Emergency Out-of-Hours and Overnight Care

Emergency Out-of-Hours

Please call our main line on 01304 206989, or any of our branch surgeries, and our out-of-hours receptionist will put you in touch with our duty vet - 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


We do not use external emergency services or contract out our out-of-hours work.  We believe that we have a responsibility to provide a 24-hour emergency service for the animals under our care - so you know that whatever happens, your pet will be seen by one of our own vets who has immediate access to your pet's clinical records, and surgical facilities and nursing staff on-site that are ready round the clock.  We use a pager system for our receptionists to contact the duty vet as mobile phone coverage can be patchy around the coast and we want you to be absolutely sure you can reach us.

If your pet becomes ill or is injured out of hours, it's easy to panic.  Although it is not nice to think about, it's a good idea to plan for what you will do should the worst happen.  For example, is your cat carrier lost in the depths of your loft?  If you have a large dog, could someone help you carry him to your car?  Do you have our number handy?


If your pet falls ill or is injured during our surgery hours (8am - 7pm Monday - Friday at Dover), please call to let us know you are coming so we can be ready for you. 

Did you know that our loyal clients* also receive 10% OFF our out-of-hours charges, just for being with us! 

*Our definition of a loyal client is someone who has had vaccinations or other routine treatment with us in the last 12 months. 

Overnight Hospitalisation Care

We appreciate how worrying it can be to leave your pet overnight - so we want to explain how it works and reassure you that your pet will be in the best possible hands with us.


First of all, we think it's vital that there is someone on site throughout the night: two of our nursing staff live in the building in case of emergency; in addition to our full 24-hour on-call service of both vets and nurses.


Secondly, we value continuation of care, so your pet will be put to bed by the nurses who have been caring for him or her during the day.  The ward nurse who feeds and administers medication to your pet during the day will give them their tea and make sure they are comfortable.  Then the late nurse who has been with your pet during the afternoon will oversee any toilet trips to the garden, administer any further medication, give any bedtime reassurances and cuddles, and settle them down for lights out.


But that's not the end of the day.  The duty nurse will continue to check on inpatients throughout the evening to make sure that everything is as it should be and will administer any  medication as it is required.  She will then be on-call alongside the duty vet to deal with any emergencies.


Sometimes animals come in so sick (or so young) that they need constant care.  Our nursing staff will stay with them or make repeated visits to medicate, feed, or just love these vulnerable patients.  Every animal, from orphaned wildlife to those with the most severe acute injury or illness, gets the same standard of intensive care when they need it.


If everything is quiet then late checks will be done by the nurses on site before everyone tries to get in some sleep.


When morning comes the ward nurse will be back in by 8am for handover, offering breakfast and morning medication to our overnight guests.


If your pet has an ongoing condition or requires regular medication, we offer a respite care service - "Holiday Hospital" - if you need to go away.  

Updated April 2020