We'd like to think of ourselves as a General Practice. We try to provide the best treatment for the majority of medical and surgical cases that come through the
door, but we realise that there are areas where "Specialists" will have more expertise and experience.
If your animal would benefit from a referral to a specialist, then we can arrange it, but in the majority of cases, we can sort things out in-house.
Vaccination - Still an important part of preventative healthcare, and until these diseases are eradicated, it will remain so. We're open-minded on vaccination intervals, but tend to follow latest data sheet recommendations.
Dog owners (and especially breeders) who believe they know more about vaccination than the the veterinary profession, may be relieved to hear that we still only
vaccinate against 2 strains of Leptospirosis. This may be conversely be a concern to those who visit Europe regularly with their dogs.
Neutering - My own dogs and cats are neutered, and we generally agree with BSAVA guidelines, that all except breeding animals are neutered, for both managemental and health reasons.
Microchipping - At £20.00 a time, it makes sense to have dogs and cats microchipped. "Painless" is misleading, but it's no more painful than an
injection, and if it helps reunite a lost pet with it's owner, then it's priceless.
We see plenty of pets with parasite problems where owners have already spent quite a lot of money on ineffective products. All the best modern treatments are
"Prescription only" which means that we can only prescribe them for pets under our care, and manufacturers are restricted in their advertising. Almost every month a new anti-parasite
product is launched which claims to offer an advantage over its predecessor. We stock most of them, and we'll be able to prescribe the most suitable one for your pet, (rather than the best
one for our corporate discount scheme).
Flavour of the month at present, are tasty tablets for dogs (with "spot-on" versions for cats- obviously!) to treat fleas, ticks and mites.
Nurses clinics- currently unavailable due to lockdown.
We're trying to limit the number of appointments at the surgery. Cancelling these "non-essential" appontment gives us more time (and room) to see the urgent cases.
Our team of RVNs run weekday "off-peak" Nurses clinics, where they offer post-op checks, and can advise on diet and preventative treatments. Their consultation fee
for chargeable procedures eg nail clipping/anal gland emptying is a very reasonable £19.50 (compared to our also very reasonable £32.50 consult with a vet.)
Laboratory - We have our own in-house laboratory where we can analyse blood, urine and skin samples while you wait. By also using an outside laboratory, we can offer the full range of diagnostic tests, and tap into the expertise of their histopathologists. Since they introduced an overnight courier service we are sending more samples to the lab.
Radiography - We have a modern High Frequency machine and digital developer. We get reliable results in seconds. (The image below is from the pre-digital era, but it was the biggest spare rib:size of dog that swallowed it, that we'd ever seen.)
Ultrasound - Our portable ultrasound scanner with variable frequency probe is particularly helpful for pregnancy diagnosis and soft-tissue
Laser - The salesman promised reduced pain, reduced bleeding, reduced swelling & infection, and quicker recovery after surgery. Some of this may be true.
Surgery - We perform a wide range of operations, from routine neutering and dental procedures, through to quite specialist soft-tissue surgery and
orthopaedics. We have a separate "clean" theatre to minimize the risks of post operative infections.
Anaesthesia - Anaesthetists are impressed that we use a Humphrey ADE machine (good, but expensive) for all our procedures. We have trained personnel to manually monitor anaesthesia and keep a check on the expensive machines that go bleep, (Nonin pulse oximeter and capnograph).
Pre-anaesthetic blood tests are an option, and we'll recommend them if we think it relevant. We routinely use the most modern (expensive again I'm afraid) induction
agents, to ensure a smooth and rapid recovery from the anaesthetic.
Infusion pumps - If you're pet has the misfortune to have to stay in hospital on an intravenous drip, then I'm sure he/she'll appreciate that attached to othe other end of the drip is an £800 machine that tends to go bleep.
Pet Passports - "Animal Health Certificates"
(To think that I once moaned about the bureaucracy of Pet Passports. AHCs have now moved things up to another level.)
As an OV it is my immense privilege to be permitted to complete these mind-numbingly lengthy documents that present a new obstacle to any owners wishing to take their pets to Northern Ireland and the EU.
These notes below will give you a warning of what you might be getting into. Sounds like great news for the (mainland only) UK tourism industry...
Your dog, cat or ferret must be microchipped.
Your dog, cat or ferret needs to be vaccinated against rabies (NB: your pet must be at least 12 weeks old before it can be vaccinated)
You will need to wait 21 days after any primary vaccinations before you travel so bear this in mind when you are planning your travel and AHC appointment
An animal health certificate (AHC) can only be issued by an Official Veterinarian (OV). An appointment for this can be arranged by contacting a veterinary practice boasting an OV.
When you apply for an animal health certificate, you will need to take your pet, along with vaccination and other medical records, to the issuing vet.
An Animal Health Certificate normally includes details of:
Pet owner’s details
Your pet’s description
Rabies vaccination details (your animal will need to have been vaccinated at least three weeks prior to the AHC appointment and have had a UK Rabies vaccine within the past three years)
Rabies blood test (as required)
Canine tapeworm treatment (as required)
Intended country of entry (The AHC has to be issued in the language of the country in which you are entering the EU)
An Animal Health Certificate, along with any other official documentation, is a legal requirement in order to bring your pet into the UK or take it to a European Union country mainland Europe without quarantine. The primary purpose is to keep the UK free from rabies, and other foreign diseases such as those transmitted by parasites that do not exist in the UK.
The owner, as named in on the animal health certificate must be aged over 16. Pets must be accompanied either by their owner or by a person authorised in writing by the owner.
An Animal Health Certificate currently costs £90.00 (This includes a standard consultation fee, + an administration/Certification fee to reflect the mountain of paperwork involved. Additional pets, upto a maximum total of 5 can be added to the certificate at a cost of £45 per pet. Any vaccinations or medications required in addition will incur additional charges). A microchip is £20.00 and will only need to be implanted once. A Rabies vaccination costs £50.00 – this will need to be repeated every three years to allow continual travel under the Pet Travel Scheme.
A animal health certificate can only be issued ten days to travel (ie: you will have 10 days to use it to leave this country).
You will need to book a 30 minute appointment (longer for multiple animals). The new AHC is a complex and time consuming document. We will need plenty of time to examine your pet, complete and check the documents as well as copy and certify all the other paperwork.
Animal health certificates can then be used for travel between EU countries (including the UK) for up to four months from the date your animal enters the EU.
The EU Regulation requires pets to be at least 12 weeks old when vaccinated. Whilst some EU countries will allow young, unvaccinated pets to travel (subject to certain conditions) the UK does not permit this. This means no pet can enter the UK unless they are 15 weeks old (12 weeks and 21-day wait).
The owner or authorised person can only be accompanied by a maximum of five pets. You cannot take more than 5 pets to an EU country or NI unless you’re attending or training for a competition, show or sporting event. You’ll need written evidence of registration for the event when you travel.
You can read more about Animal health certificates and pet travel at www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad
Specific requirements for individual countries can be found by contacting the Animal Plant and Health Agency on 0370 241 1710
Diet - We don't want to become a pet shop and don't have the space to stock a full range of foods, but through our wholesalers, we can obtain most
"Prescription" and Veterinary diets by next day delivery, at competetive prices.
Homeopathy - It's OK to use a placebo when there's no effective treatment, but please don't tell me that your pet has had a "homeopathic vaccine". I've only ever seen 2 confirmed cases of infectious canine hepatitis. One was in an unvaccinated dog, the other had had a "homeopathic vaccine".
Homeopathic wormers are more amusing. (If it wasn't basically just water, how would it know whether to kill the worm or the dog?) . A client told me that she routinely uses homeopathic wormer, and has never seen a worm. That doesn't really suprise me. You only tend to see the worms when they've been killed by wormer and then come out of the dog.
Acupuncture - Slightly more open minded on this one. I can understand that sticking a series of needles into a living creature might have an effect. Maybe I should do a weekend course, and become an expert.
Referral - We're not tied to any particular referral practice, and we can refer to whoever we would think most suitable for you and your pets circumstances.
At Home Veterinary Service Ltd
St.Mary's Veterinary Surgery
5 St.Mary's Way
If you have any queries or wish to make an appointment, please contact us: