Consultations are by appointment only and run seven days a week at our Abington surgery and five days a week at our Moulton and Acorn surgeries. If your pet is ill we will always see you on the same day, and we prioritise emergency cases.
The vet will take a clinical history - this means listening to the story of why you brought your pet to the practice. The vet will then give your pet a physical examination. Depending on the vet’s findings in the examination they may either prescribe treatments or may suggest that further tests need to be done before treatment can be prescribed.
The Treatment Plan
Our vets’ aim is to listen carefully to your concerns, to discuss fully what may be needed to diagnose and treat your pet’s condition and to support you in all the decisions you need to make for your pet. We value a personal approach and continuity of care for our patients, so we will always try and arrange follow-up consultations with the same vet wherever possible to see your pet through a particular problem.
If your pet’s illness is more complex our first opinion vets can refer you within the practice to our referral clinicians, who have additional veterinary qualifications and can offer a comprehensive range of advanced investigations and treatments in advanced imaging, internal medicine, oncology, orthopaedic surgery and soft tissue surgery.
Surgery and Hospitalisation
If your pet needs medical treatment or surgery and hospitalisation you can rest assured that our surgeries are equipped with the most up to date equipment such as an in-house laboratory, ECG, digital x-ray, ultrasound, video endoscopy and video arthroscopy. We also have access to MRI and CT scanning at our Moulton surgery *. Our first opinion vets will undertake all routine surgery and medical treatments however if your pet needs more intricate medical or surgical diagnostics or treatments we can refer you within the practice to our RCVS Advanced Practitioners in Medicine or Surgery For more details of our specialist services visit Abington Park Referrals.
Care Through Excellence
When your pet is ill making the correct diagnosis is vital, so if your pet needs further tests or hospitalisation you can rest assured that we have a complete range of diagnostic equipment available on site, so the correct treatment can be started early. Our expert team will then work together to get the best possible outcome for your pet either by medical or surgical treatment.
24 hour Nursing Care
Our nurses prepare pets for surgery and also assist the vets during surgical procedures. They are responsible for monitoring patients during all surgical procedures and provide round the clock care for patients who are having routine surgery, as well as those hospitalised as a result of illness or injury.
If your pet has to stay with us for treatment you can rest assured that they will be monitored constantly day and night in our dog or cat wards. For prolonged stays you can also visit your pet by prior arrangement with our nursing staff. Our nursing staff will also keep you regularly updated about your pet’s treatment and their progress.
* Our MRI and CT scanning is provided by our scanning partners Burgess Diagnostics
Our highly skilled and experienced nursing team are vital to the success of our practice. They provide 24 hour nursing care for all our patients and also run nurse clinics and pet physiotherapy sessions for patients recovering from injury or post surgery.
Some of our nurses have additional qualifications such as surgical nursing diplomas. All of our nurses keep up to date with the latest developments in veterinary nursing by attending regular in-house and external training courses. We are proud to be an RCVS Approved Veterinary Nurse Training Practice and have trained many veterinary nurses over the years.
Our nurses can offer advice on diet and weight control, exercise, worming and defleaing, behaviour problems and general health issues during nurse clinics.
They also admit patients for procedures, discharge patients after procedures, perform post-operative checks, remove sutures, implant microchips and administer certain injections under veterinary direction.
Many nurse appointments such as admission and discharge appointments and post operative checks are free of charge to the client, however some, for example, nail clips, injections, dressing changes etc will incur a charge.
Please contact our Abington or Moulton surgeries to make an appointment with a member of our nursing team.
Our nurses run pet physiotherapy sessions for dogs and cats at our Moulton surgery. Physiotherapy is available for either inpatients or outpatients. Treatments offered include massage, heat and cold therapy, therapeutic exercise, neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES), transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and development of home exercise plans.
Requirements for Pet Travel within the EU for non-commercial purposes (dogs, cats, ferrets):
- Microchip must be implanted before, or on the day of, rabies vaccination
- Rabies vaccination at least 21 days before travel (pet must be at least 12 weeks old). The rabies vaccine used at this practice is valid for 3 years from the date of administration
- Dogs only - if travelling to Ireland, Northern Ireland, Malta, Finland or Norway: tapeworm treatment administered not less than 24 hours and not more than 120 hours before entry
- Animal Health Certificate issued within 10 days of entering the EU; valid for 4 months of onward travel within the EU and return to the UK.
An EU-issued pet passport is valid instead of an Animal Health Certificate if the rabies vaccination within the passport is within the expiry date. UK vets are no longer permitted to make entries into EU passports (except for tapeworm and clinical examination sections) so if the rabies vaccination needs to be re-administered in the UK, the EU passport can no longer be used for travel and an Animal Health certificate must be issued as above.
Requirements for Pet Travel outside of the EU vary depending on the country of entry and we would encourage you to make an appointment with one of our Official Veterinarians who can offer further guidance.
We always promote good oral hygiene in pets and we are well equipped for pet dentistry with all the latest dental equipment including dental x-ray machines.
Could you tell if your dog had toothache?
Would you know if your cat had gum disease?
If the answer to these questions is NO see our FAQs below.
How can I tell if my pet has dental disease?
Does your pet’s breath smell? Does he prefer soft food? Does he have difficulty eating and sometimes drop food out of his mouth? Does he drool a lot? Is he off his food?
If the answer to any of these questions is YES - then he could be suffering from dental disease.
Why does it matter if my pet has dental disease?
Bad teeth are not just smelly and unpleasant-severe untreated dental disease can lead to pain, severe gum infections, loss of teeth, kidney disease and heart disease.
With modern pet dentistry techniques even the most serious dental problems can be treated.
How can I help?
Make an appointment for a dental checkup with one of our vets to see if there is already dental disease that needs treatment.
What can the vet do?
If your pet has minor gum disease only, starting a regular toothbrushing regime and use of dental chews may help prevent further problems.
Is anything else needed?
If there are already severe dental problems and gum disease a thorough examination under general anaesthetic, removal of any teeth that cannot be saved and a scale and polish are the first steps.
If there are any doubts about the roots of the teeth we also recommend dental x-rays.
Why do you recommend dental x-rays?
The roots of pets’ teeth are large so a large portion of a pet’s tooth is hidden under the gumline. Pets can have tooth decay, broken teeth or infected tooth roots yet the tooth above the gumline can still appear healthy. Taking dental x-rays means we are more likely to find all diseased teeth and remove them if necessary.
After a dental procedure what happens next?
We recommend regular toothbrushing, dental chews and regular dental checks with a vet or nurse.
Do you treat rabbits and chinchillas with tooth problems?
We provide dentistry for rabbits and chinchillas who can also have dental problems
We provide vaccination courses for dogs, cats, rabbits and ferrets. Vaccinations are one of the most important tools we have to protect our patients from many serious and often fatal diseases. We follow the World Small Animal Veterinary Association Guidelines for Vaccination. These guidelines are in place to ensure that pets are given the important “core” vaccines that they need but they are not vaccinated more often than necessary.
What vaccinations does my puppy or adult dog need?
We vaccinate dogs against canine distemper (D), hepatitis (H), parvovirus (P) and leptospirosis (L4). Puppies are given an initial course of two injections of DHPL4 - the first given at 8 weeks of age or older and the second 4-5 weeks later. In breeds that are particularly susceptible to parvovirus we recommend a third injection at 16 weeks of age. They then have a booster at 12 months - of the same DHPL4 vaccine. We then recommend a yearly healthcheck and booster of L4 alone and a full booster of DHPL4 every 3 years.
If dogs are going into kennels we recommend kennel cough vaccine which is given into the nostril. This can be given after 12 weeks of age and can be boosted yearly. It can be given 3 days before going into kennels but many kennel owners request 2 weeks before.
What vaccinations does my kitten or adult cat need?
We routinely vaccinate against feline herpes virus type 1 (FHV), calici virus, feline panleucopaenia (FPLV) and feline leukaemia (FeLV), commonly known as flu, enteritis and leukaemia vaccinations.
The initial kitten vaccination course is a course of two injections against flu, enteritis and leukaemia with the first given at 8 weeks of age, the second injection given 3-5 weeks later.
We usually recommend that all cats receive flu, enteritis and leukaemia vaccination but on request the flu and enteritis can be given without the leukaemia.
All of the vaccines are boosted annually.
What vaccinations does my kit or adult rabbit need?
Rabbits are routinely vaccinated against myxomatosis and viral haemorrhagic disease. The first vaccine can be given from 6 weeks of age. A combined vaccine is now available that protects against both diseases. As both diseases are potentially fatal it is recommended that yearly boosters are given. Viral haemorrhagic disease type 2 vaccine is now also available, it is recommended that yearly boosters are given.
What vaccinations does my kit or adult ferret need?
Ferrets are vaccinated against canine distemper- they are given a half dose of canine distemper vaccine from 8 weeks of age with a second dose given 3-5 weeks later. They should then have an annual booster.
We can microchip most types of pet. Dogs and cats are the pets we microchip most frequently but we can also microchip birds, tortoises and exotic pets. Please contact us for more details.
Please note that microchipping became compulsory for dogs in England from April 2016. See our Vaccination and Microchipping FAQs below for more information.
When can you microchip my pet?
Routine microchipping can be done either during a consultation for vaccinations or boosters or when a pet is under anaesthetic for any surgery, but can also be done by appointment at any time. For birds or exotic species please call us for more details as these may need to be done as an inpatient procedure.
Will it hurt my pet?
Microchipping is generally a painless procedure. First the vet or vet nurse will use a scanner to check the chip is working before it is implanted. Then in a dog or cat a needle containing the microchip is injected under the skin between the shoulder blades and then withdrawn leaving the chip in place. There may occasionally be a small amount of bleeding when this is done but this usually stops very quickly.
How will the chip help find a lost pet?
Once the chip is in place the chip is checked again using the scanner and then the practice staff will add the microchip details to the pet’s file. The chip registration paperwork is then completed so the pet can be registered on the microchip company’s database. If your pet goes missing and is found and scanned the microchip number will trace the pet back to your registered address and contact details.
What happens if I move house?
It is important that your details are kept up to date - if you move house, change name or phone numbers you must let the microchip company know.
Will the chip move around inside my pet?
It is very unusual for chips to move around but even if they do this is very unlikely to harm your pet.
Will the chip always work?
Chips are usually very reliable but can very occasionally fail so it is a good idea to get them checked regularly by your vet.
We offer neutering of puppies and kittens before the age of 16 weeks. Early neutering means shorter anaesthetic times, quicker recovery from anaesthetic and shorter healing times than neutering done after 16 weeks of age. This means we can offer this surgery at much lower prices than neutering done at a later age. Neutering of pets older than 16 weeks is also available. See our neutering FAQs below.
Could it harm my pet to be neutered before 16 weeks of age?
This form of neutering has been practiced in the United States for many years and researchers in numerous Universities have followed the long term progress of animals neutered in this way. Their findings showed that there were no contraindications for neutering animals earlier than the traditional age limit of 24 weeks onwards and in fact with shorter surgery times and shorter anaesthetic times, the incidence of peri-operative complications is low. Pets only need to be starved for 2-4 hours prior to surgery and anaesthetic recovery and healing are shorter than in adults.
Could my pet have stunted growth because of early neutering?
The theory that pediatric neutering may result in stunted growth has proved to be unfounded in dogs. The long bones of dogs that undergo pediatric neutering are in fact very slightly longer than those of animals neutered after 6 months of age, as the removal of hormonal influence causes a delay in closure of growth plates; however, the growth is not disproportionate, and the curve is the same. There do not appear to be any clinical problems caused by the delayed closure of growth plates.
Could my pet become obese because of early neutering?
Obesity has many causes and there seems to be no direct association with the age at which an animal is spayed or neutered. A long-term study conducted by researchers at Cornell University followed 1,842 dogs that underwent neutering and were adopted from a shelter before 1 year of age and followed for up to 11 years. The results in fact showed a decrease in obesity for male and female dogs that had early-age neutering .
Will my pet develop hip problems because of early neutering?
Some veterinary surgeons have suggested that the incidence of hip dysplasia is higher in animals neutered earlier than 16 weeks. A study at Texas A&M University showed no increase in hip dysplasia, while a study at Cornell University showed a slight increase in incidence, there is no clear answer to this, however the Cornell study also showed that dogs sterilized at a traditional age were three times more likely to be euthanized because of hip dysplasia.
If female dogs are neutered early are they more likely to suffer from perivulvular dermatitis?
Perivulvar dermatitis has been documented in intact and spayed female dogs. The age at the time of neutering appears to have no significant influence on the incidence. This condition is related to a recessed vulva and is made worse by obesity.
What about puppy vaginitis, is this likely to be seen more with early neutering?
The incidence of puppy vaginitis is the same regardless of the age of the dog at the time of neutering.
Will my male kitten be more likely to get urinary obstruction if he is neutered young?
The suspicion that paediatric castration would decrease the diameter of the penile urethra in cats and, thus, lead to urinary obstruction has proved to be unfounded. In fact diameter of the penile urethra in an adult male cat does not vary between animals neutered at 7 weeks or at 7 months of age or from intact males.
I have a female puppy, will she be more likely to suffer from incontinence if she is neutered younger than 16 weeks of age?
Studies have shown differing conclusions with respect to estrogen-responsive urinary incontinence in dogs. The Cornell study mentioned above revealed a slightly greater risk of urinary incontinence in dogs spayed earlier than 12 weeks of age, while the Texas A&M study showed no difference. A third study showed a higher incidence of urinary incontinence in dogs spayed after their first season.
What is laparoscopy?
Laparoscopy is the term given to examination and surgery of the abdomen using a camera (endoscope), rather than making a large incision. This involves inflating the abdomen with carbon dioxide, and introducing a camera and instruments through small ports in the skin (“keyhole surgery”). This has a number of advantages over conventional surgery in appropriate procedures – smaller incisions, reduced pain after surgery meaning a more comfortable patient, fewer stitches and a quicker recovery.
Ovariectomy (Laparoscopic spay)
We can now offer keyhole spay surgery in female dogs. The procedure can be performed instead of a conventional spay surgery. It involves making 2-3 small incisions, and usually the patient is discharged the same day. The procedure involves removal of the ovaries (conventional spay also removes the uterus, although this is shown not to improve rates of incontinence or infection compared to only removing the ovaries).
The keyhole spay is quicker and less painful than conventional spay, with a faster recovery. As with humans, we do ask for permission to convert the keyhole procedure to an open one in the unlikely case of complications and we prepare for this eventuality, so the shaved area on your pet may be as large, even if the incisions are small. Please bring your pet starved from midnight the previous night as for normal surgical procedures (they may have free access to water until admission).
You will have an admit consultation with the surgeon to discuss all aspects of the procedure and answer any queries you may have. Due to the higher level of surgical training and advanced equipment required, the cost of laparoscopic neutering is higher than the conventional method. Please ask your vet if you are interested in this procedure, or call the practice on 01604 628685 if you have any other questions.
Our in house laboratory run by our dedicated Laboratory Manager Alice Howard BSc is one of the most advanced in any private veterinary practice in the UK. We have access to a vast range of specialised tests with our state of the art equipment- meaning that if we reach an accurate diagnosis quickly then treatment can start sooner.
Including haematology, biochemistry, blood gases and blood clotting assessment. We can run in-house blood gases, ammonia and advanced tests such as thromboelastographs, full coagulation tests and platelet aggregation tests.
For checking pH, concentration and presence or absence of other products such as sugar (in diabetes) or protein.
Including cytology (cell identification), as well as routine skin (for parasites, fungal spores, etc) and urine examination (for abnormal crystals, cells or bacteria).
For tissue identification and assessment and other more complex tests. Samples for these tests need to be sent to specialist external laboratories. These can be sent by courier to speed up the process and results reported to us by email – however it can often take several days or even longer to receive some external laboratory results.