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Refer a case with us today

The UK Veterinary profession has evolved a system of “veterinary referral” whereby your vet can refer more complicated cases to a clinician who holds further qualifications and experience within their area of interest. Referral centres will generally have a wide range of sophisticated diagnostic tools and treatments that may not be available at your local practice.

Vale Referrals is a multidisciplinary referral service for veterinary surgeons to refer complex cases for our expert team to diagnose and treat.

Why Vale Referrals?

Multidisciplinary, Friendly and Affordable

The combination of skills and experience offered by our cardiologists, dermatologist, internal medics, oncologist, ophthalmologist, orthopaedic surgeon, soft tissue surgeons and rehabilitation centre means that we are able to offer a truly multidisciplinary and complementary service.

Our veterinary surgeons include diploma and certificate holders across a range of disciplines, but our prices are realistic. We have a wide range of diagnostic tools at our disposal, including video endoscopy, laparoscopy, ultrasound, and computed tomography (CT). We aim to provide tailored care to your client’s needs.

Our veterinary surgeons work as a team with our highly skilled clinical care nurses to provide exceptional care and support to our patients. We strive to stick to our values of integrity, knowledge, care and support in everything we do.

We are conveniently located just minutes from the M5 between Gloucester and Bristol, easily accessible from the South West, South Wales and the Midlands, with ample parking for clients. We are happy to discuss any difficult cases with veterinary surgeons by telephone or email, with no obligation to take them further.

We are a RSA Approved Preferred Referral Centre

As many vets are aware, RSA have recently changed their approach to pet insurance.

RSA (Royal Sun Alliance) are underwriters for up to 60% of the pet insurance market (e.g. More Than, Tesco, M&S, John Lewis, Argos and Homebase). RSA have developed a small network of preferred referral centres across the country. Their aim is to provide the owner with the confidence that they will be sent to the most appropriate referral centre and receive the right treatment for their animal.

If your client is referred to a centre that is not on the RSA Preferred Referral Network List, they will have to pay a premium of £200 on top of their excess. This is applied per referral.

Vale Referrals have been chosen as a preferred referral centre for the following reasons:

  • Our veterinary surgeons include specialists and advanced practitioners across a range of disciplines.
  • Our prices are realistic.
  • We have a wide range of diagnostic tools at our disposal, including video endoscopy, laparoscopy, ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) and a visiting MRI service.


Do I need to prepare my pet for the appointment?

Please make sure that your pet does not eat after 8.00pm the night before the appointment. Water should be given as usual. This is very important before an anaesthetic or sedative, but is also needed to ensure reliable blood tests can be taken and helps with other diagnostic tools such as ultrasound scans, x-rays etc. If your pet is on regular medication, please call us to check if it will be appropriate for this to be given as usual on the morning of your appointment.

During your Visit

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 – 45 minutes.

Ideally the person who primarily looks after your pet should attend the appointment so that we can get the best possible information about symptoms and discuss the options and costs of treatment.

After examining your pet, the vet will explain the options for investigation and treatment, and discuss the cost of the procedures.

Your pet will then be admitted.

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 time and vets on 24-hour call.

How long will my pet stay at Vale Referrals?

Appointments are usually made in the mornings.

The vets try to keep as close as possible to appointment times, but occasionally 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. This can be no more than a guide.

  • Cardiology cases (hearts): Most animals are seen as day cases and we will need your pet with us for 3 – 6 hours. Occasionally cases may be kept overnight. Breed scheme checks will normally be done while you wait.
  • Surgery: Most animals will stay with us at least one night. Once the animal is comfortable and fully recovered from the anaesthetic they will be allowed to return home.
  • Internal Medicine: Most animals are seen as day cases and we will need your pet with us for 3 – 6 hours. If investigations require a general anaesthetic or your pet is seriously unwell it is likely they will be hospitalised.
  • Dermatology (skin): Most animals are seen as day cases and we will need your pet with us for 1 – 3 hours.
  • Ophthalmology (eyes): Depending on the examination and surgery required, some animals are admitted for surgery as a day case or they will stay with us for one night. Once the animal is comfortable and fully recovered from the anaesthetic they will be allowed to return home.
  • Dentistry: Most animals are seen as day cases and we will need your pet with us for 3 – 6 hours.

Will my pet have hair clipped?

It is necessary to clip the hair in order to take blood samples, carry out an ultrasound scan and/or surgery. We will of course keep this to a minimum and the hair will grow back quite quickly.

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 after 10.00am when ward rounds are completed and we have the most up to date information. To gain an update on your pet, please call the referrals team on 01453 547934.

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.


What care will my pet need when I get home?

We will discuss all of the aftercare with you on discharge and you will be given instructions as to any medication or special diet that is prescribed.

We will also advise if exercise should be reduced or avoided and for how long.

If your pet has undergone surgery, we may recommend a special collar to prevent the wound being licked.

You should consult your own vet if you notice any excessive discomfort, heat or swelling around the wound. You will need to return to your own vet for stitches to be removed.

When will I have the results?

When your pet is discharged, the referral vet or nurse 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. A more detailed report will then be sent to your vet, including any results that were not available at time of discharge.

Costs and Payment

How much will the investigations and treatment cost?

For routine treatment or surgery, an estimate can be given ahead of your visit. For other cases, the cost of your pet’s treatment will be discussed with you when your pet is admitted. Once 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. We will then do our best to keep you updated on any changes to costs while your pet is with us.

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. We accept credit/debit cards, cash or cheques. Please note we do not accept American Express.

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