Ask the Vet
Please contact us on 0115 972 7050 for urgent advice and information.
We are unable to answer any personal pet queries online.
See our previous questions answered below
Out of hours FAQs:
My pet is sick and it is 2am what should I do?
Call us! We are happy to give advice over the phone and will able to arrange an emergency appointment. Even if you are unsure, it costs nothing to call us for advice! Just call the normal number (0115 9727050) and you will be directed to the night vets.
What if it’s Sunday night/ Christmas day?
We provide emergency cover 24hrs a day, 365 days a year, so there is always someone to care for your pet.
Can I just turn up at the hospital?
No, please call first. For security reasons staff will not open the door unless you are expected.
What facilities do you have to care for my pet overnight? Will they just be left in a kennel?
Certainly not! We treat all pets like they are our own and with our new state of the art hospital and facilities we are well set up to deal with a wide range of emergencies. Our nurses are on site 24hrs a day and our vets are always on call for emergencies and will stay and monitor critical cases.
When is “Out of Hours”? What are the charges?
We have routine appointments 8am-8pm weekdays and 9am-5pm Saturday and 10am-4pm Sunday. Outside of these hours (including Bank Holidays) is Out of Hours. On weekdays out of hours charges are cheaper 8pm-11pm but it is best to enquire for up to date charges.
Who are the night vets?
Currently our night vet team is Laura (night vet manager), Maria, Charlotte and Paulina and we work a 4 week night rota with day work and time off in between.
Do you ever find time to sleep?!
A lot of clients ask us this when it’s the same vet giving updates morning and night, but we have a carefully scheduled rota with plenty of time off in the day to ensure we are well rested to be able to manage emergencies overnight. It is sometimes tiring but otherwise a very rewarding job!
Will it cost more to be seen out of hours?
To provide the level of care we do for emergencies, out of hours fees will be charged and you will be advised what these are before your visit. We have however managed to reduce the costs from our previous provider VetsNow and provide all our services on site with access to all you patient’s records.
Can I have a home visit out of hours?
The vast majority of cases are best treated at our hospital where we have all the facilities available to treat your pet so it will usually be best to transport your pet to us. It is the owner’s responsibility to arrange for transport of their pet but if you are struggling please contact us so we can advise you of local pet transport options.
I’m not a registered client with you, can I still use your Out of Hours service?
If you are registered with another vets you are obliged to use the Out of Hours service they provide, even if it’s further away/ more expensive. If you are not registered with another practice or would like to register with us instead, that’s great- we’d love to have you as one of our clients! Please note charges may be made in advance of treatment for newly registered clients.
I’m worried I cannot afford out of hours treatment, what should I do?
It’s always best to be prepared for the worst and we strongly recommend pet insurance which will provide you with peace of mind if your pet suffers an emergency accident or illness. Payment is at the time of treatment and the vet will give you an estimate of costs at the time. If you are struggling with the cost of treatment please discuss this with us at the earliest opportunity as we are mostly unable to offer credit/ payment plans.
I have found a stray animal, can you see that out of hours?
We are happy to check strays for microchips in daytime hours but are unable to take in strays to the hospital. Outside of opening hours contact your local dog warden or the RSPCA.
Are anaesthetics safe nowadays?
We have a good safety record for anaesthesia. We use modern, safe, fast-recovery anaesthetics – Propofol and isoflurane, plus good analgesia (pain relief) for the best recovery.
No anaesthetic is 100% safe, which is why we ask for signed consent, but for a normal healthy pet, even healthy older pets, the risks are normally very small.
Risk increases for ill pets, older ill pets, and especially older/ill pets such as rabbits/mice/guinea pigs. Talk to us if you have any concerns.
Can I give my pet ordinary cows milk?
Yes and no! A small amount is fine for most dogs, but most will develop diarrhoea if given too much, as they are unable to digest lactose. A few pets are allergic to milk and will get diarrhoea, sickness, or skin rashes with even small amounts. If in doubt, water is more natural, and safer!
How do I keep my young pet’s teeth healthy?
Firstly, get your puppy or kitten used to having their mouth and teeth handled from a young age. The next step is that you can then get them used to having their teeth brushed. Use toothpaste formulated specially for dogs or cats,not human toothpaste. We use a fish flavoured one for cats and a chicken flavoured one for dogs. Kits are available with instructions. Ask a nurse or vet to demonstrate brushing.
Secondly, encourage the use of chews for dogs. These may be rawhide chews, Dentastix, Nylabones or pigs ears for instance. These all help clean a dogs teeth ‘naturally’.
For cats and dogs, encourage feeding on dental cleaning biscuits-we use Hills Oral Care biscuits for dogs and cats, although there is an even more effective version called Hills T/d that we recommend for many dogs and cats.
When do vaccinations start?
In cats, we give a course of 2 injections, 3-4 weeks apart, to kittens who are 9 weeks of age or older.
The vaccine protects against cat ‘flu, Feline Infectious Enteritis, Feline Leukaemia Virus, and Chlamydia. Annual boosters are needed.
In dogs, the normal puppy vaccination course is two injections 2 weeks apart, with the first one given at 8 weeks of age or over, and the second at 12 weeks of age or over. In reality this means we usually give the first at 8-10 weeks, and the second at 12 weeks of age. This is a slight move from earlier vaccinating, which is now thought to be not as effective in protection. Indeed with some breeds, such as Rottweilers and Dobermanns, a 3rd vaccination at age 16 weeks is also advised.
The vaccine protects against Distemper, Parvovirus, Leptospirosis, Infectious Canine Hepatitis, and Parainfluenza virus. Annual boosters are needed.
When should we neuter?
We normally advise neutering male dogs at 6-9 months of age and female dogs at about 6 months of age, before their first season/heat. The exception is some large breed bitches who we prefer to neuter 2-3 months after their first season. The veterinary surgeon is happy to discuss the ins and outs of neutering for your individual pet.
We normally advise neutering male and female cats at 5-6 months of age.
My pet needs dental work – is it necessary?
You may have been advised dental work for a particular problem, eg a tooth root infection, or gingivitis or dental ‘caries’, in which case this is important and urgent for your pet’s wellbeing.
Sometimes a dental ultrasonic scale and polish are advised. This is for teeth that have heavy deposits of plaque and tartar which will get worse if left, causing more severe problems and pain.
Once clean (this is done under anaesthetic), then preventative measures can be used eg brushing or a tooth cleaning diet like Hills T/d. If left, the teeth will deteriorate, and lead to pain, health issues, and bigger expenses.