We deliver excellent clinical care to dogs and cats while teaching future and postgraduate vets at our primary care University Veterinary Practice and specialist-led Small Animal Teaching Hospital.

Our clinical research focuses on improving the lives of small animals, and the people who care for them. The highly qualified clinicians who work here collaborate with researchers in centres across the world, and locally with laboratory-based researchers within the University, to improve and advance treatments for diseases in both animals and humans.

With internationally recognised veterinary clinical expertise, state-of-the-art facilities and a network of collaborators in Liverpool and beyond we can support high-quality veterinary and translational research projects.

Staff at the Department of Small Animal Clinical Science

Our challenges

Infectious disease and antimicrobial use

Infectious diseases represent a major challenge to animal and human health, particularly when the treatment of these also relies on antimicrobials. Our clinicians are working to understand these by monitoring for emerging diseases, improving diagnosis and surveying antimicrobial resistance.

Brain disease

As well as being a significant health issue for the small animals concerned, many brain diseases seen in dogs parallel those seen in humans. We are undertaking research into epilepsy and inflammatory brain disease, working on developing new diagnostic tests and improving therapeutics.

Breed related health issues

As the popularity of different dog breeds changes, we are involved in vital research both identifying the types of breed-related problems that emerge and determining effective treatment methods for these.

Cancer biology, diagnosis and treatment

Linking basic science with diagnostic techniques and therapeutic applications in our cancer patients, we aim to develop ways to improve detection and treat cancer.

Cardiac disease and heart failure

Our clinicians conduct extensive research into cardiovascular disease, including involvement in clinical trials to develop new therapeutic options and applying existing therapies in novel ways.

Musculoskeletal disability

Small animal patients suffer from a variety of musculoskeletal problems, many of which can also be seen in people. We are conducting research looking at the underlying mechanism of many of these, as well as applying new techniques to the diagnosis and monitoring of such conditions.

Obesity and metabolic disease

Obesity in small animal patients is an increasing problem, we have extensive research both looking at the effectiveness of weight management strategies and the variety of problems that can result from obesity.

Pain management

Managing pain, especially chronic pain, is difficult. Our research into analgesia and anaesthesia investigates drug effectiveness and new techniques, to improve existing therapies for the benefit of our patients.

Individualised medicine and drug safety

Patients respond to medications in different ways and this can cause the same dose of drug to be inadequate in one patient and excessive in another. Using a combination of clinical observation, data science, and molecular biology approaches (such as genomics) we seek to describe the effects of differences in drug tolerance in our patient groups, identify factors that influence these differential effects and develop strategies that allow precise individualised prescription.

Facilities

Veterinary practice

University Veterinary Practice

Our purpose-built, modern veterinary practice located in the heart of Liverpool is fully equipped with a surgical suite, digital and dental radiography systems and in-house diagnostic laboratory. It also houses an exotic pet clinic for surgery, preventative health care and medical investigations. It provides the ideal setting for our undergraduate students to develop their skills in delivering primary veterinary care.

Small animal teaching hospital

Small Animal Teaching Hospital

The Small Animal Teaching Hospital is a state-of-the-art multidisciplinary referral hospital, seeing over 12,000 appointments per year. Our primary aim is excellent clinical care, and this drives our clinical research. In addition to our cutting-edge clinical facilities such as high-field MRI and 80-slice CT scanners, two digital radiography rooms, a radiotherapy suite, three operating rooms, an in-house laboratory, dedicated cardiology, dermatology and endoscopy suites, we also have research equipment including a DEXA scanner and fully equipped gait analysis laboratory.

Clinical Pathology Laboratory

Clinical Pathology Laboratory

The Veterinary Clinical Pathology Service provides many laboratory functions, which support the clinical and research activity of all hospitals across the Leahurst campus. It is primarily concerned with facilitating disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. The laboratory can provide a variety of haematological, chemistry, immunology, and serology tests thanks to its comprehensive suite of equipment and trained staff.

Clinical Skills Laboratory

Clinical Skills Laboratory

Our clinical skills lab is a learning space for students to practise their practical skills, such as suturing or using an ultrasound machine, on models and simulations. It is a safe environment to explore, attempt, improve and master the essential practical skills a vet has to perform in practice before working with patients. The lab offers the necessary materials, specialised models and simulations, as well as support by teaching staff.