Our x-ray and ultrasound machines are in almost daily use. They are the tools that help us visualise the hidden interior of our patients, in our pursuit of a diagnosis. Neither method of imaging is perfect, or fool-proof or universally helpful but the combination of the two gives us a pretty good chance of, at least, locating the site of the problem.

More advanced imaging equipment such as MRI or CT scanners are simply not economically viable for a practice of our size but there are many specialist centres we can refer an animal to, if necessary.

However, lest we get carried away with the fantastic, but ever more expensive, advances in diagnostic technology, never forget that the human hands, eyes, ears and nose of an experienced veterinary surgeon can diagnose a great many cases without resorting to anything more “technical” than a stethoscope and a thermometer! And that is despite the fact that our patients cannot actually speak to us.