If you are about to start your own veterinary practice, first of all, congratulations! You have no doubt worked hard to get to this point, and you want to make sure your work lives up to the high standards of this industry. The first order of business in your new practice is to put together a shopping list. As you know, a veterinary practice needs a great deal of tools and equipment to run at its full potential. As you begin your search, explore this list of veterinary equipment you need to set up a new practice so you can cross off the bare essentials.
Veterinarians, like all doctors, need the proper lighting so they can perform procedures and diagnose illnesses. There are a variety of lighting options veterinarians can choose from to maximize their visibility. Bright, large surgical lights are very popular, as are smaller, concentrated lights used for exams. Headlights and handheld diagnostic lights are also a welcome addition to any practice.
Digital X-ray Machines
While older, traditional X-ray models require the use of film and darkroom chemicals, new digital X-ray machines can take fast, precise images of a patient’s internal organs that are immediately available on a computer. Using digital X-ray machines, veterinarians can focus, enhance, and enlarge an image, which ultimately allows for fewer retakes.
Since a competent image can be collected with the click of a button, veterinarians that use digital X-rays do not need to put pets under anesthesia as often or as long. This means that pets can spend less time on a table and more time at home recovering with their loved ones by their side.
With the use of a veterinary ultrasound machine, veterinarians can produce fast, precise images of the pet’s body. The machine uses sound waves to provide real time images of the pet’s vascular, cardiac, abdominal, and other systems. People familiar with using ultrasound technology to observe the growth of a human child while in a woman’s uterus are aware of how this procedure works. It is just as painless on animals as it is on people.
Furthermore, if you want your new practice to include house calls, a portable ultrasound machine can allow for real-time analysis of an animal’s health regardless of where they are. If, for instance, the animal you are observing is in a rural setting, like a horse in their stable, you can still bring the analysis to them.
IV pumps are used to administer drugs, fluids, and other additives during treatments and surgeries. They control the rate of infusion of these substances, making for a time-dependent and consistent effect on the animals. As you shop for veterinary equipment you need to set up a new practice, look for IV pumps that are non-disposable and multi-use. These features make for a more cost-effective purchase in the long run.
Anesthesia and Anesthesia Machines
Many of the animals a veterinarian will work with in their new practice—including, dogs, birds, and cats—need an anesthesia machine to minimize the amount of pain they experience during procedures. However, since all these animals come in different sizes and with different constitutions, the amount of anesthesia applied varies significantly between species.
Veterinarians need to purchase top-of-the-line, safe anesthesia machines that are specially designed to handle the various needs of their patients. With a high-quality machine, you can ensure your animals are being treated humanely, with the proper amount of oxygen and ventilation.
Autoclaves and Sterilizers
Every time a veterinarian uses a tool on one patient, they should sterilize and prepare it for the next. To maintain a safe workspace without contamination, you should get an autoclave, a tool which uses heat to eliminate microorganisms like spores and bacteria. They can be purchased in a variety of sizes, and you should decide which one is best for you based on the size of your client base. Tools that are sterilized by autoclaves also last longer than ones sterilized by organic fluids, cleaners, and solvents, which wear down on tools over time.
As you start your new practice, a veterinary fluoroscopy machine is a must-have purchase. These devices shoot low amounts of X-rays through the area a veterinarian might study. Using a fluoroscopy machine, much like a typical X-ray machine, veterinarians can look at the structures of the pet’s body. However, unlike an X-ray, which is a single snapshot of a pet at rest, a fluoroscopy machine shoots continuous images so the veterinarian can see real-time, moving images of the pet’s movements.
Using these devices, veterinarians can see exactly what is going on inside a pet as it goes through a certain motion. It can watch how the pet swallows to diagnose eating difficulties, or its airways to examine coughing fits. Since the pets are encouraged to move during a fluoroscopy test, and made to be still during an X-ray exam, fluoroscopies are also a friendlier approach to examining what is going on.
Procedure and Exam Tables
Every treatment room in your new practice will need its own veterinary table. You can choose from a variety of table types depending on your needs, including electric and hydraulic tables, v-top tables, or lift tables. These options are highlighted specifically for their mobility, versatility, and stability. You want a table with a surface that can be adjusted to the animal’s girth and size.
If you are starting a new practice, you probably have a million thoughts buzzing around your head. But you should never forget the absolute essentials. From IV pumps to fluoroscopy machines, ultrasounds to X-rays, there are some pieces of equipment that cannot fall by the wayside. As you continue to shop around, take a look at this list from time to time to make sure you have all your bases covered.
Of course, after you have made these purchases and opened your practice, the real challenge begins. Just remember that you owe your patients and their owners the best quality of care you can manage. Many people will come asking for help, looking for a voice of reason. With these tools and your technical know-how, there is no telling what you can accomplish.