• Call us on:028 9047 1361
  • Out of hours:028 9065 1729


How can we help your pet?

Earlswood Veterinary Referrals offers a range of services both as first opinions and referrals, ophthalmology and orthopaedic services to advanced diagnostic imaging and rehabilitation services.


A new ophthalmology theatre was built in 2011 and cataract surgery facilities have been further improved with the purchase of a highly technical Alcon Infinity Phacoemilsifier. This allows for more rapid cataract removal with less impact on the eye. Acrylic lenses can be inserted as standard.

This service includes:

  • Phacoemulsification cataract removal
  • Glaucoma cases
  • Lendectomy surgeries
  • Intraocular surgeries
  • Paratoid duct transposition surgery for dry eye
  • Entropian and Ectropian surgeries
  • Keratectomy for dermoide chronic indolent ulceration
  • Electoretinography
  • Lens luxation surgery
  • Distichiasis surgery

Our Ophthalmology surgeons are Ian Millar and Steven Baird.


We have a dedicated orthopaedic theatre, isolated from the hospital and with unidirectional airflow to allow an exceptionally sterile operating environment. There is a vast range of equipment and implants enabling a choice of technique for problems in all sizes of patients. We have excellent digital software to help with the complex pre-surgical planning required for the correction of angular limb deformities and intraoperative fluoroscopy to confirm reduction and accuracy of implant placement when required.

This service includes:

  • Fracture treatment: All conventional internal fixation systems including cannulated drill bits and headless compression screws. Angle stable locking plate technology (FIXIN,SOP,Synthes), external fixation (linear, hybrid and circular systems). Minimally invasive surgery to include percutaneous plate application and fluoroscopically guided sacroiliac stabilisation 
  • Arthoscopy: Fully equipped new Richard Wolf tower including shaver system and intrarticular diathermy with 3 telescope sizes to diagnose and treat elbow dysplasia, shoulder OCD, biceps tenosynovitis, meniscal tears and inspection of cruciate ligaments
  • PAUL for severe medial compartment disease (DJD usually caused by elbow dysplasia) Hip dysplasia and DJD: Pubic symphysiodesis, double/triple pelvic osteotomy and total hip replacement using Kyon cementless implants
  • Angular limb deformity: Luxating patellae, malunions and growth plate anomaly. These deformities can be treated by acute wedge osteotomy or with llizaroff technique to gradually correct and perform limb lengthening
  • Cruciate disease: TPLO, Cora based TPLO, TTA, Modified Maquet technique enables us to individualise surgery according to the conformation and size of each patient 
  • A range of suture anchors and biomaterials for prosthetic ligaments and soft tissue augmentation

Our orthopaedic surgeon is Greg Dunlop.


Our services within Cardiology include:

  • Investigation of cardio-respiratory cases in dogs and cats
  • Diagnosis and continued monitoring of acquired heart disease
  • Accurate diagnosis and treatment plans for congenital heart problems
  • 12-lead electrocardiography (including interpretation of faxed ECG’s)
  • Echocardiography: Including spectral and colour-flow Doppler investigation, Tissue Doppler, Ultrasonographic, “Bubble-studies”                             
  • Thoracic radiography (including interpretation of radiographs sent or emailed to the practice)
  • 24 Hour ambulatory ECG/Holter monitoring equipment available including full interpretation/report
  • Implantation of “Reveal” devices for long term assessment of arrhythmias and syncopal cases
  • Angiography
  • Investigation of syncope and collapse
  • Investigation and treatment of complex arrhythmias
  • Interventional occlusion of intra-hepatic portosystemic shunts
  • Cardiothoracic Surgical Service: Thoracotomy, Thoracoscopy (including evaluation and biopsy of intra-thoracic pulmonary and cardiac masses), Lung lobectomy (via thoracotomy or thoracoscopy), Pneumothorax, Pleural effusions, Pericardial effusion, Patent ductus arteriosus, Mitral stenosis, Tetralogy of Fallot
  • Interventional treatments: Pericardial effusion, Thoracoscopic and balloon pericardiectomy, Pacemaker implantation, Balloon valvuloplasty for pulmonic stenosis, Intraluminal tracheal stenting for tracheal collapse, Amplatzer duct occcluder placement for treatment of patent ductus arteriosus, Ureteral stenting
  • Diagnosis, assessment and surgical treatment of extrahepatic portosystemic shunts
  • Abdominal ultrasonography including assessment of pancreas, adrenal

Our cardiology surgeon is Alistair Gibson.


Access to a fortnightly MRI service has broadened the range of neurological investigations that we are able to undertake. Accurate lesion localisation through neurological examination with myelography (cervical or lumbar puncture) or MRI is essential for the preoperative planning of neurosurgical procedures. We achieve consistently excellent outcomes following decompressive surgery for disc disease. A clinical audit of >160 consecutive clinical cases has shown success rates of >95% for grade 1-3 cervical and thoracolumbar disc disease cases and over 90% for grade 4 lesions (paraplegic, intact nociception). Post-operatively, our patients benefit from daily physiotherapy under the direction of our rehabilitation unit and 24 hour nursing care for recumbent patients.

We offer a 24 hour availability for spinal emergency referrals or for advice. The service includes:

  • Compressive disc disease: Ventral slot, hemilaminectomy, mini hemilaminectomy or pediculectomy
  • Caudal cervical spondylomyelopathy: Ventral slot and/or distraction fusion Lumbosacral stenosis, Dorsal laminectomy and foraminotomy
  • Surgery for congenital vertebral canal stenosis, atlantoaxial instability, subarachnoid cyst, spinal meningioma resection
  • Screening for Chiari malformation and associated syringomyelia
  • Seizure investigation and management
  • Spinal trauma

Internal Medicines

The medicine service accepts cases across all disciplines for investigation and management. Through our facilities at the hospital, our team are able to provide excellent 24 hour care for your patients. The availability of plasma and whole blood on site and our comprehensively equipped laboratory enable us to provide a high standard of care for critically ill patients, including those requiring monitoring of acid- base balance, blood gases, electrolytes (including ionised calcium) and coagulation profiles. With expertise in blood smear analysis and cytology, we can reach a presumptive diagnosis rapidly while waiting for external laboratory confirmation. In addition, we are able to support our colleagues by offering specific diagnostic procedures to help in their overall investigation.

The service includes:

  • Flexible and rigid endoscopes for rhinoscopy and tracheo-bronchoscopy, imaging the gastrointestinal tract and cystoscopy (female medium and large breed dogs)
  • Contrast studies such as IVU, barium swallow Laparoscopy to include hepatic and other organ biopsy
  • Ultrasonography and ultrasound guided fine needle aspirate or trucut biopsy
  • Bone marrow biopsy

Our internal medicines surgeons are Heather Smith and Rachel Dunlop.

Soft Tissue Surgery

This service includes:

  • Brachycephalic airway disease, laryngeal paralysis, total ear canal ablation Cardiothoracic surgical service
  • Diagnosis, assessment and surgical treatment of extrahepatic portosystemic shunts, diseases of the biliary tree. lnterventional occlusion of intrahepatic portosystemic shunts
  • Laparascopic ovarohysterectomy, liver and other organ biopsies, adrenalectomy temporary urinary diversion (urethral bypass) in certain cases to avoid urethrotomy or urethrostomy, ectopic ureter. lnterventional treatments: Ureteral and urethral stenting (useful in the management of transitional cell carcinoma)
  • Wound management and reconstruction, such as skin grafting, axial pattern flaps, myocutaneous flaps for reconstruction following radical surgery for neoplasia or severe shearing injury

Rehabilitation Services

Our rehabilitation suite was completed and opened in 2009 with Northern Ireland’s first and only underwater treadmill. You can read about our other rehabilitation services below.


The use of very fine needles to stimulate nerves and the central nervous system to achieve pain relief and relaxation of muscle spasm. This ancient Eastern therapy is now understood scientifically and the World Health Organisation has produced a list of conditions which have been shown to respond to acupuncture. Acupuncture can assist in post surgical recovery. It is also suitable for pets suffering from such conditions as arthritis, injuries, chronic lameness, paralysis/paresis, neurological cases, back pain, neck pain, muscle spasm and lick granulomas.


The use of physical therapies such as hot and cold therapy, massage, passive and active exercises to relieve pain, increase joint range of motion and improve strength and function.

Therapeutic laser

The use of light energy to reduce inflammation, achieve pain relief and promote healing.

Hydrotherapy (underwater treadmill)

This utilises the buoyancy of water to support your pets weight while allowing the muscles and joints to regain strength and range of motion without trauma. The benefits are pain relief, improved muscle strength and endurance, cardiovascular fitness, reduced oedema and swelling and increased joint range of motion. Most painful orthopaedic problems will benefit from hydrotherapy.

Our rehabilitation suite is overseen by Siobhan Menzies.

Advanced Imaging diagnostics

A mobile MRI unit, based inside an eight wheel articulated lorry, visits the hospital on a fortnightly basis. Previously reserved for human medicine, MRI scanning procedures are safe and highly effective methods of producing clear cross sectional images of the body. This means that complex neurological and spinal injuries can be reliably diagnosed and then be effectively treated. Veterinary practices who have problem cases in this area can refer these to Earlswood for MRI.

With over eight years experience in developing mobile veterinary MRI scanning, Burgess Diagnostic's highly skilled team of radiographers, engineers and veterinary surgeons can provide all of your veterinary cross sectional imaging needs. Following MRI scanning, the radiograph images are forwarded to Geoff Skerrit for reporting. A full written report is forwarded to the client's own veterinary surgeon usually within one week.

Practice information

Earlswood Veterinary Hospital

  • Mon
    8:30am - 7:00pm
  • Tue
    8:30am - 7:00pm
  • Wed
    8:30am - 7:00pm
  • Thu
    8:30am - 7:00pm
  • Fri
    8:30am - 7:00pm
  • Sat
    9:00am - 12:00pm
  • Sun

Find us here:

193 Belmont Road Belfast BT4 2AE
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