Tools of the trade: Apple iPad


ipad-deep-etchiPad by Dr Gordon Heslop, Glenhaven Veterinary Hospital, Glenhaven, NSW

The four iPads we keep at the surgery are used every single day—principally for taking photographs and videos of patients. We have quite an extensive library, detailing all kinds of ailments and operations of different animals.

What’s good about it

It’s an excellent educational tool for clients. Not only can we show the positive results of an operation, we can also show the consequences of failing to act. We have a series of photographs of dogs with testicular tumours that make a very convincing argument about the de-sexing of dogs.

The photographs of splenic tumours are absolutely fantastic. If you tell someone that their dog has a lump in its spleen, they really can’t visualise the problem. If I can show them a photograph of the spleen of a dog, they invariably say, ‘Wow, I didn’t realise it was so big’.

Mind you, we have to use the images judiciously. Some people can’t look at a photograph without grossing out so we have a full range of shots—everything from the gory to the glory.

I also have video of a labrador on my iPad, 10 days post operatively, after I had removed its second hip. It shows that this dog is happy, its tail is wagging and it’s walking on four legs. It gives peace of mind to clients whose dogs are facing the operation. Likewise, I have videos of dogs that have had amputations that show happy dogs getting by fine on three legs. It’s not a happy time for owners but it really helps them to understand what’s going on.

What’s not so good

I think it would be a bit arrogant of me to say I could improve an iPad. If Steve  Jobs couldn’t do it any better, I don’t think I can either.

Where did you get it

Any Apple store.



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