Vetscan: the lifeblood of a veterinary practice

Vetscan VSproIt’s only been a few weeks since Dr Tracey Thornton BSc BVMS MACVSc purchased her Vetscan VS2 analyser and the Vetscan HM5 Hematology System, but they have already proved invaluable.

“I’ve been deliberating about buying them for the last six to 12 months, because it’s quite a big cost,” she admits. “But we do a lot of emergency work and we’re one of the few practices in the area that does that. We put them in three weeks ago, and in the three weeks we’ve had them we’ve used them a lot and already its made big difference to some critical cases.”

Dr Thornton graduated in 2000 from Murdoch University and did her initial two years in mixed practice before returning to Murdoch to do a residency in anaesthesia in critical care.

“I always wanted to return to the country to open my own practice,” she says. “I did that in 2008, I opened Heartlands Vet Hospital in York in WA which is about 100 kilometres east-north-east of Perth. Since 2008 we’ve grown from one vet and one nurse to four and half vets and about eight nurses across a couple of practices. York is our main practice and we’ve got two branches within 65 kilometres of it.”

Although it’s only been a few weeks, the equipment—which she purchased from REM systems—has been getting a real workout at the practice. “I’m kicking myself,” she says. “I wish I’d installed them a long time ago. I just think they would have been so helpful. They massively improve the level of care you can provide. It’s a big difference and for us, for the sort of practice we do because we are a day away from blood results and we do see a lot of emergency critical care patients.”

For example, a week ago one of the branch practices was seeing an old black and tan kelpie for lethargy. He had collapsed, and the staff at the branch practice were worried about something going on in his abdomen.

“When he came in we discovered that he had pleural effusion. The clients said they had rat bait down but he’s a 12-year-old dog and had never has access to them before and had never gone down to the shed to try and eat them. They were adamant that it wasn’t rat bait.

“But the VSPro allowed us to check his clotting times and they were off the charts. So he had eaten rat bait. We were able to give him a plasma transfusion and had him on vitamin K and he made a full recovery.

“In a 12-year-old dog that came in and collapsed you generally wouldn’t think that it was rat bait and so probably the outcome would have been quite different if we hadn’t been able to run that blood test.”

The REM products enabled a speedy response in a situation that would normally have required a 24 hour turnaround and probably cost the dog its life. “Or in the past we would get clients to drive the blood samples to the laboratory which is a three-hour trip return and waiting time,” Tracey adds. “It was done in 15 minutes and we had the results. He’s fine now.”

The service and support for the products from REM systems has also been a pleasant surprise for the practice.

“REM have been brilliant,” says Tracey. “We dealt with Daryn Bungey (Southern Region Sales Supervisor Rem Systems Animal Health) from the start and he’s been fantastic to deal with. He comes in to the practice—I know he’s based in Adelaide but he’s quite often doing trips up.

He came in and installed them and he’s been back to the practice. He’s even done training session with the nurses and with the other staff and provided us will these manuals and brochures, training videos to watch regarding sample collection. It’s been really easy. They’ve been fantastic to deal with nothing is too
much trouble for them.”

To find out more about the Vetscan VS2 analyser and the Vetscan HM5 Hematology System, contact REM systems on (freecall) 1800 737 222.

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