FAQs and Pet Advice
You can find out the full details of our HeathCare Plan here.
The Heath Care Plan is a monthly care plan to incorporate all routine treatments.
The HCP is not an insurance policy, the plan simply incorporates all routine treatments such as preventative medication (flea and worming treatment) and vaccines.
The HCP is a 12-month rolling contract therefore will automatically renew after one year.
If, for any reason, you would like to cancel your plan then please allow for at least one month’s notice – we will then review your payments in relation to the treatment you have received.
Please be aware if your pet requires the L4 vaccine then a £10 surcharge is applied.
Once you are signed up, your account is updated with a discount of 10% therefore this will be automatically assigned to all future treatment unless informed otherwise.
Everything you need to know about your appointment…
A standard appointment is allocated in 15 minute slots. Extended appointments can be made if the reason for the appointment requires this – if you believe your appointment may require extra time then please let us know when booking the appointment.
Currently, our covid protocols are as follows:
- Due to our new premises providing increased space, you are not required to wear a mask whilst sitting in reception but please do what you are most comfortable with.
- We are allowing clients in the consult rooms with their pets however upon entering the consult room you will be required to wear a face mask and it will be down to the discretion of the vet as to how many people are allowed in the consult. We ask that you are understanding of the vets decision and the importance of keeping everyone as safe as possible.
The best thing you can do if you are worried you may be late for your appointment is to let us know as soon as possible. This will allow our reception team to make everyone aware. If you are going to be more than 10 minutes late then it is likely we will need to re-book your appointment as this could potentially compromise our remaining appointments.
The best thing you can do if you need to cancel your appointment is to let us know as soon as possible by giving us a call, email or PetsApp. The earlier you inform us of your cancellation the more of an opportunity we have of offering the appointment to another patient in need.
If you do not attend your appointment, we will aim to contact you in the next 24-48 hours to ensure everything is okay. There is no charge for missing a single appointment however it will be recorded on your pets record – repeated failures to attend your appointment may be chargeable. We are understanding that sometimes life can change and with that, plans will need to change accordingly.
If you believe your pet is in an emergency situation then we will always advise that you come straight down to us. If possible, please call us beforehand so we can prepare for your arrival. If your pet is in critical condition, then we will do what we can to attend to your pet immediately. If you pet is not in a critical condition and you have arrived without an appointment then please be aware that there might be a wait for a vet to become available.
Everything you need to know about your insurance…
Unfortunately, we are unable to recommend any insurance company specifically. We would recommend speaking to relatives or friends who may have experience surrounding pet insurance. You can also go to an online comparison website where you can pick the type of policy you would like and see what is on offer.
- DO YOUR RESEARCH – Just like our pets, pet insurance comes in all shapes, sizes and costs.
- READ THE POLICY DETAILS – The policy details will explain what will and won’t be covered.
- READ THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS – Don’t get caught out, read the small print.
Your pet insurance is there to cover the costs of emergency (non- routine) treatment. Depending on the type of insurance policy you have will determine the type of treatment covered.
If your pet is insured and you’re wanting to make a claim, here are the steps you need to take:
- Find out if your insurance company provides insurance claim forms on paper or if they have an online portal.
– If they use claim forms, you will need to acquire one by: – Requesting a claim form from your insurance company, or – Going to your company website and print one off.
- Most insurance claim forms will be separated into two sections. One section will be for you to fill in (the policyholder) and one will be for the vets.
- Fill out your section to the best of your ability. When providing information please answer as accurately as possible. PLEASE ENSURE YOU INCLUDE YOUR POLICY NUMBER. If you are unsure of anything then please let us know and we will be able to help.
- Once you have completed your sections (please make sure you have signed and dated) then please hand the entire document over to your vets.
- Once the vets have received your claim form, they will then complete the form and attach a full medical history and all relevant invoices.
- Please be aware there is an administration fee of £8 for the completion of the claim form. (The fee for a DIRECT claim for is £20).
In simple terms, a direct claim means your insurance company will pay your vet directly.
This is commonly seen in emergency practices as it is anticipated that emergency treatment can incur higher bills over a short amount of time.
You will still need to pay your excess and possibly on a co-payment, depending on your policy.
At our practice, direct claims require authorisation from the senior management team – direct claims will only be considered if the treatment is expected to be above £500. In an emergency, we would aim to receive authorisation within the hour. If you have booked your pets procedure and want to discuss the possibility on a direct claim then please speak to us PRIOR to the date of your procedure – this will allow us to prepare the paperwork for the claim.
In order to authorise a direct claim we will need to see a copy of your policy documents or for you to provide us with contact details of your insurance policy number and contact details so that we can confirm your excess and assess any potential exclusions.
Please be aware, in an event whereby your insurance company declines your direct claim, you will be liable to pay any outstanding amount.
Ordering a repeat prescription…
You can request a repeat prescription by…
- Using our prescription request form here
- Giving us a call on 01444 242500
- Drop us a message on PetsApp
- Come into the practice and talk to reception
We ask that you provide at least 24-48 hours’ notice when you require a repeat prescription. This allows time for the receptionists to submit the request, for the vet to authorise the request and for the medication to be prepared, and or, ordered in.
- It is not standard practice for the repeat prescription to be submitted, authorised and prepared on the same day. We ask that you provide at least 24-48 hours’ notice prior to you requiring the medication. This is because certain medications are special orders and not kept in stock on a regular basis.
- If you pet has not been seen by the vet in the last 6 months, by law, the vet is not allowed to dispense prescription medication. This applies to all clients, irrespective of how long your pet has been on the medication (Please see RCVS, Code of Professional Conduct, Section 4. Veterinary Medicines for further information)
- If you have any worries or are unsure as to whether the medication is helping your pet, then please speak to the vet prior to requesting a repeat prescription.
- The charge for a written prescription is £15.00 (10% discounted for HCP members).
Frequently asked questions
- Daily brushing is the single most significant difference you can make to your pet’s oral health, but this can sometimes be tricky.
- Keep sessions short (3 minutes is plenty) and take care when putting your fingers into your dog’s mouth – don’t try this if your dog is aggressive or prone to biting.
- It is always good to associate tooth brushing with a happy time, such as before going for a walk or before feeding.
Here are some tips to help you get started. It’s a good idea to repeat each stage for five days before moving onto the next step:
Getting your dog used to the taste of toothpaste.
- Wash your hands and smear a little toothpaste on your index finger
- Let your dog lick the toothpaste from your finger
- Repeat two or three times
Getting your dog used to their mouth being handled
- Smear your index finger with toothpaste
- Gently rub your finger over your dog’s teeth and gums
- Take care not to put your finger in further than your dog is comfortable with
- Repeat this several times
Introducing the toothbrush/finger brush
- Wet the toothbrush with water and then smear it with toothpaste
- Let your dog lick some of the toothpaste off the bristles to get used to the feeling
- Gently hold their mouth around the muzzle to stop them chewing the brush
- Put your index finger and thumb on either side of your dog’s nose, making a bridge over the top and lifting the lips, gently brush the canines (the big pointy teeth) up and down. Start by angling the brush towards the gum line and brush away from the gum towards the tip of the tooth.
- For now, avoid brushing the front teeth (incisors) – this is the most sensitive area.
Brushing the back teeth
- As before, brush your dog’s canine teeth up and down
- Slowly move along to the teeth behind the canines, using a circular motion
- Only go as far as your dog is happy with
- Brush both sides of the mouth
Brushing all of the teeth
- As before, brush the canines, then the back teeth and finish with the incisor teeth
- To brush the front incisor teeth, hold your dog’s mouth closed around the muzzle and gently lift the upper lip with your thumb and forefinger to reveal the incisor teeth. (Many dogs are sensitive and may sneeze when having their incisor teeth brushed)
- Gently brush the front teeth up and down
- Gradually build up the amount of time you spend brushing until you reach two or three minutes
- For maximum protection, brush your pet’s teeth every day
We would recommend bringing your puppy to see us a few days after you bring him/her home to be checked over and start getting them used to coming to the vets.
Puppies should be vaccinated from 8 weeks of age and need annual vaccinations after their initial course.
If they are not already microchipped, this must be done as a legal requirement. We can also discuss feeding, neutering, insurance, socialisation, training and the most appropriate flea, worm and tick treatment for your pet.
Socialisation is very important before the puppy reaches 16 weeks of age. Puppies should be carefully exposed to many sights, smell, sounds, and experiences and have many pleasant social interactions with different people and animals.
The following link gives some examples but is not a definitive list. Attending puppy socialisation and training classes is recommended.
Your dog may need treatment if they eat any chocolate so please contact your vet as soon as possible.
It will assist your vet if you can tell them how much chocolate your dog has eaten, what type of chocolate it was (wrappers can be very helpful) and when your dog ate the chocolate.
These details will enable them to determine whether your dog has eaten a toxic dose or not and what treatment your dog is likely to need.
Try not to panic – although this is much easier said than done.
- Focus on your dog’s needs, as it is unlikely that the seizure is immediately life-threatening.
- Pull the dog away from anything that might harm him but otherwise try to avoid touching your dog especially around the mouth as they may bite you (remember they have no control over their muscles/movement). Dogs very rarely choke on their tongues although it can occasionally occur with dogs with flat faces, e.g. pugs.
- Make a note of the time the seizure started so you can time how long the seizure lasts.
- If the seizure continues for more than four minutes, phone your local vet and arrange for your dog to be seen immediately. Try to keep your dog as cool as possible (do not wrap in towels or blankets) as they can overheat while seizuring.
Please call the practice on 01444 242500 so your dog can see a vet as soon as possible. You can reach our out-of-hours service on the same phone number when we’re closed.
Frequently asked questions
We would recommend bringing your kitten to see us a few days after you bring him/her home to be checked over and to start getting them used to coming to the vets.
Kittens should be vaccinated from 9 weeks of age and need annual vaccinations after their initial course.
We can also discuss feeding, neutering, insurance and the most appropriate flea, worm and tick treatment for your pet.
Illnesses such as infection or joint problems can lead to inappropriate urination/defaecation indoors. An examination, often alongside investigations such as urine testing, may determine the underlying cause.
Cats can also soil indoors for behavioural reasons, such as stress/anxiety or changes in their toileting environment.
The icatcare.org website has a lot of useful information regarding feline health and behaviour, such as this article on soiling indoors http://icatcare.org/advice/problem-behaviour/soiling-indoors.
Both female and male cats can be neutered from 4 months of age (possibly earlier if there are entire male and female cats in the household). Neutering is recommended for population control and welfare (reducing the number of unwanted kittens) and to reduce nuisance behaviour such as wandering, fighting, spraying and calling. Male cats are also more likely to suffer fight wounds and abscesses and are more at risk of road traffic accidents if they are entire. Female entire cats can suffer from womb infections and mammary tumours.
Frequently asked questions
Inappetence in rabbits can be extremely serious. Even failure to eat for 12 hours can lead to death due a common condition called gut stasis.
Feeding the correct diet to your rabbit is very important. Rabbits should be fed mainly hay and/or grass to help prevent dental and gut disease – hay should be available at all times.
Only a small amount of concentrates (an eggcup full of pellets per kg of your rabbit’s body weight daily) is advised as overfeeding can lead to obesity, dental, joint and gut disease.
An adult-sized handful of safe leafy green vegetables, herbs and weeds should be fed daily. Fresh drinking water should also be available at all times. Always make sure your rabbit is eating well and passing fresh faeces, as failure to do so could be a sign that they are seriously ill.
Bringing your rabbit to see us for regular weight checks, an annual examination (and vaccination) and dental exam is recommended so we can suggest alterations to diet before problems arise.
Frequently asked questions
Feather plucking can be due to a variety of causes such as organ disease, infection, poor diet, an inadequate environment, parasites or boredom.
A thorough veterinary examination is recommended to help identify the cause.