Who are Vets Now?
Vets Now are the UK’s leading Emergency Out of Hours provider with more than 60 practices all over the UK. They only see emergencies and have the highest Out of Hours emergency caseload in the UK. Because they are so experienced and knowledgeable in emergency medicine, we trust them to look after your pet when we can’t be there.
Vets Now work out of our Park Street Hospital through the night from 6pm until 8am during the week and from 4pm on Saturday right through to 8am on Monday morning.
During these times, Vets Now will be taking good care of the pets staying with them, monitoring them regularly, as appropriate to their condition. They are able to provide immediate assistance should a pet’s condition deteriorate becoming unstable or critical, giving both us and you peace of mind. This includes performing diagnostic tests, altering treatment plans and performing surgery. They are able to provide you with regular updates if your pet is hospitalised, throughout the night/weekend if desired.
What is a stable pet?
If your pet has been admitted into Kingston during the day and requires ongoing overnight hospitalisation as a stable patient, then they will be medically assessed by Vets Now staff at least every four hours to ensure that they are on track with getting better. Their food and water will be kept topped up and they will be taken out for walks/toilet breaks or have their bedding changed, as and when necessary, depending on what type of pet they are and what their condition is.
At the evening rounds when patients are handed over from Kingston to Vets Now, a treatment plan is agreed for stable patients and is usually the plan set out by Kingston. This plan will be followed unless there is a reason for concern e.g. your pet’s condition deteriorates.
In this case the Vets Now duty staff will contact you in order to discuss decisions about changes to your pet’s treatment and/or diagnostic plan.
What is an unstable pet?
Pets that are classified as “unstable” have conditions which are more likely to change and require checking more frequently. They often require frequent medication (for example hourly eye drops, or tube feeding), and may require repeat tests e.g. blood sampling. In these cases ongoing treatment is not easy to predict or pre-plan and decisions about changing their treatment plan are anticipated.
Unstable patients are also those with heavier nursing requirements such as paraplegic patients or profuse diarrhoea cases requiring frequent bedding changes.
What is a critical pet?
Critical pets are the next level on from unstable and are the most serious cases that require ongoing, continuous care and diagnostic monitoring. They will be carefully watched and cared for by Vets Now. This will include any pets undergoing major surgery and those with serious illnesses or injuries such as breathing difficulties, continued seizuring and major traumas.
How much will it cost me for out of hours hospital care?
Pet hospitalisation and monitoring is charged at 3 levels – Stable, Unstable and Critical. If your pet is transferred to Vets Now as a stable patient and the pre-determined plan is able to be followed, there will be no additional charge from Vets Now as the costs are covered by the Kingston Vets hospitalisation fee.
If during the night/weekend your stable pet's condition changes and it becomes necessary for Vets Now to manage your pet as an unstable or critical patient, then they will contact you to discuss options and associated estimated costs.
If we recommend that your pet is transferred to Vets Now as an unstable or critical patient, then we will give you a rough guide of the costs, and Vets Now will provide you with a detailed cost at the earliest opportunity once they have come on duty and taken over the care of your pet.
All Vets Now’s hospitalisation fees include standard food and water requirements, bedding changes, toilet breaks, plus veterinary and nursing attention to the level stated. It also includes a repeat of many of the most essential diagnostic monitoring tests as appropriate to your pet’s clinical condition. An average stay in hospital may include a number of different levels of care as a patient's condition changes.
What happens now?
If your pet is stable when we receive it and we recommend it is hospitalised Out of Hours, it will simply be looked after by Vets Now following the agreed treatment plan. If we have classed your pet as stable it means that we believe minimal intervention will be necessary, but that it is in your pet’s best interest to be hospitalised overnight or over the weekend.
Should your pet’s condition change, then Vets Now will call you to update you and advise the best next steps. It could be that this will involve them increasing the level of intervention, monitoring and care, which means they will ask for your consent to create a new treatment plan. They will also update you on the options and changes to the estimated costs at this point.
If your pet is unstable or critical and requiring overnight or over weekend hospitalisation, Vets Now will ensure that they have your permission to give your pet the constant monitoring and round-the-clock care that they require. We will discuss with Vets Now the treatment plan that we recommend, and Vets Now will adapt it, with your consent, as your pet’s condition requires.