Opening Hours 8am – 6.30pm
During these hours we will be taking phone calls, providing tele-medicine appointments and seeing any animal at Wimborne if the tele-medicine appointment indicates this is necessary. Outside of these hours, Vets Now will provide our emergency service as normal. For more information please see our Frequently Asked Questions below.
Vet Branch Closures
Following the governments instructions on people staying at home, only our Wimborne Clinic is open. We appreciate this might mean some people have to travel further to be seen if their pets have an emergency situation, however Wimborne is where our in-patient facilities are based as well as Vets Now, who will care for your pets out of hours. All our phones have been diverted to Wimborne so you can ring your normal branch number or 01202 882101. Please check our FAQs too. You may not see your usual members of out team. This is because we have divided our staff into various teams who will alternate providing cover for your pets.
NEW FAQ's (Added 9th April 2020)
Can my pet give me COVID19?
No, there is no evidence that says your pet can infect you with the COVID19 virus.
The biggest risk to you is another person with the virus so you need to follow the government recommendations of social distancing and washing your hands.
We advise that you wash your hands before and after playing with and feeding your pet, and that you don’t touch anyone else’s pet.
Can animals get infected with COVID19 virus?
A very small number of animals have tested positive for the virus. They have always been in contact with a person with COVID19. We don’t think that they can spread the virus.
They are, however, like any other ‘surface’ (e.g. a door handle or shopping trolley) so if they are touched by an infected person they could carry it on their fur. So, please wash your hands before and after handling them to keep yourself safe.
Do I need to keep my cat inside?
No, if your cat usually goes outside then it may harm their health and welfare if you shut them inside.
What will happen when I phone the practice
A member of our team will answer your phone call. As normal they will ask for details about your pets’ problem and help you as necessary. If your pet is unwell you will be offered a tele-medicine appointment. This will be booked at a time that is convenient to yourself and our vets and depending on the urgency of your pet’s problem. At the end of the tele-medicine appointment, if the vet thinks that they need to see your pet, then they will arrange a time to see you and your pet at our Wimborne branch.
Our team will explain what will happen for you to access the tele-medicine appointment (general if you are doing video ones later) and what you need to do before it. Further information is below. Payment for tele-medicine appointments will be taken over the phone when the appointment is made.
Tele-medicine Consultations £49.50
If, following your appointment, the vet decides your pet needs to be seen at Wimborne there is no additional fee.
Follow up Telemedicine Consultations £45.00
Preparing for a tele-medicine appointment
It is helpful if you can gather some basic information about your pet, such as its heart rate
In some situations, you might be asked to send photos/videos of your pet before the consultation. If this is the case please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as you can, so the vet has time to look at them before your appointment.
We can also arrange for telemedicine over Skype and Zoom: for Skype you will need to send us your phone number that the Skype account is connected to. For Zoom, we are able to send you an email or text message with a link, and you will need to download an app.
The vet will ask about the issue you are concerned about regarding your pet and will then ask any additional questions that might be helpful. They then might ask you to feel or look at certain areas of your pet to help them get more information about the problem. Please don’t be concerned if you are unable to do this. We appreciate that you are not trained but telling the vet for example if an area is hot, might be useful.
Our Veterinary Nurse Alice has produced a helpful guide showing how to look for when examining your pet at home: https://www.facebook.com/136799236352761/videos/150128106299681/
The vet will then conduct the tele-medicine appointment at the time booked.
If your pet needs some medication, if your appointment was before 2pm we will arrange to deliver it to you. If it is after 2pm we may require you to collect it from Wimborne or we can deliver the following day. There is a £6 surcharge for urgent deliveries.
For various reasons the vet might think that they need to see your pet in person. If this is the case, they will tell you when to bring them to Wimborne and will cover the procedures that we have in place to keep you and our staff members safe. You will not be charged if your pet has to be seen after the tele-medicine consultation.
Procedures for coming to the Wimborne Branch
Please do not turn up at Wimborne without having first phoned.
If you think you have covid 19 and are currently isolating or have a temperature or have developed a cough please do not come to the surgery.
Please restrict the number of people that come to the practice. Ideally only 1 person per appointment.
For an Appointment
Please wait in your car. A member of our staff will come and collect your pet. For cats we will pick up the cat basket, for dogs we will use one of our leads. Once this is in place, we will ask you to remove your lead, whilst maintaining as much distance from you as possible.
Once our team has examined your pet, we will phone you in your car and explain what we have found and discuss the treatment options as we normally do.
Out of hours please phone vets now as usual. They will discuss over the phone if they require you to bring your pet to Wimborne to be seen.
For more information click on https://www.vets-now.com/2020/03/providing-care-during-covid-19/
Delivery of Medications and Pet Food
We have started a delivery service to minimise unnecessary travel to the surgery. Please phone us to order your pets’ prescription and allow 7 days for us to order and deliver your pets medication.
There will be a charge of £4 for this service unless you are a member of our Pet Health Plan, where standard deliveries are free. There is a £6 surcharge for urgent deliveries.
The government has announced that only emergency treatment can be given. This does not include initial vaccinations courses for your puppy, kitten or rabbit, or their annual boosters unless there are very exceptional circumstances. Please take a look at our vet Duncan’s video regarding this policy: https://www.facebook.com/136799236352761/videos/256233972076288/
Puppies and Kittens
For puppies and kittens your pet will be susceptible to the diseases that they would normally be vaccinated against. It is therefore important that you do not let your kitten outside until it has had its vaccinations.
Puppies should only be allowed in your garden. There is a slight risk that they could pick up a disease from outside, but it is also really important that your puppy is socialised while it is still young. For more information on this please click on this link
Adult Dogs and Cats
Your dog or cat will still be protected if they have their booster a couple of months late, and for many diseases for longer.
The protection against leptospirosis, known as Weil’s disease in people, is the disease that needs most frequent boosters. It is a bacterium that is found in the urine of infected animals. To minimize the risk of infection don’t let your dog swim or drink standing water when outside.
Cat flu is transmitted by an infected cat shedding the virus in its saliva, eye and nasal discharge and the virus can be spread by contaminated clothes, food bowls, toys etc.
Feline leukemia is mainly spread when a comes into contact with an infected cat’s saliva or blood, and to a lesser extent urine and faeces. It only survives on the coat for a few hours.
If your kitten is not vaccinated it is best to keep them indoors until we are able to give these. The cat flu vaccine we are currently using has very good protection for up to three years: if you are in any doubt please call the practice so we can discuss the risks.
Myxomatosis is spread by biting insects such as fleas, mites and mosquitos. You can minimize the risk from these insects by making sure there are no areas of stagnant water in your garden and using a mosquito proof guard on the hutch. Also avoid putting your rabbit on the lawn at dawn and dust when there are more of these insects around.
Viral hemorrhagic disease is spread from wild rabbits. It is therefore really important keep your pet rabbit away from any place where a wild rabbit might have been. The virus can live for a long time on grass, concrete etc too.
Prescriptions for Long Term Medications
Before Covid 19 if your pet hadn’t been seen for 6 months and required some more medication, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons required us to examine your pet before we could prescribe their medication. Please call the surgery to discuss your own pet’s particular situation.
Flea and Worm Treatment
It is really important to keep you pet well. If you need more flea or worm treatment for your pet, please phone the practice and we can arrange a delivery for you. Please do not make a journey to the surgery to collect this.
Normally we need to have seen your pet in the last year to prescribe this treatment. Until further notice during the period of lock down, there is flexibility about this, so please call the practice to discuss.
Routine neutering of pets is not considered emergency work. There may be exceptional circumstances where it might be considered, for example if you have male and female kittens that you can’t keep separate. Please phone the surgery for more advice.
At the moment we will not be running weight-watchers’ clinics.
Please continue to feed your pet as you were advised at your last appointment. If you are not able to walk your dog as often due to the restrictions, you might need to reduce their food a little.
Pet Health Plan
Flea and worm treatment is included in the Plan and you should continue to administer this. If you need more, then call the practice and we will arrange a delivery for you. For members of our PHP there is no delivery charge except if the delivery is urgent (£6).
If your pet requires to be admitted, this will be undertaken at Wimborne where there is a fully staffed 24/7 emergency service. We will phone you at least twice a day to keep you updated on your pet’s progress. Unfortunately, we will not be allowing anybody to visit their pets while they are in-patients but we would be happy to send you photographs of them. To minimise the spread of covid 19 we cannot accept any toys, blankets or other belongings to accompany your pet. Cats should be in a plain cat carrier with just newspaper for bedding. Dog collars can be removed as we supply hospital collars and slip leads.
Sadly, despite our best efforts we are not able to save every pet that is brought to us. In this sad situation we would like to let you know we will do everything we can in the current situation, so that you can say goodbye to your pet.
If your pet has been an in-patient, we will allow you to spend some time with them to say goodbye, providing you are not isolating due to covid 19.
Before the time comes, we will discuss with you on the phone the various options.
If you would like to stay with your pet, this is possible. First, we will collect your pet from your car as we do for other appointments. Our team will then place a catheter into your pets’ vein. If your pet is an in-patient, they probably will already have one in place. We will then connect a ‘drip-line’ to this. A member of our team will then inform you to come into the consulting room, sign the consent form and then when you are ready, from a distance, the anaesthetic drug will be injected into the drip-line. You may then stay with your pet afterwards, for as long as you would like to.
On some occasions it may be possible to do this in your own car.
Our team will be wearing protective clothing to protect them and you.
If you would like us to arrange for your pet to be cremated we can arrange that for you, and if you choose to have your pets ashes returned, at an appropriate time we will arrange for them to be delivered back to you (at no extra charge)
What our Staff will be Wearing when they have Contact with You
Depending on the amount of contact our staff are expecting to have with you, they maybe wearing a mask, gloves, hat, and full protective gown. This is for both you and their protection.
How to Keep your Pets Safe, Happy and Healthy
It is important that we try and keep our pets safe, happy and healthy. Things you might think about are listed below.
Some dogs require a lot of exercise. If there more than 1 member of your household, consider taking your 1 period of exercise separately so that your dog can go out several times. Consider keeping your dog on a lead to minimise the chances of a road traffic accident or it hurting itself on barbed wire, or brambles.
It is not just physical exercise that is important it is also mental exercise too. Scatter your dog’s food on the lawn so it has to hunt for it, rather than eating it out of a bowl, teach it some new tricks or play some games.
Take a look at the following links to help stimulate your dog’s mind.
Cats and kittens need stimulation too. It is important with cats and kittens not to encourage them to play with your hands. Play with them away from you, using fishing rod type toys.
Entertaining your Pet
Blue cross for dogs
Cats protection link
It is really important to care for your pets’ teeth. If you have a bit more time, now is a perfect time to get them used to having their teeth cleaned.
You must use pet tooth paste that you can get from a pet shop, or we can arrange to have some delivered or sent to you. A soft human toothbrush is ok to use.
Start by introducing the tooth paste into their mouth, and then slowly start introducing the toothbrush. You want it to be a pleasant experience so take several days to a week. Ideally you should clean your pet’s teeth once a day
Some cats will not tolerate having their teeth cleaned and whatever you do take care not to get bitten!
With all the changes in routine that will have happened with the current lockdown, your pet may be feeling anxious. They are a few things you can do to help this.
A stressed or bored dog might become destructive, bad tempered to people or other pets or they might pester you more, for example by barking or scrapping at the door. Make sure they have a place where they can go, so they are not being pestered by children that are not at school, or other pets. If they have been crate-trained, they might like to go in a crate. Covering the crate with blankets can make it more secure and more of a den for them.
Make sure they have enough physical and mental stimulation to prevent them becoming bored. Adaptil, Pet Remedy or other calming products may help. If you think your dog is very anxious contact us for help and please be aware that a change in your dogs’ behaviour may be due to an underlying medical condition.
Cats generally do not like change. Moving a chair can be really stressful for some cats. When anxious cats may hide, or may start having inappropriate toileting behaviour, for example spraying inside. Some cats might over-groom, start eating clothing or develop cystitis as a result of stress. If you cat shows problems urinating it is really important to contact the vet. In male cats this can be a life-threatening problem.
To help with anxiety allow the cat to hide if it wants to. Do not force it to play if it doesn’t want to. Make hiding places for your cat, particularly up high if you can. Consider using Feliway, Pet Remedy or other calming products. If you are concerned about your cat, please contact us for help and please be aware that your cat’s behaviour may be due to an underlying medical condition.
As prey animals’ rabbits can easily become stressed. Avoid sudden changes to your rabbit’s routine. To keep your rabbit healthy, it is important that they have some exercise each day.
If you have a house rabbit, be aware that having more people at home due to isolation, might be stressful for your rabbit. Signs of stress include, thumping their back feet, being twitchy and jumpy and unusually aggressive or difficult to handle. Make sure your rabbit is in a quieter part of the house and has places to hide. Please be aware that a change in your rabbits’ behaviour may be due to an underlying medical condition.
Obesity is a huge problem for pets. If your pet is having less exercise than normal, please reduce their food intake to compensate. Weighing their food out with scales helps. Different people might be feeding your pet with more people at home and everyone’s cup full of food maybe slightly different.
It is lovely to give titbits but with more people at home your pet may get more than they need. If you measure out their daily food allowance each day and put it on the side, members of the family can give titbits from that allowance. Once it is gone, your pet gets no more. This is a good way to stop your pet becoming overweight when there are extra people around.
Neutering of pets is not considered emergency work.
If you have an entire bitch be very careful when she is in season. Bitches are in season usually every 6 months from about 9 months of age onwards depending on the breed and size of the dog. A male dog will detect a bitch in season from a long way away.
Owners of male entire dogs, please be considerate and aware when walking your dog. A normally well behaved dog, might not come when he is called if he detects a bitch in season!