24-Hour Emergency Service
We provide a 24 hour emergency service 365 days a year for our registered clients. Unlike many other practices, we do not delegate our out-of-hours work to an external source. This means you will always be seen by one of our own veterinary surgeons, at our own premises, with full access to your pet’s medical history.
In the event of an accident or emergency, please telephone:
An answering machine will provide you with the mobile number of the vet on call.
Prescriptions are only available for animals under our care. Animals must have been seen within:
3 months for prescription only medicines
12 months for non-prescription medicines and routine parasite treatments
Please allow a full 2 working days before collection.
Pet Health Plan
The Mackie & Brechin Pet Health Plan has been designed to offer the best in preventative healthcare in an easy format and an affordable monthly payment. Our plan includes all the vaccines and parasite prevention that we would advise as standard, discounts on extra products and services, unlimited complimentary nurse clinics and much more. We will also see your pet for a health check every six months and send regular reminders about what treatments are due and when. For more information or to make an enquiry please click here.
All of our nurses are fully qualified RVNs registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. They have a wide range of expertise and are able to advise on many health and welfare topics including:
- Weight & nutritional advice
- Juvenile post-neutering checks
- Nail clipping
- Post-operative follow-up checks and suture removal
- Parasite treatment advice and administration
- Dental checks and dental homecare advice
- Follow-up vaccinations
Nurse clinics run every week day (and are complimentary to members of our Pet Health Plan).
We offer a full range of services and advice with a strong focus on preventative healthcare and up-to-date evidence-based medicine. Ranging from transient gastrointestinal upsets and coughs and sneezes to complicated long term medical conditions and geriatric care we can provide you with the best treatment options appropriate to you and your pet. This is supported by our suite of in-house laboratory, imaging, hospitalisation and surgical facilities and our team of dedicated registered veterinary nurses.
The majority of conditions can be treated on an out-patient basis but should either day or longer-term hospitalisation be required this is provided on-site at our Kirkliston surgery.
We pride ourselves in being at the fore-front of veterinary medicine and are able to offer increasingly more advanced medical workups. Should it be required, however, we can also organise referral for specialist services to a number of local veterinary centres of excellence.
In house laboratory & diagnostics
We have a range of state-of-the-art laboratory equipment allowing us to perform a suite of tests including blood analysis, urine analysis, microscopy and bacteriology. This is all done within the practice and often while you wait. Getting results quickly means that we can identify problems and your pet can get appropriate treatment without delay.
For some more complicated tests it is necessary to submit samples to an external laboratory and we work with a number of facilities to provide high quality diagnostics with as fast a turnaround as possible.
Heart disease is a common condition that can have profound effects on your pet’s longevity and quality of life. Fortunately, modern medicine provides increasingly advanced assessment and treatment options and we are able to offer many of these in-house including ECG, blood pressure monitoring and echocardiography. Echocardiography allows us to visualise the internal structures of the heart which, alongside other clinical and diagnostic tests, can help determine the appropriate time for medical intervention and monitor response to treatment. As new treatment options for heart disease in pets become available, being able to offer this service in-house allows for earlier intervention and so a longer and better quality of life for affected individuals.
The diagnostic imaging technology available to veterinary practice has come a long way from the hand developed x-rays and grainy small screen ultrasound machines of only a few years ago. We have invested heavily in technology with speed and quality closer to that which can be seen in human medicine than ever before.
Our AGFA digital x-ray machine is able to produce highly detailed images of bony and soft tissues. This can help us investigate anything from broken bones to heart disease, assess abdominal organs, dental disease and plan orthopaedic operations. Each image takes only a matter of minutes to produce, can be stored along with your pet’s patient records for future reference and shown to you in the consulting room.
Our EDAN ultrasound machine is a big step up from previous generations and the array of four different probes allow such diverse applications as precision scanning of small and large soft tissue structures to pregnancy scanning, investigating tendon injuries and echocardiography. Being able to have such high quality diagnostics in-house enables the investigation of more diseases in the GP setting than ever before resulting in reduced costs and increased convenience to you and speedier treatment for your pet. For certain cases where even more advanced imaging such as CT-scanning, MRI or more advanced echocardiography are required we have access to a network of high quality local referral centres.
The safety of your pet is always paramount and when anaesthesia is necessary, be it for imaging, a routine procedure or an emergency operation, you can rest assured that your pet will be under the constant care of our highly trained medical team. Our dedicated Registered Veterinary Nurses are highly skilled in the monitoring of anaesthetics and pre- and post- operative analgesia ensuring your pet will be as comfortable and as well looked after as is possible. We use the same modern anaesthetics and analgesics as those used in human medicine and state-of-the-art multi-parameter equipment to constantly monitor your pet (including live ECG, capnography, pulse oximetry and core body temperature) to make each anaesthetic as safe as possible. We also routinely offer, and recommend, pre-anaesthetic blood tests and peri-operative intravenous fluids to further enhance the safety of any procedure.
Soft Tissue Surgery
Our experienced surgeons are able to offer a wide range of procedures from routine neutering and simple lump removals to complex soft tissue surgery for ear, laryngeal, skin, abdominal and cancerous conditions. We aim to provide the highest possible standards of surgical treatment for our patients and have invested heavily in surgical training, equipment and facilities including two purpose built operating theatres and a modern preparatory area, all separate from our imaging and dental suites. Our goal is to provide a consistent standard of excellence in anaesthesia, monitoring, pain relief, infection control, nursing care and surgical outcomes across all of the procedures that we perform. Our award of Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Accredited Status has been achieved through our dedication to these principles and gives you the peace of mind that your pet’s comfort and welfare are our absolute priority whenever surgery is required.
Dentistry and Oral Surgery
Pets do not often display signs of oral pain in a way that is easily recognised by their owners and this has historically led to dental disease being the cause of considerable hidden discomfort and debility. Preventative and therapeutic dentistry is now, however, one of the cornerstones of modern veterinary care and advancements in understanding and education have been responsible for a huge increase in welfare for the pet population both young and old. In acknowledgement of the importance of dentistry in modern veterinary medicine we have invested heavily in training and equipment including dental specific radiography and a modern dedicated dental theatre. In many ways, your pets’ teeth are just the same as your own and we strongly advocate that, where safe to do so, daily brushing with pet toothpaste is the best form of preventative care. Much like ourselves though, for most pets there will be a time when a trip to the dentist is necessary. For most this will involve at least a clean and scale but advanced dental disease or trauma may require extractions.
The only way that a pet’s mouth can be fully assessed is when cleaned and probed while under a general anaesthetic. Using dental radiography it is possible to assess the structure of each individual tooth and surrounding tissues to help make an informed decision as to whether intervention is required. Should tooth extraction be indicated this will often require dental surgery. This should be thought of in the same way as any other operation, requiring time and expertise to handle the tooth itself as well as the surrounding soft and bony tissues to ensure full and proper extraction.
Because the degree of dental disease and required treatment can often come as a surprise to owners we have produced a guide for clients outlining what is involved and the associated costs. Please contact us if you would like a copy of this and to make an appointment for an initial assessment.
Members of our Pet Healthplan are entitled to unlimited free nurse appointments including dental check ups and a 10% discount on procedures and oral care products.
With a certificate in Small Animal Surgery from the European School of Veterinary Post Graduate Studies Geoff has been offering and has built up a wealth of experience and expertise in fracture and stifle repair since 2009. Being able to offer this service in-house benefits our clients and patients by reducing the need for referral, providing continuity of care, reduced waiting times and often all at significantly lower cost. The most common surgical orthopaedic condition we see is that of Cranial Cruciate Ligament injury (CCL) of the knee. This injury, also familiar to many footballers, is often accompanied by a sudden onset of non-weight bearing lameness when exercising. Treatment options vary depending on severity and size of dog from conservative medication and rest to surgical intervention and these options will be discussed in detail to help you decide on the most appropriate course of action for you and your pet. The ability to deal with most fractures in-house also gives peace of mind that should the worst happen we will be able to help. These services combined with complimentary expertise in pain management, regenerative medicine and acupuncture provide a comprehensive suite of orthopaedic treatment options that sets us apart from other first opinion practices.
Regenerative medicine is an exciting new area of medicine which makes use of the body’s own cells to heal and regenerate damaged or diseased tissues. Mackie and Brechin were one of the first practices in Scotland to adopt regenerative technology, and we have been very impressed with the results in the cases we have treated.
Two regenerative techniques are currently in use:- Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC).
Platelet Rich Plasma is the most commonly used technique as it is most suitable for chronic conditions of the joints, particularly osteoarthritis. Platelets are tiny cells normally present in the blood, and their main function is in the healing of damaged tissues. When tissue damage occurs, platelets stick together to plug bleeding blood vessels and release chemical signals which attract other cells, such as white blood cells, to the area to begin the repair. The chemical signals also stimulate stem cells to proliferate and replace damaged tissue.
The technique involves the collection of a sample of your pet’s blood, which is then double centrifuged in specialised equipment to concentrate the platelets in a small volume of plasma, whilst removing the other blood cells which could worsen tissue damage. The PRP is then directly injected into the diseased joint under sedation, where it reduces inflammation and stimulates repair of the joint cartilage. This typically results in an effective reduction of the pain within the joint for between 6 and 12 months. An interesting short video explaining the technique can be viewed here.
Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate is less frequently used, it’s principal benefit being in the treatment of ligament and tendon injuries. Stem cells present in the bone marrow have the potential to develop into any type of tissue cell in the body, allowing them to replace damaged cells and heal tissues.
Bone marrow is collected from your pet’s femur (thigh bone) under general anaesthetic, and processed in a specialised system to concentrate the stem cells. These can then be injected directly into the injured area to encourage healing.
If you think these techniques may benefit your pet, please contact the practice and we can discuss them with you.
Acupuncture is the ancient practice of inserting tiny, non-traumatic needles in order to bring about changes in specific areas of the body. At Mackie & Brechin acupuncture is based on a medical diagnosis and, as such, follows a ‘Western Approach’ to treatment plans. When used alongside more typical veterinary medicine acupuncture can be a major factor in reducing the level of medications required. We most commonly utilise acupuncture to support the management of acute and chronic painful conditions (for instance osteoarthritis), but it can also be used when there is chronic abnormal function of other body systems (such as digestive disturbances or urinary tract disease). Treatments will often be weekly for the first 4-6 weeks but will then usually become less frequent based on individual response. For some cases we are also able to offer electroacupuncture, where low pulses of electricity help to enhance the response – usually in both level and duration.
Pain is a common and debilitating problem for our pets, but it is often difficult to appreciate and so frequently overlooked. This is because animals display their pain in different ways to us or may even try to hide it from us completely. Also, chronic conditions, such as osteoarthritis, often progress as an animal ages and so changes that may be related to pain can be mistaken for the signs of ‘just getting old’. Fortunately, recent advances in the understanding of pain in animals allow us to much better assess comfort levels and advances in treatment allow us to provide more tailored and appropriate relief. Assessment is based upon presenting concerns, behavioural changes and a full body physical pain assessment. This helps to differentiate sources of pain (for instance internal, muscular, orthopaedic or neurological) and allow a treatment plan and recommended management strategies to be put together based on the individual’s presentation and family preferences. Recommendations may include home adjustments, exercise regulation, nutrition, physiotherapy, medication, supplements, joint injections (such as PRP) or complimentary therapies (such as acupuncture). So, if your pet has a known painful condition, is showing signs of discomfort with or without an obvious origin, is an older animal who now walks differently, is on medications which do not seem to be doing enough, or if you simply want to discuss what else can be done to help then please phone to make an appointment.
In most circumstances it is best to bring your pet to the practice where there is a full range of equipment, facilities and personnel. In some circumstances however, and in consultation with a vet, it may be appropriate to arrange a home visit. This may be appropriate for very stressed animals, if transport to the practice is not possible or, sadly, when it becomes time to say goodbye and you would prefer your loved one to pass away at home. If you think that this may be appropriate for you then please contact the surgery to discuss your requirements.