Premises - Frame Swift and Partners, The Veterinary Centre, Penrith
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Frame, Swift and Partners
The Veterinary Centre, Carleton, Penrith, Cumbria CA11 8TZ
T: 01768 862454
F: 01768 867163
Delivering excellence in veterinary care throughout Cumbria
Equine > Diagnostics and Procedures
Radiography - X-rays are usually used for investigations of skeletal problems. This most often involves the limbs but also the head and some parts of the spine. Occasionally we use x-rays for other reasons such as looking for foreign bodies or checking where penetrating wounds run. We have upgraded our radiography to a fully computerised digital system. Digital radiography enables us to see more detail whilst using fewer exposures. We usually perform radiography at the surgery but if a patient is unable to travel to us we also have facilities for mobile radiography.

A donkey is anaesthetised for surgical removal of a sarcoid Once the donkey has been tranferred to the operating table Julie prepares the site for surgery Richard and Rona operate while Neil monitors the anaesthetic The operation over, Julie gets ready to transfer him to the recovery room

Ultrasound - Ultrasound was originally most commonly used for the investigation of tendon injuries and for reproductive work. Over the last few years there have been huge improvements in the quality of ultrasound scanners and we now routinely use ultrasound to aid us in our diagnosis of conditions involving tendons, ligaments, muscle, some skeletal structures, liver disease, some types of colic, eye conditions, back pain, reproductive organs and cardiac and pulmonary disease. We have a range of portable ultrasound scanners that can be used at your premises and a larger clinic based machine for cases that require either a more detailed image or cases where greater tissue penetration is required (for example scanning abdomens or the pelvis).

Alex and Sam operate on a rare femur fracture on a donkey A new born foal conceived from AI with frozen semen Sam endoscopes a pony's nostril to investigate a nasal discharge Neil x-rays a fetlock in the Equine Examination Room

Lameness investigations – Unfortunately horses seem to find a huge number of ways of making themselves lame. Some lamenesses are fairly straightforward to both diagnose and treat but sometimes the cause is more elusive. In these cases nerve blocks (using local anaesthetic injected next to nerves to desensitise certain parts of the limb) and joint anaesthesia help us to localise the site of pain. X-rays and ultrasound can then be used if required. Occasionally complicated lameness cases need diagnostic tests on consecutive days and in these circumstances patients can be left with us overnight in the stables.

Coco the Shetland Pony back to health after undergoing surgery to relieve a blocked large bowel

Endoscopy - We have a range of endoscopes to enable us to directly visualise the upper respiratory tract of any size of patient from a Miniature Shetland to a Shire Horse. They are used for both taking routine respiratory samples and investigating the exact source of that persistent snotty nose or cough.

Gastroscopy - Over recent years gastric ulcers have been shown to cause a huge range of problems in horses. Our 3 metre gastroscope enables us to inspect the lining of the stomach of even the largest horse to in order to check for the presence of this common disease. Once diagnosed there are now very effective drugs to medicate the condition which, along with appropriate feed management, can eliminate the discomfort and poor performance caused by gastric ulceration.

ECG – The ECG (electrocardiogram) records the electrical activity of the heart and is essential in the diagnosis of certain cardiac arrythmias.

Surgical procedures performed include - routine castration and castration of colts with retained testicles ("rigs"), removal of chip fractures or fractured splint bones, enucleation (removal of the eye) and eyelid surgery, surgical management of angular limb deformities in foals, tendon/ligament transection for treatment of contracted tendons, tumour removal, pinch skin grafting and general anaesthesia for wound management when required. Dental surgery and sinus procedures are usually performed under standing sedation and local anaesthetic.

Artificial insemination - The practice is a BEVA (British Equine Veterinary Association) approved AI centre. We carry out AI on mares as part of our routine fertility case load during the equine breeding season. Whenever possible we encourage owners to leave the mare at the surgery for a few days so we can regularly monitor ovarian activity and the condition of the uterus via ultrasonography. AI can be performed using frozen, chilled or fresh semen. Each type of semen has pros and cons for its use – please contact the surgery for more details.

Dentistry - There have been enormous advances in equine dentistry over the last 15-20 years. We have both hand and motorised equipment for routine rasping. We also perform advanced dentistry including reduction of dental overgrowths, diastema management (gaps between the teeth) and dental extractions under standing sedation.

"Vettings"/Prior to Purchase Examinations - Vetting examinations are performed on a regular basis. We usually advise a full 5 Stage examination but in some circumstances will carry out a 2 Stage examination.