In discussion with Fiona McFarlane

With access to an in-house laboratory, flexible and rigid endoscopes, ultrasonography and CT, our highly qualified and motivated internal medicine team are equipped to deal with complex cases. Working closely with our other referral teams, the internal medicine team help our patients get the right diagnosis and treatment quickly and effectively.

We caught up with Fiona McFarlane BSc BVSc CertAVP(SAM) MRCVS, the latest member to join the Lime Trees Vets Referrals team who provided us with an overview of her role and the wider internal medicine offering at our hospital.

Why did you choose to become a Vet?

I enjoy getting to know my clients and their pets but the thing I love most about my job is the detective work of getting a diagnosis.

What made you choose to pursue Internal Medicine as a discipline?

In addition to enjoying the hunt for a diagnosis, I have an interest in imaging, particularly ultrasound and I’m able to combine doing both things in my role.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Rounds in the morning to discuss inpatients and new cases for the day, followed by consults to admit the day’s patients. Then onto the diagnostics (bloods, ultrasound scanning, endoscopy, CT etc) before evening discharges and review appointments.

How many cases do you typically see?

I will usually see 2-3 patients per day.

Do you have a memorable case or patient that you can share with us?

One of my favourite patients was a lovely Saluki cross that had CHOP chemotherapy for lymphoma. He was very nervous and needed muzzling at the start but grew to trust us and was so friendly by the end, becoming a real favourite with the whole team. He did really well for 18 months before passing away doing what he loved – chasing a pigeon in the garden.

What are the most common cases that you see?

Chronic gastrointestinal/hepatic cases, immune-mediated disease, staging of neoplasia and cases requiring advanced imaging are common presentations, but we see a very wide variety of cases.

Is there anything else that you want people to know about the service that you offer?

At our hospital we are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and equipment which really helps us get to the bottom of a diagnosis quickly. In addition, as we provide a multidisciplinary referral service, once a diagnosis has been reached and if the pet requires surgery, we are able to handle this in-house which is great. The full team works together to ensure each patient receives the best possible care. It’s really exciting being part of the team here.

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