating. We also have specialist power supply to provide enough electricity for the scanner and protect against surges.
Our CT scanner is an Toshiba Aquilion Lightning, a state of the art, brand new, human-grade, 16 slice fan beam CT scanner. It is one of only a few of it’s kind being used for animals in the UK, providing the latest improvements in image quality and reduction of radiation dose to our patients. The scanner provides amazing detail taking ‘slices’ as thin as 0.5mm allowing diagnosis of a wide range of conditions. For more information about CT scanning see our referral website.
The CT control room is protected by a large lead glass window which allows the clinician to see the patient going into the CT scanner. This contains the computers which control the scanner, is where we input the settings for individual patients and check the images produced.
A live video camera allows us to perfectly view and monitor the patient during scanning. Most CT scans only take 30 seconds or less, so we don’t have to watch the video camera pictures for long!
Foam wedges and positioning aids help us perfectly position patients to get the absolute best images.
Our anaesthetic machine and dedicated nurse are very important as patients need to stay still during the scan. All our anaesthetics are tailored to the patient and continually monitored by a dedicated nurse with the aid of advanced monitoring systems including capnography (which measures carbon dioxide being breathed in and out) and pulse oximeter (which measures oxygen levels in the blood).
Our dedicated dental room provides the best environment for dental work but is also designed to prevent aerosolised bacteria being spread to other areas of the practice – this is far superior to a situation of carrying out dental procedures in an open area such as the preparation room.
Our specially designed dental table allows easy access to teeth and drainage for thorough cleaning. Heat mats are used during procedures to keep patients warm.
Revolutionary in the treatment of dental disease our digital dental x-ray allows vets to ‘see’ disease below the gum line. With instant digital development procedures can be done quickly and to the highest level, for more information see our dentals with a difference article. Our state of the art dental equipment includes a high speed drill (for surgical tooth extractions), scaler (to remove calculus), polisher (to smooth and return the teeth to shiny white) and air/ water flush.
As with all our procedures patients have a dedicated anesthetic nurse and are continually monitored using advanced monitoring equipment including capnography (to measure carbon dioxide inhaled and exhaled), pulse oximetry (to measure oxygen saturation in the blood) with the option of ECG monitoring and blood pressure as required. For older patients or those with health complications we have the option of providing intra-operative fluids to help support blood pressure during anaesthesia.
We have a dedicated kennel area only used for our canine patients. Its design prevents dogs from seeing one another which can cause unnecessary stress. All our patients get a comfy fleece bed in their kennel as well as fresh water and specialist food according to their needs.
We have accommodation for everyone from Yorkshire Terriers to St Bernards with smaller raised kennels for little dogs, as well as two large walk in kennels for our biggest patients. To the right we have a large isolation kennel with decontamination room. This kennel has separate airflow to prevent the spread of infection. We also use this room to for unvaccinated dogs or for patients who need a quiet space away from the other visitors. On admission to the hospital all patients are weighed on the weighing scales to ensure that medication is calculated precisely.
Our kennels are also equipped with an oxygen kennel which creates an oxygen rich environment to assist animals who are having difficulty breathing. A plastic screen to keep the heat in during recovery from anesthetic or for very young puppies. As well as pressure sensitive heat mats to make sure all our patients stay toasty during recovery.
Our light and airy Meeting Room is used for talks and presentations with seating for up to 40 people. We run regular CPD/ training evenings for vets on topics such as ophthalmology and advanced imaging. Visit our CPD page to find out more about training evenings at South Devon Referrals. This is also where the practice holds its quarterly clinical governance meetings to ensure that our standards remain high and keep on improving.
Nurse's Station and Exotics Ward/Cat Isolation
The Nurse’s Station is right in the heart of the practice. The boxes on the right contain the equipment needed for the next day’s operations so that procedures run efficiently. Our cleaning station is though the doorway to the left, here all our tubes and instruments are scrubbed clean before being sterilized using either ethylene oxide or high pressure steam in the autoclave.
Our Exotics Ward/ Cat Isolation is to the left of the boxes and is used either as a quiet place for rabbits, guinea pigs and other ‘small furries’ or for cats requiring isolation to prevent the spread of infection. This room has a separate air circulation system to ensure that airborne infections are contained.
Operating Theatre (Ophthalmology)
Our ophthalmic operating theater is used solely for ophthalmic procedures. The operating microscope allows our ophthalmologists to undertake the most delicate of procedures at up to ten times magnification. They will routinely use suture material as thin as 0.03mm, less than half the width of a human hair. All staff entering theater must been in clean surgical scrubs, theater shoes and wear a hair net. Our surgeons always wear sterile gloves, disposable gowns and masks.
Our phacoemulsification machine is the same as those used for human cataract surgery and has helped return sight to pets across the South West. For more information on cataract surgery please visit the South Devon Referrals website. The water bed on the table provides comfort and evenly distributed heat to patients under anesthetic. Adjustable surgical lighting provides bright focused light where needed.
All our anaesthetics are tailored to the patient and continually monitored by a dedicated nurse. Advanced monitoring is always used and includes capnography (which measures carbon dioxide being breathed in and out), pulse oximeter (which measures oxygen levels in the blood), ECG (which measures the electrical activity of the heart) and non-invasive blood pressure. with the aid of capnograph and pulse oximeter with the option of ECG monitoring if required. We also have the facilities to give fluids intraoperatively if required.
Our pharmacy stocks everything we need to for day to day veterinary medicine. We have it all from specialist food to heart medication and pain relief all within easy reach. If we need anything more unusual we are able to get the majority of products within 24 hours.
We also take antibiotic resistance very seriously, we will only use antibiotics when needed and always start with ‘first line’ antibiotics. We routinely use culture and sensitivity results before prescribing any ‘stronger’ antibiotics.
The prep room is where non-sterile surgical procedures are performed and animals are prepared for theater. Our Prep room is bright and spacious with two preparation stations each with anesthetic capability. This allows two vets to have animals under general anesthetic at the same time for quick case turn around. Both tables are height adjustable allowing dogs to walk on and off the table as well as height adjustment between clinicians.
Welcome to our light and spacious reception, behind the desk you’ll find our helpful reception team. Our reception aims to be as cat friendly as possible with separate waiting areas for dogs and cats. ‘Cats Corner’ (behind the blue barrier) has space for you to place your cat up off the floor to minimise stress. In addition, if your cat does get stressed we can also provide a blanket to cover the carrier which has been shown to help keep cats calm.
Our notice boards are regularly updated with interesting and seasonal advice by our multi-talented nursing team to keep you occupied while you wait. We also stock a selection of pet food, toys and harnesses. There is also a whole wall of leaflets offering advice and guidance on a range of topics. Not forgetting ‘Target’ our life sized rhinoceros sculpture bought in aid of Save The Rhinos who oversees reception.
Ultrasound and Laboratory
Our Ultrasound machines allow visualisation of internal structures with a range of probes for specific regions of interest – the machine we use is a medical grade machine. We also have a dedicated ophthalmic ultrasound machine used by the ophthalmologists to visualise internal structures of the eye and surrounding tissues.
An extra long table allows our visiting cardiologists to carry out heart scans. Motorised mechanism allowing patients to be put on to and taken off the table with ease as well as being able to adjust the height between clinicians. The specially designed lighting allows us to have the lights at a lower level to keep patients calm during scanning and allow better visualisation of the scan.
An anaesthetic machine and dedicated nurse is available if patients need to be under anesthetic during scans. All our anaesthetics are tailored to the patient and continually monitored by a dedicated nurse with the aid of advanced monitoring systems including capnography (which measures carbon dioxide being breathed in and out) and pulse oximeter (which measures oxygen levels in the blood).
Our in-house laboratory facilities allow us to carry out urgent tests that cannot wait for results from an external laboratory. Our advanced blood testing machine provides rapid results including liver and kidney function, protein levels, blood glucose and electrolytes. We can assess the red and white blood cells to guide urgent treatment decisions. Urine samples can be rapidly checked for problems including crystals, kidney problems and infection. Our microscopy staining and examination facilities are used for lots of tests including skin, hair, ear and samples of unknown lumps! We can get samples to an external external veterinary laboratory offering a full range of specialist tests within the hour for urgent cases, and get results the same day.
Our X-ray room is lead lined including lead glass in the door allowing us to safely take X-rays. We have lead gowns and thyroid protector to protect staff members on the rare occasions they need to be in the room.
Our advanced digital x-ray system allows vets to take, develop and be interpreting radiographs within minutes allowing for quick diagnosis and clinical planning – our system is a human medical quality system of the highest specification and we have a range of different plate sizes available.
Our floating x-ray table allows us to move the table without always moving the animal for quick positioning. Coupled with good positioning aids and ties it ensures we are always able to take the best possible images.
An anaesthetic machine and dedicated nurse is available. All our anaesthetics are tailored to the patient and continually monitored by a dedicated nurse with the aid of advanced monitoring systems including capnography (which measures carbon dioxide being breathed in and out) and pulse oximeter (which measures oxygen levels in the blood). We have a range of other options for monitoring our patients including ECG and blood pressure where required.