Before your appointment, our referral vet will have reviewed the letter and case details sent by your own vet, and when you arrive, he/she will sit down with you to discuss your pet’s problems in depth. This often takes 30 minutes or longer. It is very helpful to see the person who is primarily responsible for the care of the pet. After examining your pet, the vet will explain the options for investigation and treatment, and the cost of the procedures will be discussed with you. Your pet will then be admitted for investigations. We have separate wards for dogs and cats and one of our nurses will be appointed to look after your pet. If your pet has to stay overnight, we will organise all bedding and food, unless they are on a special diet, in which case, please bring enough for their stay. We have nurses in residence at all times and vets on call 24 hours a day.
If your pet is insured:
By prior arrangement only, payment can be made direct from certain insurance companies to Vale Vets Ltd (this covers referrals), provided that you have contacted us in advance to agree this and that it has been agreed with your insurance company. Please contact our referral team on 01453 547934 to ask for details, ahead of your appointment.
If your pet is uninsured:
On collection of your pet the total payment must be made to Vale Vets Ltd (this covers referrals). We cannot agree to payment in instalments for our referral clients. We accept credit/debit cards, cash or cheques. Please note we do not accept American Express.
Please ensure that your pet has not eaten since 8.00pm the night before the appointment, but let them have their usual access to water. This is very important before anaesthetic or sedative, but is also needed to ensure that reliable blood tests can be taken and helps with other diagnostic tools such as ultrasound scans, x-rays and endoscopy. If your pet is on any medication, please inform us so we can decide if they need to continue with that medication prior to your visit.
It is likely that we will need to clip your pet. We try to keep this to a minimum, but it is necessary to take blood samples, do ultrasound scans or carry out surgery. The hair will grow back quite quickly.
Appointments are usually made in the mornings. The vets try to keep as close as possible to appointment times, but occasionally previous appointments over-run, earlier clients are delayed or emergencies occur and slight delays are therefore possible. The list below gives some indication of how long you might expect your pet to be with us, depending on which of our referral vets you are seeing, but this can be no more than a guide.
- Cardiology: most animals are seen as day cases and we will need your pet with us for 3 – 6 hours. Occasionally cases may be kept in overnight. Breed scheme checks will normally be done while you wait.
- Surgery: most animals stay overnight following their operation.
- Internal Medicine: most cases are hospitalised until they start to improve.
- Dermatology: most cases are with us for 1 – 3 hours.
- Ophthalmology: most cases are with us for a couple of hours, unless surgery is indicated.
- Exotics: most cases are usually kept with us overnight and until they show signs of recovery.
- Dentistry: most animals are day cases and will stay with us for 4 – 8 hours.
We have information about local attractions to visit, places to eat and some lovely local walks direct from our car park. Please refer to the “what can I do whilst I wait?” section of our website, or ask our receptionists for details when you arrive. We can also suggest places to stay overnight if required.
We are always happy to give you an update while your pet is hospitalised. We suggest you call after 10.00am when ward rounds are completed and we have the most up to date information. Please call 01453 547934 and speak with Mel or Sarah. Our vets will call you if they feel you need to be informed of any change in your pet’s condition and you should ensure we have a mobile telephone number for you.
When your pet is discharged, the referral vet will explain what has been done and discuss the ongoing treatment with you. You will be given a written summary of the findings and details of the treatment. These details will also be sent to your vet. Blood test results should be available the next day, but in more complicated cases the results can take much longer; days or even weeks for biopsy results and holter monitor recordings for heart conditions.
Our vet will discuss this with you on discharge and you will be given instructions as to any medication that is prescribed. If your pet has undergone surgery, we may recommend a special collar to prevent him licking the wound. You should keep an eye out for any excessive discomfort, heat or swelling. If at all concerned, consult your own vet. You will need to return to your own vet for stitches to be removed. On discharge, the vet will advise if exercise should be reduced or avoided and for how long, and if any special diet is advised during recovery.
The cost of your pet’s treatment will be discussed with you during the initial appointment. In some cases, an estimate may have been given ahead of your visit. However, it is difficult to be precise because we may not know until we do some tests what treatment would be most suitable. When we have examined your pet we can discuss the costs of the possible investigations and treatments so that you can make an informed decision about what you would like us to do. Every effort is made to finalise your account at discharge, however we do occasionally have to bill you at a later date for lab fees and other charges. The initial consultation fees are as follows:
- Medicine - £199.00
- Orthopaedic surgery - £155.00
- Soft tissue surgery - £199.00
- Cardiology - £175.00
- Ophthalmology - £178.50
- Dermatology - £239.00
- Dentistry - £125.00
All of the above prices include VAT.