Autism Awareness Hour
Bringing your pet to the vets: a visual story
Making an appointment
If your pet needs to be seen by the vet or nurse you will need to make an appointment. You can telephone the surgery on 01234 261839 during our opening hours (8am – 8pm Monday to Friday, 8am – 4:30pm Saturdays). You will hear a recorded message. This message tells you to press number 1 on your telephone to speak to a receptionist. You will need to tell the receptionist your last name and your pet’s name and when you would like to see the vet or nurse. The receptionist will book you an appointment on our computer system. If you would like to see a particular vet, please tell the receptionist at this point.
If your pet is seriously ill at night or on a Sunday, do not panic as we have a vet on duty for emergencies at these times. Please ring the usual practice number (01234 261839). You will hear a recorded message. This message tells you that if you press number 1, your call will be answered by the vet on duty. If you press number 2, your call will be answered by the nurse at the practice. You will need to tell the vet or nurse what the problem is. They may give you advice to help your pet at home, or they may ask you to come down to the surgery.
Coming for the appointment
If you are arriving by car, you can park in the car park in front of the hospital or on the street
To open the door to the hospital, press the button on the wall to the left of the main door.
Walk through the lobby and the next door will open automatically.
When you enter the waiting room, walk across to the reception desk. There are usually two receptionists sitting behind the desk. If there is no receptionist there, please wait at the desk, (they might have stepped away from the desk to help another customer, but they will come back very soon).
When it is your turn to speak to the receptionist, please tell them your own name and your pet’s name. They will update the computer so that the vets and nurses know that you have arrived. They will ask you to sit down on one of the chairs in the waiting room.
If you have brought a cat, you should sit down in the cat waiting area. If you have a rabbit, you can sit in the rabbit waiting area. If you have a dog, you should sit in the main seating area in the middle of the waiting room.
If you prefer to sit outside on the bench, or in your car, please tell the receptionist that you are going to wait outside. The vet will come and collect you from the car park when it is your turn.
Waiting for your appointment
The vet or nurse will call your pet’s name and your surname when it is your turn. We try very hard to stick to appointment times, but sometimes there is a wait of 5 – 10 minutes if it is a very busy day. There is a television screen in the waiting room with information about pet health (there is no sound). There are also some magazines and leaflets for you to read whilst you are waiting. There are two toilets accessible from the waiting room.
There are four consulting rooms along the left side of the waiting room and one nurse consulting room on the right side of the waiting room. The vet or nurse will show you which room to go to when it is your turn.
Every room has a table, sink and computer. The vet or nurse will have your pet’s records open on the computer. Small dogs, cats and other small pets are usually examined on the table. Larger dogs will be examined on the floor. You may hold your pet yourself, or you can ask for a nurse to do this for you.
The vet will ask you some questions about your pet’s health and what you have noticed at home.
Then the vet will examine your pet – checking their teeth and mouth, eyes, ears, heart, chest, tummy, skin, bottom, tail and feet. They may use hand-held lights to look in the eyes and ears and a stethoscope to listen to the heart and lungs. It is okay to ask the vet if you have any questions about what they are doing.
The vet will then tell you if they have noticed any problems on the examination. They may suggest some medication to help, or recommend that further tests (such as an Xray, a blood test or a urine test) are carried out. If you have brought your pet for a routine vaccination, the injection will be given at this point. You can ask the vet how much the medication or tests will cost if they have not already told you.
After your appointment
After your appointment, you will take your pet back into the waiting room. You will need to go back to the reception desk. Tell the receptionist your pet’s name and your own name again. If the vet has prescribed any medication for your pet, the receptionist will be able to see this on the computer. They will fetch the medication and give it to you at the reception desk. They will show you how to give the medication, and tell you when to start giving it. This information will also be printed on the label of the medication. If you have any questions, ask the receptionist.
The receptionist will ask you if you need to book another appointment. It is a good idea to ask for any repeat appointments to be with the same vet that you have just seen.The receptionist will ask you to pay for the consultation and the medication at this point.
When you get home
If you find it difficult to give the medication or have any further questions when you get home, you can telephone the practice.
If your pet is staying at the hospital
If your pet is having an operation or needs some further tests or treatment, they will need to stay at the hospital. During your appointment, the vet or nurse will fill in a consent form with you. They will explain what test, treatment or operation is going to be carried out. They will also tell you how much this is likely to cost. You will need to make sure that we have the correct telephone number for you on this form.
The vet or nurse will then take your pet into the back of the hospital. There are separate wards here for cats, dogs and smaller pets. Each pet is put into an individual kennel with a comfortable bed. Food and water are provided unless the vet says this is not allowed (pets about to have an operation are not allowed to eat until after the operation). Dogs are walked regularly through the day in our enclosed garden at the back of the building.
It is a good idea to call the hospital twice a day whilst your pet is staying with us. Call the usual number (01234 261389) and press number 2 to speak to the duty nurse. This is the nurse that is looking after the patients staying in the hospital. You can ring any time after 9:30am for a morning update, and between 4:30 and 7:30pm for an evening update. If the vet needs to speak to you at any other time, they will ring you on the number you have provided.
When your pet is ready to go home, the vet or nurse will tell you what time to come and collect your pet. The vet or nurse will call you into a consultation room and give you any instructions or medication that your pet needs. They will tell you if you need to make any further appointments.
Visiting the hospital
Some clients like to visit the hospital prior to making an appointment. The reception and waiting area is open between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 4:30pm on Saturdays. If you would like a tour of the consulting rooms and hospital wards this can be arranged by contacting our reception team. Tours of the hospital are usually arranged in the evening, when operating has finished and the wards are quiet.
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Acorn House Veterinary Surgery
Linnet Way, Brickhill, Bedford, MK41 7HN