We are a forward thinking modern surgery providing many up to date services to our patients and clients. Some of the services we provide can be explored below including surgery, hospitalisation, diagnostics, dentistry, home visits and our emergency service.
We offer many general and advanced surgical procedures both to our clients and to other veterinary surgeons by referral.
We have two operating theatres and a large surgical prep area at Tamworth and one operating theatre at Atherstone. The theatres at Tamworth have heated operating tables, surgical lighting and piped-in gases for anaesthesia and surgical tools.
If an operation involves general anaesthesia we take great care to prevent problems and allow a rapid recovery with minimal side effects. All patients are monitored using pulse oximetry. More critical cases are monitored using a multi-parameter monitor (EtCO2, pulse oximetry, continuous ECG, temp, blood pressure, etc). Careful monitoring of our patients under general anaesthesia ensures the highest level of safety. The majority of our patients are discharged on the same day as the operation once they are recovered safely.
The high standard of staff knowledge and extensive facilities means that most surgical procedures can be performed within the practice.
The practice has an extensive range of orthopaedic equipment allowing it to handle more complex bone fractures, ligament injuries, joint problems and spinal conditions.
Some of our facilities include a Biomedtrix hip replacement kit (cemented and cementless), Stryker arthroscopy equipment and extensive AO plating facilities. Riversmeet is one of only 25 centres certified by BioMedtrix to perform hip replacement in the UK.
The common procedures that are performed include cranial cruciate ligament disease treatment by "tibial plateau leveling osteotomy" (TPLO), hip dysplasia treatment by pelvic osteotomy (DPO/TPO) or total hip replacement, joint arthrodesis (fusion), correction of patella luxation (dislocation), joint arthroscopy and spinal disc surgery.
Picture: X-ray of a dog stifle (knee) joint after a TPLO procedure to treat cranial cruciate ligament disease.
A camera and special keyhole instruments are used in laparoscopic surgery. This means smaller incisions (6-12mm) are made in the abdominal wall to perform an operation. Traditional abdominal surgery uses a large single incision. The advantages of laparoscopic surgery are significantly reduced pain, less wound complications and improved recovery time.
The most common procedure we perform using this technique is a laparoscopic bitch spay. See our laparoscopic spay page.
Picture: A laparoscopic bitch spay in progress.
We have a 25 watt surgical CO2 laser which is regularly used for surgery on the soft palate, mouth, nose, eyelids and skin. The laser cuts while coagulating blood vessels and nerves. This ensures less bleeding, pain and swelling at the operation site. This is especially usefully in procedures such as throat surgery when bleeding during the operation would hinder visualisation and post-operative swelling could cause problems
We have full hospitalisation facilities which allow 24 hour care for more seriously ill patients. At the Tamworth surgery we have separate dog and cat accommodation to provide a less stressful stay for our in-patients.
We have six electronic infusion pumps for use on all our patients in hospital on intravenous fluids. These allow the accurate correction of dehydration or the treatment of circulatory shock. We also have a syringe driver for those patients needing a continuous rate infusion of drugs intravenously.
Picture: Infusion pump in use treating a sick cat in hospital.
The practice has an extensive range of diagnostic facilities and multiple members of staff with extensive post-graduate training to maximise the interpretation of the findings of any tests performed. Just some of diagnostic services include:
Our radiograph (X-ray) facilities allow diagnostic imaging for multiple conditions of the bones, joints, spine, heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, urinary and digestive tract. This is an invaluable tool. Our X-ray generator is a 20KW Toshiba high frequency unit with a floating table. In combination with the latest digital DR system we can generate instant high quality X-ray pictures without the delay of processing.
Picture: Typical X-ray of a life threatening Gastric dilation and torsion (GDV) of the stomach in a dog prior to emergency surgery.
We have advanced diagnostic ultrasound equipment that allows non invasive imaging for conditions of the bladder, uterus, kidneys, liver, stomach, bowel, heart and eyes. This can also be used for pregnancy diagnosis and assessment.
Our new digital machine (Esaote MyLab30Vet) has five different probes to suit many different applications. In addition to the standard B- and M- Modes this machine has many facilities including, high frame-rate colour doppler, power colour doppler, pulsed wave doppler, directional continuous wave doppler and continuous ECG. This machine provides superb diagnostic imaging pictures in the hands of a skilled operator.
Picture: Cardiac ultrasound showing a leaking heart valve using colour doppler.
We have two flexible fibre optic and three rigid endoscopes which allow us to visually examine the nose, throat, oesophagus, stomach, upper small intestine, abdomen, bladder, vagina, urethra, larynx, trachea and the large airways of the lungs of most species. This is a very valuable diagnostic tool for many conditions. In some cases any necessary surgical treatment may also be performed endoscopically. The resulting smaller incisions significantly reduce pain and improve recovery time.
Picture: View of an ectopic ureter opening into the urethra using a 2.7mm rigid endoscope. This is a birth defect which causes urinary incontinence. Endoscopic examination is the best way to diagnose and categorise this condition. This case was successfully treated with surgery by the practice.
We have a 12 channel digital ECG unit which enables a full examination of the electrical activity of the heart to help diagnose and monitor cardiac problems.
Picture: ECG trace of a dog with atrial fibrillation.
We have two blood pressure machines (MedVet and a Parks Doppler) which allow the accurate measurement of systolic blood pressure in both dogs and cats.
This is an invaluable tool, especially in cats where high blood pressure (hypertension) is a common and often undiagnosed problem. If high blood pressure is left undiscovered it can cause many problems including permanent blindness. Hypertension is also an early indicator of other problems such as renal failure and thyroid hormone disturbances. For these reasons, as in man, regular monitoring of blood pressure is an invaluable preventative health care tool, especially in the older patient.
Both surgeries have in-house laboratories allowing us to analyse blood samples at the practice. This means we normally get the results within 30 minutes of taking a sample rather than days if we used an outside laboratory. This speed is vital in critically ill patients to ensure the right treatment is given as soon as possible.
The most common in-house blood tests that we perform are biochemistry, haematology, electrolyte levels, acid-base status, arterial blood gases and thyroid hormone level.
The practice has an extensive range of ophthalmology equipment allowing it to handle more complex eye conditions.
Some of our facilities include a Tonopen for measuring intraoccular pressure, a Kowa hand held slit lamp, three magnifying loops and a wide range of ophthalmic surgical instruments.
The the most common conditions treated include infections, eyelid abnormalities, eye trauma, third eyelid prolapse ('cherry eye'), glaucoma, tumours and ocular foreign bodies.
Picture: traumatic corneal ulcer in a dog after staining with fluorescein.
Dental problems are the most commonly overlooked problem that we see.
Many dogs, cats and rabbits are in need of dental work to treat or prevent dental disease.
We use an ultrasonic descaler to remove any tartar and then we use a rotary polisher to clean the teeth. We also have all the equipment necessary to deal with more serious dental conditions.
Picture: dental disease affecting the left upper 4th pre-molar and 1st molar in a dog. Extraction of these teeth was required.
Our home visit service provides veterinary care in your own house at a very economical price for patients that need or prefer home treatment.
A veterinary surgeon and nurse visit your house in our dedicated veterinary ambulance.
We charge £18.50 for a daytime weekday home visit for existing active clients (subject to availability, 24-hours notice and a £30 minimum total spend). So the cost of home treatment is only £18.50 more than if you had attended one of our surgeries. Visits with less than 24 hours notice or outside 9am to 5pm incur higher charges.
Services offered by our home visit service include:
Note: very ill pets or emergencies are best treated at our Tamworth surgery because of the more extensive clinical facilities and hospitalisation care available.
Riversmeet Veterinary Centre provides its own emergency service for clients outside our normal opening hours between 8.30am and 11pm seven days a week (excluding Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day). In an emergency during these hours you and your pet will be seen by one of the veterinary surgeons at the surgery in Tamworth. There is an additional charge for using this service outside our normal surgery opening hours but the reassurance of knowing that it is available in an emergency provides peace of mind.
Between the hours of 11pm and 8.30am (plus Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day) emergency cover is provided by the Willows Emergency Out of Hours Service, Highlands Road, Solihull, West Midlands. B90 4NH.
In an emergency please telephone either surgery on 01827 63841 or 01827 720720.
Both surgeries have an in-house dispensary providing a convenient one-stop service for treating your pet. We carry most drugs in-stock for immediate use. Less commonly used drugs may have to be ordered in for collection the next day. On request we are happy to inform you of our price for any medication prescribed to your pet.
Written prescriptions are available on request but may not be appropriate if your pet is in hospital or requires immediate treatment. The cost of a written prescription is £8.95 per product. All prescriptions are for single use and will provide a sufficient supply of product until your pets next examination.
It is practice policy to re-assess any pet on medication at least every 3 months. The re-examination interval varies in individual cases on clinical grounds. The cost of a re-assessment consultation is £26.00.