Welcome to Astonlee Veterinary Hospital
Astonlee Veterinary Hospital in Newport Pagnell, Milton Keynes, is a small animal practice, treating cats and dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, birds, reptiles and all other family pets. The practice was founded with the intention of providing the very best veterinary care to the local community.
We have developed a wide range of clinical and preventive medicine services coupled with systems that support the delivery of these services to you and your pets.
The veterinary practice was established in 1986 and is located in Tickford Street, Newport Pagnell, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire and is owned by Mr Paul Manning who has over 30 years veterinary experience.
We have the only 24 hour full service veterinary hospital in the Milton Keynes area manned entirely by our own staff.
Dr Paul Manning is a very experienced vet, and with his team offers a wide range of consulting and operating services for pets. The practice has strong interests in many disciplines of medicine and surgery, and in many species.
Read our Charter of Service
Constant efforts are made to improve the service of the practice and to find new or complementary methods of treatment. Some conditions prove to be incurable by the best scientific means so occasionally alternative medicine is used such as Acupuncture.
Our present services and facilities include:
In patient facilities
In patient facilities include separate dog and cat wards to avoid stress for the animals. Ward rounds are carried out three times daily by the duty vets and nurses at 8am, mid-day and 7.30pm. At other times, the health care team monitors progress and provides essential care around the clock in carefully designed working rotas.
Dedicated operating theatres
Our dedicated operating theatres are located to the rear of the building so that serious operations can be carried out free from the hustle and bustle of the surgery. We keep this as clean as possible with a daily cleaning schedule carried out by our nursing team.
Pre-op and diagnostic, on-site Haematology and Blood Biochemical Analysis
Pre-op blood tests are routine for many of our patients because we believe that every patient deserves to have a health check before an anaesthetic as part of our planned programme of care to minimise the risks and maximise the safety of our operating procedures.
Our ultrasound imaging machine is in regular use as a very useful non-invasive diagnostic tool. We use this to look inside pets' abdomens and chests to observe the internal organs. It is particularly useful in pregnancy diagnosis and monitoring. We can provide a picture for expectant owners. It is also useful for looking at problems in the bladder, spleen, liver, kidneys, prostate gland, heart, and in detecting abdominal tumours. It is useful in the diagnosis of eye problems when the cornea at the front of the eye is obscuring the rest of the eye from view due to a white cloudiness for example.
Plain and Contrast Radiography
Our new digital X ray facility includes a very powerful high frequency machine that enables us to take excellent radiographs of animals the size of hamsters to the largest dogs. We can use it to x ray elephants, but have not had many patients of this variety. The machine has the facility to be finely tuned to almost any requirement, and is an extremely useful aid to diagnosis in the surgery.
October 2011 : Digital Radiography arrived at Astonlee which is exciting because of the new technology, and also the ability to take advantage of better images which can be emailed and stored on our client records rather than in a building where the filing system can be a challenge with thousands of radiographs collected over many years.
The new digital x ray machine is useful and now accepted by the BVA Panel who do the hip scoring for various breeds of dog. In the early years of digital x rays, the quality was not sufficient to satisfy the Panel, but the quality of the technology we now have is excellent and meets the requirements of the panel of scrutineers.
Our ECG machine is a portable one which we carry around the surgery in a small case and is essential in the diagnosis and monitoring of heart disease. Records are kept for continuous response to treatment.
We have a computerised ECG machine which can record 4 days of continuous monitoring of critically ill patients if required, and the ability to observe and record and retrieve the ECG traces on the computer is useful. Using the machine does require a degree of patience and technical know how, but it is worth the effort and the investment.
The practice uses modern dental equipment, very similar to that which you would find in your own Dentist's practice. We offer routine advice on dental hygiene, scaling and polishing under general anaesthetic, and extractions where the teeth have become so badly decayed or damaged that no realistic treatment is possible. We also routinely use our x ray facilities to examine teeth in more detail for diagnosis.
We have a designated room for our dental work which enables us to concentrate on the needs of our patients requiring dental treatment, whilst simultaneously ensuring through our air handling system that cross contamination of other surgical patients is prevented.
24 hour emergency service by our own veterinary surgeons and our own nursing team
Providing a full 24 hour hospital service with our own practice team has been a strong part of the culture and practice at Astonlee for many years. It requires a considerable effort, and needs considerable resources of time, people, money, training and facilities to provide this. Astonlee is proud to be continuing to provide this service which we find is of very high importance to many clients.
Clients are often very reluctant to leave their loved pets in hospital, which is understandable, but the knowledge that at Astonlee there are always people on the premises caring for your pet is a great comfort, and we take this very seriously indeed.
The world of veterinary practice has changed considerably since the days of James Herriot when the vet did everything, attended all species and did all manner of medicine and surgery.
We provide the only full hospital service utilising our own staff 24 hours a day for emergencies and in patients with a member of staff on the premises at all times caring for the patients which are small animals (dogs, cats, rabbits) and exotic species (small mammals such as hamsters, mice, rats, ferrets, guinea pigs, and also some reptiles and birds).
Clients value this service very highly. A small survey of clients revealed that only 1/3rd of clients knew that Astonlee was the only practice in the area which provided a full hospital service with staff from their own practice team, and 29 out of 30 clients actually said they would never go anywhere else if they had known that fact.
It is important for clients to explore and gain an understanding of the different types and levels of service that are provided by different practices so that in an emergency out of hours there is no delay in finding available treatment to a level which you want for your pets and other animals.
At Astonlee, we do focus on our patients, and in out of hours situations with emergencies and critical care this can be fraught with challenges. Our dedicated team is committed to providing the best of care. In order to communicate with you the clients in out of hours care situations, we have arrangements to keep in contact with you about your pet's progress in the hospital, including visiting times when you can talk to the vets and nurses providing the care. Our regular Sunday and Bank Holiday open surgery between 11am and 12 noon (except Christmas Day which is the only exception) also provides a point of contact for easing communication between the clinical team and you the pet owner.
We no longer provide this service for horses and farm animals which we did in the past, but we will be able to supply a contact telephone number of a vet who can provide this service.
Pet insurance advice
Veterinary fees and costs of drugs and treatments can mount up for complex surgery or long periods of treatment. We strongly recommend that all our clients take out insurance to help in covering such fees. The cost of cover is quite low, makes sense and offers value for money. One of our worst headaches at the surgery is being presented with the emergency case, which needs immediate and costly treatment. In these circumstances, it is too late to start worrying about where the money is coming from to pay for it - better to plan ahead and be covered for all eventualities.
Free weight checks
Free weight checks are done by our nursing team. We realise that quite a number of our patients are overweight, mainly because our clients care so much and can't resist the temptation to feed the pet cat or dog whenever he/she comes and asks for more food. By offering our free weight checks, our team can help you to keep your pets in the best of health.
Treatment of exotic pets
Exotic animals produce quite a considerable part of our work. Rabbits are the number 3 pet, after the cat and the dog. We also see lots of guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, birds and reptiles. Over the years, our expertise has grown and we have become quite familiar with providing the veterinary care for these species. For example, treatment has advanced and we now use cement beads impregnated with antibiotic in the treatment of some of these cases. Another medicine has been found which helps the digestive processes of the rabbit, which is a great help in many rabbits with chronic 'sticky bum syndrome'.
Pet Healthcare Clinic
Clinics are run by the nursing team at specific times of day:
12 - 12.30; 3 - 3.30; 6.30 - 7.30
Clients are encouraged to make appointments to see the Nurse to discuss topics such as obesity, nutrition, flea and worm control, behaviour, dental care and other aspects of pet care.
Friendly advice is available together with a range of useful treatments: special diet foods, vitamins, eye and ear cleaners, flea treatments, disinfectants and toothpastes.
Complementary Medicines are available at the surgery
The practice is open minded to the use of complementary medicines, e.g.: Acupuncture, Aloe Vera. There have been many instances where the best scientific medicine has been helped by the use of alternative medicines. Our patients benefit from having this choice available.
Clinical decisions at Astonlee. : Ovariohysterectomy versus ovariectomy via laparoscopy.
Some clients ask about this and the difference between the two. At Astonlee we prefer ovariohysterectomy by laparotomy – see our website for our reasons behind this.
Retained testicles: complications with neutering.
Sometimes male dogs or cats in particular either have one or both testicles undescended, with one or both testicles in either the groin or inside the abdomen. This is because the testicle starts life in the embryo near the kidney and descends to the scrotum during development, but sometimes the testicles don't reach their destination. In these cases it can be quite difficult to find the testicle, and that plus the time involved does add considerably to the costs involved. It is, however, important to remove these retained testicles because they can become cancerous later in life.
Rabbits are important to us. The first ever pets of the Principal Paul Manning when he was 11 years old or less were rabbits.
One innovation the practice has recently taken on is a set of new devices called 'VGel tubes' for improving the airways of rabbits when they are anaesthetised. We have looked carefully at this and have decided that there are significant advantages we can offer you and your rabbits when undertaking general anaesthesia. Details are available: www.docsinnovent.com