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We understand that it can be a worrying time whilst your beloved pet is visiting us for surgery or treatment, whether for an elective procedure such as neutering or because your pet is injured or unwell.

To alleviate any worries or uncertainty, we have detailed below what you can expect when your pet is admitted to Sandhole. Of course, we would always encourage you to speak with any of our team members if you are concerned.

Admissions

You will be given an admission appointment time. Your pet will normally be seen by one of our lovely qualified and friendly nurses, but if your pet hasn't been seen recently or are coming in for something more complex, you may have a pre-op appointment with a vet.

If your pet is particularly anxious, we will always try and minimise stress further:

  • We can arrange for a later admission time so that there is not long to wait before the procedure
  • Pre-med drugs (to help relaxation) can be given whilst you remain with your pet
  • The discharge appointment can be brought forward, providing we are happy with how your pet has recovered from any sedation/anaesthesia
  • As your pet is admitted, you will be given a full estimate of likely costs, and we will discuss the details of your pet's procedure, answering any questions you may have. We will check that your contact details are up to date and take details of your pet's usual routine - meal times, toileting routine, cat litter preference, food type etc. - we always do our best to adhere to these. Please do feel free to bring a small amount of your pet's usual food, which will help us encourage them to eat after the procedure. We are unable to accept raw food into the practic You can also bring your pet's favourite toy or blanket, and for rabbits and guinea pigs, we recommend bringing any hutch mates along too to maintain some sense of familiarity!
  • Once you are happy that everything is clear, we will ask you to read through and sign a consent form
  • Your pet will then be settled into the appropriate ward and either given plenty of cuddles or chin rubs or left with plenty of space and time, depending on the individual pet.
  • All our wards are fitted with pheromone diffusers to help inpatients feel relaxed.

Diagnostics

At Sandhole, we use a wide range of diagnostic tools to help us get to the bottom of your pet’s problems - from a huge variety of blood and urine tests to more in-depth ultrasound scans and x-rays using our state-of-the-art equipment.  To reduce your pet's stress levels and how wriggly they are, we may use sedation or anaesthesia as required.

Anaesthetics/Sedation

Anaesthesia and sedation are required for all surgical procedures, as well as for some diagnostics. At Sandhole, we use the latest drugs alongside the most rigorous anaesthetic protocols:

  • Comprehensive monitoring equipment
  • Ongoing training to ensure we are up to date with the latest thinking
  • All our anaesthetists are fully qualified and highly experienced
  • An intravenous line is put in for every animal, ensuring patient safety and enabling drugs to be given quickly and calmly if required.

Surgical Procedures

We carry out a huge variety of surgical procedures here at Sandhole, ranging from simple wart removal to the fixing of complicated fractures and broken bones.  Procedures are undertaken in one of our two sterile theatres - it may surprise you to know that not all practices have these - and when fur needs to be clipped, we always aim to keep the area as small and neat as possible.

All operations are undertaken with a comprehensive pain relief protocol that will vary according to your pet's circumstances and the procedure being carried out.

Communications during the day

We will contact you as soon as possible after your pet's procedure once they are awake.  We understand that you may be worried, and so if you want to give us a call at any point, please feel free to do so.

Discharge

Inevitably you may have questions before your pet goes home - we will always discuss everything that has happened and provide you with detailed and personalised aftercare advice and support so that your pet can recover as quickly as possible. However, if you have any questions at any time, please do ask any member of our team. 

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