STATE-OF-THE-ART facilities is often a phrase over-used and not a true reflection of the equipment actually available.
But this can’t be said of Hucknall’s leading veterinary practices Buckley House and East Midlands Referrals which boasts leading technology to treat its pet patients.
Whether it is a dog with a broken leg, a cat that has been shot or a rabbit that needs resuscitating, all animals receive top-quality care from the team of professional staff.
It all began when Graham Oliver opened up the West Street practice in September 1995 after two years of personally knocking down walls and totally overhauling the delapidated premises assisted by his friend John Buckley. The practice was named in his memory.
Following on from the practice’s success and Graham’s growing skills in orthopaedic surgery, a larger facility was opened in 2009 to work in conjunction with Buckley House.
East Midlands Referrals has enabled the practice to expand and provide a greater service to its patients and their owners with greater space allowing the introduction of specialist equipment and more surgical suites.
“Setting up Buckley House was a real labour of love and hard work trying to make what was an old building that was virtually falling down into a workable space,” said founder and leading orthopaedic surgeon, Graham Oliver.
“But the time came when we needed more space to enable my work in orthopaedics to expand.”
East Midlands Referrals is now one of the most established and advanced practices of its type in the country.
Not only does it house an MRI and ultrasound scanners but endoscopic procedures and arthroscopic key-hole surgery is also available.
And the recent addition of a shock wave therapy machine, designed to break up gall and bladder stones without surgery as well as speeding up fracture healing.
Another recent investment is a dual frequency therapeutic laser, this is a more gentle approach to soft tissue problems.
“We get referrals from all over the country for complex work that a few years ago would have been regarded as impossible,” added Mr Oliver. “Animal joint replacements first took place about 20 years ago but now as well as hips we replace knees and even elbows, which is considered very challenging.”
Mr Oliver also operates on the spine and brain and again requires specialist equipment as well as skills.
It was these skills that helped save Bobby the cat which was found shot and suffering by its owner who took him to Buckley House, which we featured in the Dispatch.
“The pellett obliterated Bobby’s femur bone which lies close to the hip,” explained Mr Oliver who took one and a half hours to piece together the bone and rebuild it using a specialised system.
“The bone was horrendously smashed up but the pellett took fur and skin with it when it entered the body, which contaminated the wound creating a risk of infection,” explained Mr Oliver
With five full-time vets, 12 nurses admin staff as well as a practice manager between the two sites, it is a full team offering a broad level of expertise and experience with specialists for different animals or procedures.
During my visit, vet Jonathan Hadley who has an interest in exotic animals and birds was resucitating a rabbit that had collapsed at home. This is a far cry from his training days in Malaysia where he was treating elephants.
But as I looked on the white rabbit began to respond to the treatment and twitch his ears.
Meanwhile at the Nottingham Road practice, Graham was using arthroscopy techniques on a poodlecross’ knees which I watched on the wall-mounted screen.
In another room a small dog was being scanned using the MRI in a bid to diagnose its problem.
Both sites have hospitalisation facilities with round the clock nursing supervision as well as 24 hour emergency care.