What to do in an emergency

At Orchard house vets we cover our own emergency on call, 24/7, so you will always see one of our wonderful vets. Emergency care is not quite straight forward and as a practice we try our best to be transparent and knowing the process is important, if the worst were to happen.

What should I do in the event of an emergency? 

Firstly – remain calm. We know that is easier said than done but depending on the nature of the emergency, your calmness could be vital. We advise you to give us as much detail as possible whilst acting quickly. We have a few examples of emergencies and how we would advise you handle them.

Seasonal – Each season and each event poses danger to our pets. We have regular posts about the dangers of each season and how to prevent something happening, but we all know with the best will the worst can still happen. It even happens to our own pets! Most dangers come in the form of food as our four legged friends have an excellent sense of smell, and an appetite to follow! Food which is dangerous for our pets can take as long as 24 hours to take effect, so even if your pet appears well we highly recommend calling us.

Poison – If your pet is collapsed it is vital you contact us immediately. If you have more than just yourself in the house we advise you find the source of the poison, including the consumed dose and any other information which could help us like strength, brand etc. If your pet is acting normally but you can see evidence of a product being ingested it is just as important that you contact us as sometimes a product can delay a physical response and it is during the first hour or two where treatment is much easier and safer.

Accident – Advice obviously depends on the nature and severity of the emergency but one of the most important things to do here is to remain as calm as possible. An accident can be very stressful but keeping your pet as calm as possible can be so important. Call us immediately with the details of the accident, the area affected and we will advise on the phone how to triage, or to come to the practice immediately.

Most importantly – Take great care on your journey to the practice. Emergencies tend to bring out panic in most of us, which is quite natural but getting to the surgery safely is paramount. Your safety, and those around you is equally important, and your pet needs to arrive to our surgeries as calmly, and securely as possible. Our team are wonderful and very reassuring, calm and approachable. They are highly trained in animal care but as pet owners they have a natural awareness of a situation themselves and treat every patient like it was their own pet. Therefore, they treat each owner like they would like to be treat themselves. We are proud of our team, and the quality of care is second to none. If the worst were to happen rest assured you are in outstanding hands.

How do I contact you in an emergency?

During working hours if you call your local surgery you will be able to speak to one of our team. They will advise you the best course of action. If you call outside of our opening hours you will speak to our telephone handling service, who will take your details and the nature of the emergency. They will then speak to our vet who is on call, and the vet will then call you to discuss your pets emergency.

Do you have an easy access page on your website? 

Yes! – Click here. We have all the information you need and if you are new to the area we even have a quick link for directions to the surgery, just simply enter your postcode and you’ll receive directions!

Is out of  hours emergency care more expensive? 

Where possible, we will always try to see you during working hours to keep the cost down. The nature of emergencies however often dictate us to base a decision given the emergency. Our first priority is the safety of your pet. Naturally out of hours emergency care is more expensive than working hours care and you can find prices on our website, or by following the link above to our emergencies webpage. Our vets will always try to provide an estimate of treatment, options and be as transparent as the situation allows. They may have to focus 100% on the emergency treatment, so don’t be afraid to ask for an estimate if you are not given one but again please understand an estimate can take a vet 10 to 15 minutes and depending on the emergency a vet would have to prioritise care.