Policies

Terms and Conditions

The Practices offers services and treatments as per these terms.

Registering your pet/pets is an acceptance of this terms and forms a contract and you are bound by these terms and conditions.

Existing clients will be subject to these terms and conditions.  As of 1st May 2022 these terms will be on our website.  By keeping your pet/pets registered at the Practices you are entering a contract and are bound by these terms and conditions.

Payment for Services/treatments

Prepayment is required before an appointment can be booked. Should less than 24 hours’ notice be given to cancel the appointment the entirety of the prepayment is not recoverable.

Payments, outside any prepayments, must be made at the time of treatment or discharge save in very limited circumstances and only with the consent of management.

In the event that this condition is breached we will request payment.  Subsequent requests will attract administration charges and recovery/court charges (if necessary).

Insurance claims

There are no charges for claims.

It is your responsibility to be aware of the terms of the policyand to contact the insurer in the event of any discrepancies or queries.

Request for excesses must be paid within 7 working days.

Subsequent requests will attract administration fees.

Resolving insurance queries may attract administration fees.

Liability for all costs remains with you in relation to direct claim.

Any claims rejected in full or part are to be met by you.

If the direct claim has not been met by the insurer within 30 days of making the claim, we reserve the right to request full payment of the same within 7 days.

We will request excess payment upfront in circumstance such as a booking for procedures/operations.

Caesarean protocol

We have recently introduced various protocols in order to focus on patient welfare during caesarean sections (C-sections). Surgical intervention is often required when dogs develop problems giving birth. We have outlined our approach to this scenario below:

  • We will continue to offer emergency c-sections as we provide our own 24 hour emergency service. Please let us know at the earliest convenience if you think that your bitch may require a caesarean (see “stages of labour” handout for signs of dystocia – difficulty birthing)
  • We will no longer be offering planned (elective) caesareans unless the bitch has experienced dystocia (difficulty birthing) on her first litter which resulted in an emergency caesarean
  • We will spay at the time of surgery if it is the second (or more) caesarean, regardless of whether the previous caesareans were elective or emergency
  • If evidence of prior caesarean (with no disclosure of previous caesarean/clinical history) we will also advise as above
  • If your dog is pregnant we would advise that we arrange for a pregnancy health check and scan at the earliest convenience from 30 days of pregnancy
  • If an elective caesarean is authorised due to a c-section on a previous birth, we will still require a pre-operative check and scan (at around 2 weeks prior to the due date). Please note however that we will then spay at the time of surgery.

Fees

The cost of a caesarean procedure will be the same whether it is elective or an emergency, however additional fees will be applied if it is an emergency c-section dependent on the time of day. Please call to discuss this further and in more detail, as vet and nurse hourly out of hour fees will be incurred along with hospitalisation fees.

A pregnancy health check and scan/pre-operative check for agreed elective c-sections will be charged as a pregnancy consultation which will include and abdominal ultrasound scan.

FAQs

  • What is classed as dystocia in a dog?

If your bitch has been in active labour (experiencing contractions and actively pushing) for over 2 hours and is struggling to pass a pup or if more than 24 hours has passed since the onset of active labour this would be classified as an emergency and you will need to call us

  • If my dog has previously had a caesarean can they have another?

Yes we would advise an elective caesarean but will neuter at time of surgery

  • Can they self-whelp if they have previously had a caesarean?

We would recommend that we take a surgical approach and perform a c-section, however we would then spay at the same time

  • Are we able to spay at a later date?

Unfortunately due to the severity of the current breeding situation in the UK we have had to introduce these protocols to prevent rogue breeding

  • Will the price be different if our dog requires an emergency caesarean?

No, the price for a caesarean will now be the same whether it is elective or an emergency, however  an out of hours call out fee will be incurred at an hourly rate if the emergency caesarean is out of normal working hours. Prices are dependent on the weight of the dog and the difficulty of the procedure, but any associated complications, medication or hospitalisation will be charged at an additional cost. Please see the “Fees” section below for further information.

  • Will milk production be affected by spaying at the time of surgery if a caesarean is required?

No, this should not affect milk let down or supply.

  • How long should we expect her to bleed for after birth?

For up to 6 weeks

  • Why is the protocol changing?

The breeding of dogs (especially brachycephalic dogs) has become increasingly popular, we therefore have a professional responsibility to ensure that high welfare standards are maintained and that breeds that are classically unable to whelp naturally are not subjected to a prolonged breeding programme. “Dogs with proven health issues caused by over-exaggeration of physical features should ideally be avoided in a breeding programme, especially if they may produce health or welfare problems in any puppies they produce.” – Kennel club. Additionally there are ethical considerations if a dog is unable to whelp naturally, as they are unsuitable for breeding and the associated reproductive abnormalities can also be hereditary. Veterinary professionals advise neutering any animals that are not intended for breeding purposes as the advantages of spaying are that it will reduce the risks of developing certain cancers, and it will prevent the risk of pyometra formation (fatal uterine infection).

Stages of labour in a dog

Stage one:

  • The cervix and uterus prepare for delivery with smaller contractions that may not be visible to you.
  • Your dog’s vulva will begin to swell in preparation for delivery and her temperature will usually drop by around 1 degree.
  • During this stage of labour, dogs may be very restless and unsettled and mum may pant and shiver – this is all perfectly normal, so don’t worry

Stage 2:

The second stage is the passing of puppies which usually takes between 3-12 hours but can take up to 24 hours.

  • Mum’s rectal temperature will return to normal as she gets ready to deliver her puppies.
  • You will see strong contractions, followed by a clear fluid from your dog’s vulva – a puppy should follow within the next 20-30 minutes.
  • Puppies are usually born within 20 minutes of each other, but it’s quite normal for mum to have a rest during delivery, and may not strain at all for up to two hours between pups. Watch your dog giving birth closely and contact us if she rests for longer than two hours.
  • It’s normal for some of the litter to be born tail-first, so don’t be alarmed if this happens. You may need to gently encourage mum to deliver puppies that are tail-first, but be very careful not to tug.
  • Mum should bite through the puppy’s sacs and umbilical cords before cleaning them herself. If you notice she is trying to chew the cords too close to the puppy, stop her and do it yourself. If labour lasts a long time, mum may need to go to the toilet in between deliveries. Keep a close eye on her in case she starts giving birth to the next pup at the same time.
  • A greenish/brown discharge may suggest a placenta has separated. If you see this, a puppy should be born within the next 2-4 hours. If it isn’t then contact us as there may be a complication with your dog giving birth.

Stage 3:

  • The placentas should pass after each puppy has been born.
  • Try to check how many placentas have been passed (note if she eats any), so you will know if any are left inside mum. If you think this has happened, contact us as we may need to intervene.
  • During this stage of labour, dogs may be very restless and unsettled and mum may pant and shiver – this is all perfectly normal, so don’t worry.

Responsible breeding

The Kennel Club advises that a bitch should be over a year old, and preferably should have had one normal season prior to mating. Bitches are in whelp for approximately 63 days, although this can vary depending on litter size.

Prior to mating, it is also important to have your bitch examined for any heritable diseases to which the breed is subject.

Regardless of what each dog looks like, its health and welfare should always be a priority and it should be able to lead a happy and healthy life. That means being able to breathe, walk, hear and see freely without discomfort. Some exaggerated conformations (such as extremely flat-faces, extremely wrinkly skin etc.) can lead to health problems, such as skin infections, eye problems or breathing difficulties.

Dogs with proven health issues caused by over-exaggeration of physical features should ideally be avoided in a breeding programme, especially if they may produce health or welfare problems in any puppies they produce.

Under regulations in Wales, breeders will require a licence if they keep three or more breeding bitches on their premises and:

  1. breeds on those premises three or more litters of puppies in any 12-month period;
  2. advertises for sale from those premises a puppy or puppies born from three or more litters of puppies for sale in any 12-month period;
  3. supplies from those premises a puppy or puppies born from three or more litters of puppies in any 12-month period; or
  4. advertises a business of breeding or selling puppies from those premises.

 

Please visit the Kennel Club website for further information

EAR CROPPING

Ear Cropping has gained popularity in recent years, with the RSPCA receiving a 620% increase of ear cropping reports between 2015-20. Ear Cropping is the act of surgically altering or even completely removing the ear pinnae to achieve a certain aesthetic and it is illegal to perform in the UK. There is no medical reason to crop a dogs ears and furthermore it is classed as mutilation under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
Whilst it isn’t illegal to own a dog with cropped ears, we do have a duty to ask questions and investigate the origin of any of our patients who have had their ears cropped. Please be aware we will not refuse medical or surgical treatment for these dogs, however we have a duty of care to report animal mutilation.

 

Why do dogs need ears?
HEARING
– Dogs ears move independently of one another, following the direction of sound so they are in the optimal position for hearing
– The outer ear is shaped to capture sound waves and funnel them into the ear canal, towards the eardrum (sadly ear cropping involves removing the outer ear)
COMMUNICATION
– Dogs use their ears to help us and other animals to understand their feelings
BODY LANGUAGE
– We can understand if a dog is happy, sad, worried, or relaxed depending on how their ears are placed

 

It is therefore against the law to crop a dog’s ears or take your dog to a veterinary practice for them to carry out this procedure. Vets will only carry out surgical procedures on the ear if there is a clear medical need. For example, removing cancerous growths or draining an aural haematoma. This is not the same as ear cropping purely for appearance.
We are proud to support the #FlopNotCrop veterinary campaign led by the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and The FOAL Group (Focus On Animal Law). The consultation was recently debated in parliament which calls for a government ban on all dogs with cropped ears from entering the UK.