Coronavirus (Covid-19): what measures remain in practice to minimise risk?

387 Vets is open during our normal working hours. We are offering a full portfolio of services, but still have certain measures in place to help keep us all safe.

We would be grateful if you would please continue to make enquiries and appointment bookings by phone or through our PetsApp facility.

If visiting the practice, please make use of the hand sanitiser in reception on entry and on exit.

Appointments:

We remain keen to limit the number of people in our reception and waiting area at any one time. Therefore, we kindly request that, if possible, the number of family members accompanying their pet into practice is kept to a minimum and is ideally no more than two.

On arrival, you will be directed to sit in one of our partitioned bays in the waiting area. Please wait here until otherwise directed to help us safely manage waiting room traffic.

Should you prefer to have an outdoor consultation, please let a member of our team know and we will be happy to accommodate you.

Repeat prescriptions and pre-ordered food: 

To help us streamline this service, please give us 48 hours’ notice to ensure your prescription is ready for you when you come to collect. If you can ring us on your intended collection day and pre-pay, this will help to reduce any waiting time.

Home delivery: 

Ask us about the option of posting medications to your home. Registered clients can take advantage of our parasite treatment free home delivery service.

General protocols:

We continue to be rigorous with our cleaning and disinfecting regimes to look after everyone’s welfare and minimise virus risk, not just from C-19 but from seasonal illnesses too.  Our team remain incredibly vigilant about hand washing and hand sanitising, and we wear appropriate PPE as required.

Coronavirus (Covid-19): what measures should I be taking as a client?

We have in place telephone and video consultations with vets to minimise the need for face to face contact, should you prefer. 

If you are coming to 387 Veterinary Centre for an appointment, but on the day of your appointment you have coronavirus symptoms (a new dry, continuous cough, a high temperature or loss or change in sense of taste or smell), we kindly request that you do not attend and phone us to rearrange. If it is critical that your pet is seen, we will discuss how we can best support you.

Can I catch Covid-19 from my pet, or can my pet catch it from me?

The virus is generally passed from person by person by coughing and sneezing, and there is no current evidence that companion animals can spread the virus from person to person.

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) states that there is a possibility for some animals to become infected with Covid-19 through close contact with infected humans. Several dogs and domestic cats have tested positive for Covid-19 following close contact with infected humans. 

If your pet is exposed to the virus, it’s possible that the virus may remain on their fur for a short period of time, just as the virus can remain on other surfaces such as tables and doorknobs.

The British Veterinary Association recommends practising good hand hygiene by washing your hands thoroughly (for 20 seconds with soap and water) after stroking, touching or cuddling your pet.

What are our opening times?

  • Monday to Friday: 8am to 6.30pm
    • 15-minute consultations: 9am to 12.15pm and 2pm to 6.15pm
    • Operations: 9am to 3pm
  • Saturday: 8.30am to 2pm
    • 15-minute consultations only (unless an emergency)

Contact us during opening hours on 01922 411755, or use our PetsApp facility to message the practice and a team member will message you back during the course of the working day. Our response times are normally pretty quick. You can also request appointments via this facility. Download PetsApp for free from Google Play or the Apple App Store and simply follow the app instructions to get started. 

Routine appointments can also be reserved via the online booking tab on our website homepage.

How much is a consultation?

Our consultations are 15 minutes long – 5 minutes longer than most of our neighbouring practices. Our consultation fee is £49, and related repeat visits are charged at a reduced fee of £45. Should your pet require medication, tests, further procedures or any surgery, an estimate will be given by the vet on a case-by-case basis.

What methods of payment do you accept?

We accept cash and card payments (except American Express). We regret we no longer accept personal cheques.

If you are making a claim for insured pets, we ask that you settle your account with us on the day and claim the cost of treatment back from your insurance company.

Direct claims are occasionally offered, but this is on a case-by-case basis with a pre-agreed insurance provider and on receipt of your original policy documents showing proof of cover. Please speak to a member of our team for more information. There is an insurance claim processing fee for this service.

We accept Cats Protection neutering vouchers.

Do you see second opinions and referrals?

We are very happy to see pets from other practices for a second opinion. Our team has a wealth of experience. Four of our vets are additional postgraduate certificate holders having undertaken considerable study, research and examination in various fields of interest: Emma Goncalves in Feline Practice, Carlos Boix Boente in Small Animal Surgery, Selenia Davolio in Small Animal Dentistry and Hamish Duncan in Small Animal Medicine. Hamish is one of a small minority of vets in the UK with Advanced Practitioner status in this field.

In second opinion cases, we will need to contact your existing vets for a clinical history so that we can familiarise ourselves with your pet’s condition and any treatment or tests to date.

We are happy to refer cases that warrant it or if requested. Referral centres will usually contact you directly to arrange a mutually convenient appointment, except in the case of emergency referrals where we will liaise directly with the referral centre.

Should you wish, it is your right to seek a second opinion at another practice, and this will in no way compromise our ongoing service to you and your pet.

Do you issue prescriptions?

Prescriptions are available from this practice. You may obtain Prescription Only Medicines Veterinary category (POM-Vs) from your veterinary surgeon OR you can ask for a prescription and obtain these medicines from another veterinary surgeon or pharmacy. Your veterinary surgeon may prescribe POM-Vs only for animals under their care.

A prescription may not be appropriate if your pet is an in-patient or if immediate treatment is necessary.

You will be informed, on request, of the price of any medicine that may be dispensed for your animal. Further information on the prices of medicines is available on request.

How often will you need to see my pet if they need repeat prescriptions?

If your pet needs repeat prescriptions, the general policy of this practice is to reassess an animal every 3 to 6 months but this may vary according to individual circumstances. The standard charge for re-examination is £49.

We kindly ask that you leave 48 hours between making a repeat prescription request and collection to ensure that we have your medication in stock and ready for you.

Am I eligible for financial support?

Free vet care: If you receive Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit, means-tested help with your rent or Council Tax and live within a PDSA PetAid Practice catchment area, your pet might be eligible for free treatment funded by the veterinary charity PDSA. Visit the PDSA website to find out if you qualify (www.pdsa.org.uk). If you are eligible, you will need to attend a PDSA Veterinary Practice to receive free treatment. The nearest PDSA is the PDSA Pet Hospital, Wolverhampton (Tuxford Close, WV10 0JQ).

Means-tested cat neutering scheme: If you are in receipt of means-tested benefits, are a low household income (less than £25k per annum), are a full time student living away from home or receive a state-only pension and pension credit, you may be eligible to take advantage of the Cats Protection’s financially assisted neutering scheme. Visit https://www.cats.org.uk/what-we-do/neutering/neutering-campaigns/west-mids-neutering for more information. Proof of eligibility will be required when booking your neutering appointment for participation.

How will you use my data?

We are committed to protecting your personal data and to storing this safely and securely on our Practice Management System. We will use your personal data to register you as a new client, to manage our relationship with you and manage payment for services provided. We will also use your data to contact you with regard to your pet’s condition should your pet be admitted, and to keep you up to date with vaccination reminders, appointment reminders and parasite treatment reminders for the health and wellbeing of your pet.

You can choose how you would like to receive communications from us, and can opt in to a range of communications around services we offer.

Please see our privacy notice for further information on how we manage your data under General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and your rights in relation to your personal data.

Can I access my pet’s records?

On request, you are entitled to copies of your pet’s clinical records. Radiographs taken on site remain the property of 387 Vets as x-ray fees relate to interpretation only.

How do I make a complaint?

We hope you will be very happy with the service you receive at 387 Vets. However, if you are unhappy, please do tell us so that we can work to improve our service for you and the rest of our clients. Do speak to one of our team members. If the person you need to talk to is not available, we will ask them to contact you, or if you prefer, please put your complaint in writing to our Clinical Director Hamish Duncan. We aim to respond to all complaints within 7 days of receipt.

What happens if I have an emergency or need vet advice after closing?

VidiVet: There may be times when you are unsure whether your pet needs emergency out of hours care when the practice is closed. For this reason, we have partnered with the 24/7 digital emergency triaging service Vidivet. You can text, video or send your photo query to a Vidivet vet, all of whom are over 5 years qualified, and you’ll receive a prompt personalised video response giving you helpful guidance and advice. We believe this is such a valuable service that we have made VidiVet FREE for all clients registered with us. More information about VidiVet is available at www.387vets.com/vidivet/

If you haven’t already received your link to access this facility , please contact us.

Symptom checker and poisons guide: Check out the 24/7 Advice tab on our website for lots of information around pet health issues, including our symptom checker  and poisons guide. If you are in any doubt about your pet’s condition, it is always best to contact VidiVet or to call us on 01922 411755 to speak to a vet. 

Out of hours care: If you need to speak to a vet directly or if your pet’s condition is a clear emergency, please call 01922 411755 and follow the answer machine instructions. Our out-of-hours provider is Pool House Veterinary Hospital in Lichfield (Fosseway Lane, WS13 8JY), and the on-call team will be able to advise you whether your pet needs to be seen.

Out of hours consultation fees at Pool House Veterinary Hospital (excluding any treatment) are as follows:

Weekdays: between 7pm and 11pm: £250; between 11pm and 8.30am: £315

Saturdays: between 2pm and 11pm: £250; between 11pm and 10am on Sunday: £315

Sundays and Bank Holidays: Between 10am – 1pm: £180; between 1pm and 11pm: £250; After 11pm £315

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What overnight care is available if my pet has to stay in?

If your pet requires hospitalisation overnight, the vet will discuss care available to you. For pets that require close observation, our out of hours provider Pool House (in Lichfield) is staffed 24 hours a day, and night duty staff will be on hand to monitor your pet. You will need to transport your pet to the hospital facility, or we can arrange for a pet ambulance (fee applies).

387 Vets does not have team members on site overnight. If your pet stays with us, the admitting vet and duty nurses will agree out of hours checks, but generally pets on the premises will not be routinely checked between 10.30pm and 7.30am.

Do you offer home visits?

Home visits are at the consulting vet’s discretion. Where appointments accommodate, we will always try to arrange a home visit, on request, between 8.30am and 6.30pm.

When is the best time to neuter your dog?

We recommend neutering dogs, females (spaying) and males (castration), at six months of age, unless they are large male dogs, where recommend castration at 18 months old. Research shows that there are no significant disadvantages to neutering dogs/bitches before puberty, that the surgery is simpler and that the animals recover much faster.

When is the best time to neuter your cat?

We recommend ‘early’ neutering in cats – between four and five months of age – as advocated by Cats Protection. This markedly reduces the risk of unwanted litters.

What are the benefits of neutering?

The benefits of neutering include:

Females:

  • No further seasons
  • No unwanted pregnancies
  • No phantom or false pregnancies
  • No potentially life threatening womb infections (pyometra)
  • Massive reduction in the risk of developing mammary cancers (if neutered at a young age)

Males:

  • More biddable nature and easier to train
  • Less frustrated
  • Less likely to inappropriately mark territory (including indoors)
  • Cannot develop testicular tumours
  • Massive reduction in the risk of developing prostate disease
  • Less male dominance aggression and in cats less fighting and roaming (statistically entire male cats are more likely to be involved in traffic accidents and more likely to catch fatal FIV infection from fighting).
  • Entire male cats smell very bad!!

Should I neuter my rabbit?

Neutering your rabbit is important for behavioural and health reasons. Entire male rabbits can become be very aggressive and difficult to handle, as can entire female rabbits. In the females, this is related to their hormonal cycles, repeatedly coming into season and then developing false/ phantom pregnancies. Neutering also prevents again uterine cancer, which affects 80% of females before they are 4 years old. Read the Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund’s ‘Neuter your bunnies’ article for more information/

Should I get one rabbit or more?

Rabbits are best kept as pairs or trios. Rabbits are not meant to live in solitude and have a deep need for companionship that can only partially be met by humans. Visit www.rabbit.org/faq-should-i-get-a-second-rabbit/ for more details. Rabbits do not always get along when kept together but once neutered it is far less likely for them fall out. Please be careful when buying 2 rabbits together – it is a very common story for a pet shop to sell you 2 rabbits of the same sex, only to find that one of them subsequently produces babies! The evidence actually indicates that the best pairs are usually a male together with a female, both of them having been neutered.

What age does my pet have to be to have its first vaccination?

Though you can start a dog’s vaccination course from 6 weeks of age we advise starting at 8 weeks old. Dogs must be at least 10 weeks old before they can receive their second vaccination but we advise waiting until 12 weeks of age if possible. The two vaccinations must be at least 2 weeks apart and no more than 4 weeks apart.

We recommend cats receive their first vaccinations at 12 weeks. They receive two injections which must be 3 to 4 weeks apart.

How soon after my dog’s vaccinations can I take it for a walk?

Puppies can be taken for a walk no sooner than 7 days after their second injection (unless advised otherwise at the time of vaccination).

Can I take my puppy in the garden before the vaccination course is finished?

The risk of your puppy catching one of the diseases we are vaccinating against in your own garden (as long as it is enclosed) is extremely low so we would advise that you toilet train and socialise your puppy in the garden immediately. Socialising puppies well is essential so we strongly advise exposing your puppy to safe, new experiences from an early age – please speak to one of our vets or nurses for more information and advice.

What should I consider before taking on a new puppy?

New puppies are absolutely gorgeous, but do be aware they require a lot of time, commitment and investment.  To make sure your prospective new puppy is absolutely right for you and your lifestyle, carry out some research on the breed you are interested in. Do consider things like exercise requirements, temperament, potential health issues that may arise … even how big your puppy will get! And if you have a family, how will they take to a boisterous (if cute) new addition who will grow bigger and older and become one of the family too? Have a look at the Kennel Club’s Are you ready for a dog? check list. Find out as much as you can before you commit to make sure your new friend becomes your best friend!

Where is the best place to source a new puppy?

We strongly recommend sourcing a puppy through a responsible breeder.  Responsible breeders will always let you visit a puppy’s home environment and see the puppy’s parents.  The Kennel Club runs an Assured Breeder Scheme so you know the puppies you are going to see have been raised to good health and welfare standards. For more information, click here.

Do be mindful that newspapers, pet shops and internet forums are all places where puppy farmers can advertise. Puppy farms are usually sources of poorly kept breeding bitches who have little social interaction, have multiple litters each year and often produce weak and nervous puppies.  These puppies may also carry infectious diseases such as potentially fatal parvovirus which can be expensive to treat.

Why should I insure my pet?

In recent years, veterinary medicine has become increasingly more advanced. We are able to diagnose and treat conditions that in the past would have been left undetected, sometimes with fatal consequences. But this more advanced treatment can be costly.

One of the hardest positions we find ourselves in, is when a client is unable to afford the treatment cost and the owner has to opt for a less effective treatment option, or a less effective treatment option. That’s where pet insurance can provide that peace of mind that you do not have to make these difficult decisions, allowing you to focus on caring for your pet.

Why is it important to choose the right insurance?

As with all insurance, premiums vary significantly and depend on a number of different factors. It is important to select an insurance policy that provides a long term commitment to the health and happiness of your pet, but is also convenient for you. It’s extremely important to get this right from the outset as in our experience, if you don’t purchase the right policy early on you may struggle to switch to a better policy at a later date. This is because changing insurer could result in a break in cover and may mean conditions you have claimed for previously become pre-existing.

Try pet insurance for free …

Why not take the opportunity of free insurance with Petplan? Activate 4 weeks free insurance for your pet and receive help covering unexpected veterinary fees up to £2,000. To start your 4 weeks free policy simply pop into our practice or to activate your own voucher, click here. There is no obligation to buy a full policy.

Terms, conditions and excesses apply and may be varied on renewal. No cover is provided for pre-existing conditions. Petplan is a trading name of Pet Plan Limited and Allianz Insurance plc.