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Referral FAQs

Do you have a question about our referrals?

Are you a pet owner and have a question about our referral service? Hopefully you can find the answer below but if not, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team.

What will happen when I bring my pet to Vale Referrals?

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.

How do I pay or claim on my insurance?

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. Our preferred method of payment is either by credit card, debit card or via our online portal. Please note we do not accept cheques or American Express.

Do I need to prepare my pet for the appointment?

Please ensure that your pet has not eaten since 10.00 pm 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.

Will my pet have hair clipped?

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.

How long will my appointment take?

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.

What can I do while I wait?

We have information about local attractions to visit, places to eat and some lovely local walks. Please feel free to ask our receptionists for details when you arrive at the practice. We can also suggest places to stay overnight if required.

To eat and drink:

Bank Café, 80 Parsonage Street, Dursley 01453 543920

Situated in the market town of Dursley, the Bank Café is worth a visit.

The Old Spot Inn GL11 4JQ 01453 542870

Less than 2 miles away, the “Spot”, described as “A Pub of a Thousand Locals”, is set in the beautiful Cotswolds, actually on the Cotswold Way as it passes through the town of Dursley and is a popular watering hole for walkers.

The Tudor Arms Pub, GL2 7BP 01453 890306

Located just 4.5 miles away, The Tudor Arms is a large family operated Free House beside the Gloucester-Sharpness Canal, and just ½ mile from the world famous Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. Bed and breakfast accommodation is available here.

To shop:


A charming town with a nice high street. Take a wander, explore the shops and enjoy some lunch at a local pub.


Wotton is a charming country town, steeped in history, nestled in the southern Cotswold Hills. The Cotswold Way passes through the town. There are plenty of places to eat and a wide range of small family run shops.

Wotton Farm Shop 01453 521546

About 4 miles south, lies the Wotton Farm Shop. Everything you need for your garden, and a visit to their farm shop is a must, filled with fresh produce, deli items and a butchery. Browse and end your visit with lunch and a coffee.

Cribbs Causeway Shopping Mall, BS34 5DG 0117 903 0303

Cribbs Causeway Shopping Mall is located just off the M5 near Bristol with over 135 shops and more than a dozen cafes and restaurants.

Gloucester Quays GL1 5SH 01452 338933

Stylish indoor shopping mall with high-street and designer brands offered at discounted prices, numerous restaurants and a cinema.

To see:

Wildfowl and Wetlands Centre, GL2 7BT 01453 891900

Slimbridge is one of nine wetland centres across the UK. A world renowned reserve for water birds set in 120 acres with a visitor centre, wildlife art gallery, discovery centre, observation tower, cinema and waterside restaurant.

Westonbirt National Arboretum, GL8 8QS 01666 880220

Located 12 miles away, Westonbirt Arboretum is located near the historic market town of Tetbury, and is perhaps the most important and widely known arboretum in the United Kingdom. In addition to the main arboretum, there is a separate wood dedicated for dog walkers and an onsite restaurant.

Cattle Country Adventure Park, GL13 9EW 01453 810510

Located 3 miles away, Cattle Country Adventure Park is a great day out for families and children. Visit the play barn, go boating on the lake, give a hand at the climbing net, and experience the animals from Gloucester Old Spot Pigs, rabbits, guinea pigs, goats, sheep, ducks and deer.

Berkeley Castle, GL13 9BQ 01453 810332

Located 4 miles away, Berkeley Castle origins date back to the 11th century and is an English Heritage grade I listed building. The castle has remained within the Berkeley family since they reconstructed it in the 12th century, except for a period of royal ownership by the Tudors. A visit to the castle, butterfly house, gift shop and tearoom are recommended.

Stinchcombe Golf Course, GL11 6AQ 01453 542015

A great place to spend an afternoon golfing, enjoy some food at the clubhouse or perhaps a lovely walk.

Can I call in to find out how my pet is doing?

We are always happy to give you an update while your pet is hospitalised. We suggest you call 01453 547934 after 10:00am when ward rounds are complete and we have the most up to date information. Our vets will call you if they feel you need to be informed of any change in your pet’s condition, you should ensure we have a mobile telephone number for you.

When will I have the results?

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.

What care will my pet need when I get home?

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.

Screening for Brucella Canis Infection

For the most up to date information regarding Brucellosis please visit My Family Vets.