Animals

West Kirby vet leads UK trials for breakthrough blood test for dogs

By Emma Gunby at

A West Kirby vet has been leading UK trials for a breakthrough blood test which detects deadly illnesses in dogs.

Tom McGowan, head vet at Acorn Veterinary Centre which is currently in a temporary home in Frankby while its West Kirby surgery undergoes redevelopment, said the new blood test was ‘a life saver’.

The test works by detecting the levels of a vital protein released by the liver in dogs. High levels of CRP – C-Reactive Protein – indicate a dog is suffering from systemic inflammation.

Tom McGowan

Tom McGowan

Tom, originally from Arkansas, USA, and now living with his family in Heswall, said: “In other words it tells us there is something going on which is seriously disrupting the dog’s whole body system right now.”

Tom added: “It prompts us to react instantly, to make key decisions and put the animal on life saving treatment such as antibiotics straight away.”

Head Vet Tom McGowan and Tiny who is an important part of the Acorn team and belongs to Acorn student veterinary nurse Rachel Williams.

Head Vet Tom McGowan and Tiny who is an important part of the Acorn team and belongs to Acorn student veterinary nurse Rachel Williams.

During the trial more than 200 dogs were analysed for CRP levels at the same time as they had other blood tests.

Acorn Veterinary Surgery, which is part of the Willows Veterinary Group, was among several surgeries to conduct the first in-clinic UK field study of the test, which was developed by IDEXX, a global leader in veterinary diagnostics.