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December 2017 newsletter

After Hours Emergencies

Village Veterinary Clinic is NOT attended 24 hours a day. If you have an after-hours emergency you have two choices of emergency clinics:
Hillcrest Veterinary Emergency Centre
Cube House, 32 Old Main Road Hillcrest
Cell: 084 520 1417
Sherwood after Hours Veterinary Clinic
Corner Locksley & 36 Jersey Road, Sherwood
Phone 031 207 1300

Village Veterinary Clinic is NOT attended 24 hours a day. If you have an after-hours emergency you have two choices of emergency clinics:

Hillcrest Veterinary Emergency Centre
Cube House, 32 Old Main Road Hillcrest Cell: 084 520 1417

Sherwood after Hours Veterinary Clinic
Corner Locksley & 36 Jersey Road, Sherwood
Phone 031 207 1300

ePetstoreVillage Veterinary Clinic is NOT attended 24 hours a day. If you have an after-hours emergency you have two choices of emergency clinics:
 
Hillcrest Veterinary Emergency Centre
Cube House, 32 Old Main Road Hillcrest
Cell: 084 520 1417
 
Sherwood after Hours Veterinary Clinic
Corner Locksley & 36 Jersey Road, Sherwood
Phone 031 207 1300

Village Vet Shop

shop4

Shop Open Times:
Monday - Friday:
7:45 am - 6:00 pm
Saturday:
8:30 am - 12 pm
 
Veterinary Consult Times:
Monday - Friday:
Mornings: 8:30 am - 12 pm
Afternoons: 3 pm - 5:30 pm
Saturday:
8:30 am to 11 am
 
 
 

Ceaser's Pet Parlour

ceasers_pet_parlour

A Journey through the Practice

This will take you through what will happen when you visit the practice to bring your pet for a consultation or surgery.  You can pop into our shop any time during working hours. Consultations are by appointment. For ease of reference times are given below:

Our shop hours are as follows:

Monday - Friday:  7:45am – 6:00pm

Saturday Morning: 8:00am – 12:00pm

Our veterinary consultation times are as follows:

Monday - Friday:   Mornings 8:30am to 12.00 Afternoons 3:00pm to 5:30pm

Saturday Morning: 8:30am to 11:00am

Booking an appointment

Please call 031 7640588, to book an appointment. You will need to tell us how many pets you are bringing in, and what for. We have quieter times and busier times. Saturday mornings are traditionally our busiest. If you feel your pet has a complicated problem or you would like extra time then please mention this while booking in and an extended consultation will be booked for you.  Also, if you are bringing in more than one animal we need to book extra time for you. If you are bringing your pets in for vaccinations please remember their vaccination record book so that we can update them for you.

consultsWaiting Room

This is the room that most of you would be accustomed to seeing. As our consultations are by appointment, and we have 3 consultation rooms there are not often many people waiting here. Our waiting room has two seating areas. If you have a kitty in a cage and there is a large panting dog in the one area, it would be best to choose the other to wait. We ask people to have dogs on leads and other pets in cages when in the waiting room. Even if your dog is good with cats, the other cats in the room won’t know this. Also you may have a very tame bird, but the other patient may be a bird dog, which may lead to more excitement in reception than anyone wants.When you arrive with your pet you may have to wait briefly, you can help yourself to tea or coffee, or browse through the shop. Our reception staff are highly trained and have completed many training courses on nutrition and other veterinary products. You can use this time to ask them about the most appropriate food for your pets. If you need to purchase any tick or flea products they can be kept aside for you until after your consult. Our shop assistant will carry any heavy bags to the car for you, so don’t worry if you are trying to manage kids and pets, extra hands are available to help you.Occasionally you may have to wait a few minutes, it may be because an emergency has come in and these will be assessed by the veterinarian and may be seen immediately. Also, sometimes a consultation takes longer than we intend, especially if the medical problem is complicated or if the owners are receiving bad news. Please be patient with us. The day may come when you need to cry on the vets shoulder, and will greatly appreciate the extra time, or it may be your pet’s life hanging in the balance. (See the story “A day in the life”) We will be with you as quickly as possible.

Consultation Roomorientation_3

From the waiting room you will be taken to one of our three consultation rooms where you will have your appointment with one of the vets. This is your time slot, so please feel free to use to ask any questions you may have. Your vet will give your pet a quick check all over before focussing on the major problem at hand. They will refer back to your pet’s history to see if anything there is relevant to the case at hand (bad teeth often lead to kidney and heart issues for instance). They will then discuss with you their approach to further diagnostics or treatment.If you are confused about what is being said please say so, and we will try to explain it differently. If you have financial concerns about proposed treatment please let the vet know so that they can try to find a solution for you.

orientation_4In-house Laboratory

When you bring your pet in for a consultation we may need to run some tests to confirm a diagnosis, unlike humans who have to go to a different place for a blood test or an X-Ray your pet can stay here with you, while we run them. At Village Veterinary Clinic we have extensive in house laboratory facilities to allow fast diagnosis for your pet.We use a microscope to allow us to check blood, urine, cells and bacteria. We keep special stains to allow better examination of blood and cells. We own and operate an IDEXX blood analysis machine to check things such as levels of red and white cells, and kidney and liver function. We have a blood glucometer to monitor diabetics and various strips for instant testing of urine and blood. We have a centrifuge to spin blood and fluids for analysis. We also sometimes use ultraviolet light to examine for some ringworm infections and to look at special stains in eyes. We may also prepare samples here to send to referral laboratories for more extensive testing.

Finishing up

After your consultation your invoice will be printed at the front desk. You can add any toys, food, and tick and flea products to it. You will receive any medications prescribed at the front desk. Unfortunately we have been burnt so many times by people who promise to pay later and just never do, that we now work the same as every other retail store. You will need to make payment before you leave. We don’t accept cheques, but we do take cash and all major credit cards.

Checking in for Surgery

You will check your pet in for surgery at reception. There are some legalities to take care of, as with human hospitals. First you need to sign a consent to treatment form, this outlines the terms and conditions of admitting your pet for surgery.We also require a deposit. Again, this has become necessary to implement, because in the past we have had many people that asked us to “Do whatever it takes, money is no object” and we discover later, that reason they said that was because they never intended on paying. So, as unpleasant as it sometimes is, we have had to resort this. It is a sign of good faith on your part that you are serious about your intention to fulfil your obligation to pay for the treatment and care your pet will receive. It also comes off your final invoice, so it is in fact a part payment. Once this is all taken care of, we will can do what we do best, take care of our patients.

Hospital Wards

After check in, your pet will be taken to their ward. We will weigh them and give them a thorough preclinical examination. The dog and cat wards are kept separately here. Exotics are housed separately too. Pre –meds are given to help reduce anxiety, and the wards have music in them to help keep stress levels down. Bedding is provided for every pet in hospital and changed regularly to keep them comfortable. If necessary, heating mats are provided for pets recovering from an anaesthetic.

orientation_5Prep Area

We have a general area which is used to prepare your animal for theatre. It is central to the rest of the wards, imaging room and surgery. When the surgeon is ready your pet will be brought here. An intravenous catheter will be placed and intravenous fluids will be started. Your pet will start his anaesthetic via an injection into the intravenous line and then intubated and maintained on a safe gaseous anaesthetic. All of this is done at the wet preparation table. The surgery site will be clipped and prepped for surgery.As an aside, we often have serious trauma cases, with nurses and vets fighting desperately to save a pets life. They can be very upsetting to see. You can imagine a scene in E.R drips being put up, painkillers administered and so on. It is for this reason that we don’t want clients to just walk in, unless we are expecting you. If you would like a hospital tour we are happy to arrange one, with the understanding that if a serious trauma case comes in, we will have to cut it short, all hands are needed on deck for those.
Ultrasonic Dental De-scaler and Polisher and tooth extraction.
This is done under full anaesthetic, and as such is a “major procedure”. Once the ligaments that fasten teeth to the bone of the jaw have been damaged by periodontal disease ultrasonic cleaning will not heal them. Mildly loose teeth can sometimes be preserved by cleaning and anti-biotic therapy .Severely loose teeth are best removed, this is not always easy, and depending on the damage surgery make take anywhere from 30 minutes to hours, which is why dental cost estimates can be a little tricky to give beforehand.It is a very well utilised section of the practice, and has got busier as people have begun to understand the importance of caring for their pets teeth properly. It is a very worthwhile procedure for dogs beginning to show tartar build-up.

Sterile Surgeryorientation_6

The surgery room is kept for sterile surgical procedures such as desexings and orthopaedic surgeries. The surgeon wears a surgical gown, and surgical gloves and mask while in this room. Special lights, the surgical table and the anaesthetic machine are kept in this room. The Surgeons wear Crocs™ that can be sterilised.  All instruments will have been sterilised in an autoclave. We use human grade anaesthetic, and anaesthetic monitoring equipment to ensure safety during surgery.

Radiology

The clinic has a digital imaging room for X-ray and ultrasound. Many animals need to be medicated to have x-rays taken, this allows for better quality radiographs. Imaging may be suggested for many reasons. To check for broken bones, for tumours, to look at the size and shape of the heart, to check the lungs, pregnancy scans and so on. Sometimes images are taken both pre-op and post-op.

Recovery

After surgery your pet is given time to recover. Serious cases are placed in intensive care.  They are normally placed on a heat mat with a blanket over them to keep them warm and comfortable. Like humans, every pet reacts to the anaesthetic differently. Some recover quickly, others take longer. Their age and overall health going into surgery obviously also plays a role in their recovery rate.

Phone calls and SMS’s

If your pet was booked in for elective surgery, we will usually send you an SMS letting you know when they are out of surgery and to set your mind at rest that all is well. If your pet is ill and we are doing exploratory surgery we may well ask a nurse to call you to tell you what we have found and ask you how you want to proceed. We try and keep phone calls to the surgeons during the day to a minimum; we prefer they be allowed to focus on their patients. Calls are usually returned at the end of the day, although in severe trauma cases we are often in touch more often, to involve you in the decision making process, as test results come back and treatment options need to be discussed.

Long Term Patients

If your pet is here for a while, we can set up visiting times for you. We have a visiting room for you to spend time with them, or if they are up for a bit of light exercise you can take them for a walk in the garden. It is often good for them to get out of the ward and spend time with loved ones. We can do amazing things with medicine, but the will to live comes from the animal themselves, showers of love and affection are great for the mind body and spirit of any of our patients.

Discharge

This is when your pet gets to go home. For day procedures your pet may go home in the afternoon. We pride ourselves on making the smallest incisions necessary and our stitches as neat as possible. This makes the recovery from surgery quicker and easier. We will give you any take home medication, such as anti-biotics and pain-killers. We will also go over any home care instructions.For those that have been really ill or suffered major trauma they may be here for a week or longer. When they are ready to go home we will let you know, and for these cases we usually book a “discharge appointment”. It may sound obvious, but we need to speak to the person who will be caring for the pet. We have had cases where we have spoken to one spouse, given them instructions and medication, only to have the other spouse phone distraught a few days later because the pet has deteriorated. After some discussion we find the meds have not been given, and in one case they were still in the car!This is when you will need to settle the final invoice. We may need to book a follow up appointment for a check-up or stich removal. We have kennel assistants to help you if you have a large dog and you need help getting them safely to your car.

Medications

If you have a discharge appointment your vet will go through the medication with you, the dosage and so on. We also have a wonderful label printer and we print a detailed label that goes on the medication packet. Some pets require a repeat script. We are governed by the same law as pharmacists. The Medicine Control Council says that we can give scripts for medication, but only for animals that we have seen. So in other words if you bring Fido the dog in, we can give medication for him. If we have not seen Fifi the cat we cannot give you medicine for her “while you are here”. We are also limited as to the number of repeats we give. We are allowed by law to give repeats for a maximum of 6 months. In some medical cases less, the pet needs to be reassessed frequently and type and dose of medication adjusted.

Conclusion

So that is the typical flow through the practice. We hope it all makes sense, and that you understand the reason for the way we do things. It is always our policy to be open about things with our clients so if you have any questions, please ask.