The Best things come in small packages!

Both Annelise and I hit a milestone birthday recently. As she’s a lady, I won’t say exactly what milestone it was, but it wasn’t 30! A fair bit of water has gone under the bridge in that time, and the pressure was on to provide a fitting gift which would provide excitement on the outside and not disappointment on the inside! If our two young boys are anything to go by, a present is assessed by two factors:

Shape – cuboid or rectangular are good as they will hopefully contain Lego or even better Lego! Flatter ones are eyed with suspicion as they may contain something to do with Lego (great!), or possibly a puzzle or another educational item (meh!). Soft presents receive distain as they may contain clothes (yuk!) but definitely no Lego.

Size – the bigger the better with no exception! The old adage of never looking a gift horse in the mouth seems to have been lost despite its veterinary connection.

It is interesting that the opposite seems to apply when buying a present for one’s wife. Lego is certainly not on the wish list, clothes (if willing to take the risk) are well received and small presents   are more likely to contain a sparkly item whereas a large gift may contain a kitchen appliance (I’m never going to make that mistake again!)

There is also a parallel to be drawn with veterinary equipment. We have recently taken delivery of a brand new ultrasound scanner with all the bells and whistles (at least in a digital sense!). Our old scanner was an ex-medical machine which is still functional but has been superseded by newer technology. It was reassuringly large and once it had been wheeled out, we had plenty of space for the shiny new one. It felt like some kind of birthday as we unpacked it, but once the process was complete I was slightly concerned to see a vast amount of packaging and very little ultrasound scanner! It would appear that you get much less “Lb” for your “£” when buying new equipment and smaller is better. I am pleased to say that despite having similar proportions to a laptop, the images it produces are superb.

Ultrasound has become increasingly important in the veterinary world in recent years. It is a very versatile imaging modality and has progressed from a useful tool to diagnosing pregnancy to an essential part of the diagnosis and treatment of many problems. The two main areas that we tend to scan are firstly the abdomen – to assess all of the structures within as well as ultrasound guided biopsies and other sampling techniques. Secondly, the heart – ultrasound enables us to assess how the heart beats in real  time and take measurements of chamber sizes as well as speed and direction of blood flow all of which enable us to assess when or if treatment is required for a particular condition. Ultrasound can also be used to scan other areas such as the eyes, skin and muscles / tendons.

Hopefully you’ll be reassured to know that if your pet does require an ultrasound scan, we are well equipped to do it - a lot better than the pregnancy scans that were being performed 40 years ago…. Oops, the cat is out of the bag!