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How to contact a vet out of hours

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Amanda1801

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Working the emergency service all this long bank holiday weekend, and seeing 15 emergencies on average each day, has inspired me to write an informative post!

Most veterinary surgeries are open during normal office hours Monday-Friday, sometimes doing a half day on a Saturday.

Animals don't care whether it's a weekend, a bank holiday or the middle of the night when they become unwell or have an accident (I have the vets bills to prove it!).

Veterinary treatment should not be delayed because the vet surgery isn't open. If you need veterinary advice for any animal outside of their normal opening hours, they will have an emergency service that you can contact. Often, seeking veterinary advice from the emergency service instead of waiting until the morning, especially in animals like guinea pigs that can go downhill very rapidly, can make the difference between life and death. Just phoning for advice can make a huge difference. You will speak to a veterinary nurse or a veterinary surgeon, who can assess the problem and give advice for you to follow at home, or decide if the animal needs to be seen urgently.

So what do you do if you need to contact a vet?

Call your normal vet surgery on their normal telephone number. You should always aim to contact your own vet, or use the emergency service that they provide. There will invariably be a recorded message, telling you what to do in an emergency, either a telephone number for the vet on call, or "press 1 to speak to someone" etc. Follow this procedure for an urgent appointment or telephone advice.

If you cannot contact your normal vet or their emergency service for any reason (e.g. their phones are down), or the emergency service for your surgery is provided at a practice that you cannot access due to transport difficulties etc. (although you may have to make some kind of effort to get there - chances are it may not be on your doorstep, and there will be no buses running! You may need to phone someone for a lift or get a taxi), then look for an alternative surgery that provides 24 hour care. Searching for "veterinary surgeons" in your local area on a site like http://www.yell.com/ is probably the quickest way. The listings will often say if they provide 24 hour care. The same information above applies, there will be a number to call, and instructions telling you what to do in an emergency (or if you need advice urgently).

There is no excuse for not seeking veterinary advice because your surgery is closed. EVERY veterinary practice will have an emergency service that is contactable 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
 
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Suzygpr

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Thank you for creating this thread - I'm sure I will be giving the link to it out to help people to contact their vet when their pigs need one and they don't know what to do.

Suzy x
 

Salt n Peppers mum

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Thanks for this Amanda.

I was surprised that my veterinary practise was open as normal today, even though I would have thought them to be closed.
 

Amanda1801

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Thank you for creating this thread - I'm sure I will be giving the link to it out to help people to contact their vet when their pigs need one and they don't know what to do.

Suzy x
No problem. My job requires me to work weekends and bank holidays, and a lot of people I speak to are in a state of mild panic when their pet becomes unwell and the vets are closed.

It's really important to know what to do in an emergency so I hope that this helps people be a little more prepared.
 

Amanda1801

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Thanks for this Amanda.

I was surprised that my veterinary practise was open as normal today, even though I would have thought them to be closed.
Some places are honouring it as a bank holiday today, others aren't. As it's an additional bank holiday, it's at the companies discretion. My management decided they'd have another day off today! :))
 

gogoguineas

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great post, defo should be a sticky, some new pet owners who haven't had animals at all before may just not be aware there is an emergency service for pets.
Others just need reminding that there is something you can at least TRY when your pet (any pet) becomes ill and there really isn't any excuse for not not using this service in times of emergency.
 

Trish&Ewan

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Thanks for this info. I just looked it up now and put the numbers for my vets on the fridge, in my diary and in my mobile just in case you never know. Always best to be prepared.
 

Pepperdog

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as some one who has used the out of hours several times over the years I want to thank you amanda for spelling out just how easy (and not scarey) it is
 

Amanda1801

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as some one who has used the out of hours several times over the years I want to thank you amanda for spelling out just how easy (and not scarey) it is
What's even better, is that you come through to a very nice and reassuring person like me! :(|)

And there goes the phone again!
 

Pepperdog

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What's even better, is that you come through to a very nice and reassuring person like me! :(|)

And there goes the phone again!
its not me on the phone.

Yes it is much better if you have a kind voice on the other end of the phone, helps you calm down and stop panicing
 

Amanda1801

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its not me on the phone.

Yes it is much better if you have a kind voice on the other end of the phone, helps you calm down and stop panicing
Yeah just managed to talk a woman back into a calm state and talk her through getting hold of her cat thats just been hit by a car and hiding in a patch of brambles. He's now here for treatment :)
 

Amanda1801

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poor cat :( is it really bad? - dont need details of course.
Sufficient injuries to require a short stay in the hospital, but not life threatening :)

Just got home, I love my job but man I'm tired! 15 hour day today zzz
 
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