There are many reasons why your pet may be admitted to our hospitalisation facilities including: for an operation, treatment of an illness, further diagnostic tests or special care.
We realise that this is often a worrying time for you and your pet and have many systems in place to minimize any risks and worries.
After your pet is admitted into the hospital they are weighed so that the correct dose of medication can be given. They are given a heart and general health check and are then placed in a secure kennel with soft bedding. We have many different sizes of kennels appropriate for the range of animals that we treat.
If your pet is having an operation it will then be injected with a sedative and if needed a painkiller, which are chosen depending upon the pets individual requirements. The sedative will make them slightly sleepy in preparation for the anaesthetic. It will also reduce any anxiety your pet is feeling. Your pet will be regularly checked as the sedative takes effect. Other drugs may also be given at this time (eg. antibiotics)
After the operation your pet will be kept warm, monitored closely during their recovery and given more pain relief where necessary. Once we are happy that he/she has recovered sufficiently he/she will be placed back in a kennel.
We offer water and food to animals once they are fully recovered.
Even more stressful than having your pet in hospital for a routine procedure is if your animal has to be admitted because it is sick. The vet may admit your pet for many reasons, ranging from performing tests (eg. taking blood samples or obtaining urine) to treating illness. We understand how worried you will be and will contact you with updates as to the progress of your pet as necessary. We also encourage you to ring us for further updates. Animals often benefit from a visit from their owners when they are ill, so these can be arranged. You may even bring in special food for your pet if it will encourage them to eat (unless inappropriate because of illness), Many people like to leave toys or beds with their pets.
When your pet is hospitalised due to illness they will have regular checks by the vets and the nurses. These may include temperature, heart rate, respiration rate and pain measurements. Also noted will be your pet’s appetite, drinking, urination, defecation and general mood.
If your pet needs monitoring in the night arrangements are made for this to occur.
Animals often need to be given fluid therapy. This ranges from syringing fluids in by mouth, to injecting them under the skin, to placing the animal on an intravenous drip (so the fluids go directly into the vein). An extreme example of fluid therapy is a blood transfusion.
Many animals undergoing an anaesthetic will benefit from being put on a drip. This supports their organs (especially kidneys, liver and heart) whilst they are under the influence of anaesthetic drugs and encourages a more rapid recovery.
Animals that are undergoing fluid therapy (especially intravenous drips) require regular monitoring. It is crucial that the amount of fluid received by the patient is appropriate for their needs. Drip rates and volumes of fluids administered need to be checked often. Output (ie. urine production) also needs to be monitored. Our veterinary nurses are trained in all aspects of fluid management.
Our practice has an isolation ward, which is separated from the rest of the hospital. This area is reserved for animals who we suspect may have an infectious disease. There are many illnesses which are contagious to other animals (eg. Parvovirus, cat flu and feline aids) and sometimes humans (leptospirosis and salmonella). It is imperative that any animal that is suspected of having something transmissible be isolated.
The isolation ward has a large, comfortable walk in kennel. It is equipped with its own sink and hygiene facilities. Everything that becomes contaminated is placed in bags that stop the escape of infectious agents and these are incinerated. Staff members who are checking on infectious patients follow a safety protocol including wearing a gown, covers over their shoes, gloves and masks.
When necessary a ‘dip’ of disinfectant is placed at the door in which anyone exiting the isolation ward must place their feet before leaving.
This biosecurity screen is important not only for the health of the patient in isolation, but also for the other animals in the veterinary clinic.