'Include Veterinary Care in Holiday Plans,' Advises the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

By Royal College Of Veterinary Surgeons, PRNE
Wednesday, July 7, 2010

LONDON, July 8, 2010 - If you are holidaying with your pet this summer, remember to find out
about the arrangements for out-of-hours emergencies at a local veterinary
practice before you go, advises the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

Veterinary surgeons across the UK are required under RCVS guidelines to
make provision for out-of-hours emergency veterinary treatment, a commitment
they have recently re-affirmed. However, it is the responsibility of animal
owners to know what to do and where to go in a veterinary emergency,
something which is particularly important when travelling away from home.

"Thankfully, the most eventful thing about a holiday for a pet is usually
all the new and exciting places to explore," says RCVS Vice-President Jerry
. "However, if an emergency does arise, pets depend on receiving prompt
veterinary attention, so owners need to know in advance what to do and where
to go."

The easiest way for animal owners to find practices local to UK holiday
destinations is via the College's free online 'Find-a-Vet' service
(www.findavet.org.uk), which can be searched by town or postcode. This
also shows whether practices are accredited by the RCVS under its Practice
Standards Scheme - a voluntary accreditation scheme which helps to promote
and maintain the highest standards of veterinary care.

"Outside normal practice hours, the provision of emergency veterinary
treatment can vary and might well be different from that which owners are
used to at home," says Jerry. "Practices may provide emergency cover
themselves, team up with other practices to look after a bigger area, or
contract out to dedicated emergency service providers."

"Practices should always be able to explain their arrangements clearly
for the times when they are closed, so it's best to give them a call
beforehand to double check," he advises. "Your usual veterinary practice may
also be able to help you target a suitable practice at your holiday

So, before setting off on holiday, animal owners should remember the

    * Use www.findavet.org.uk to locate a local veterinary practice
      and find out what its emergency provisions are, or ask your own vet for
    * Take any medication with you that your animal might already be on and
      the instructions for it's use;
    * Home visits are rare, even in an emergency, so be prepared to take your
      animal to the practice as that's where it can usually be treated best;
    * A 'holiday' practice will need to see your animal's clinical records,
      so take your usual vet's contact details with you;
    * There is no NHS for pets: emergency treatments out-of-hours will often
      be more expensive (although vets are required to obtain clients'
      consent for any non-emergency treatment);
    * Even if you're leaving your pet with a friend or pet-sitter, it's still
      worth contacting your usual practice to double check that their
      arrangements for veterinary emergencies haven't changed.

Jerry says, "Our main message to travelling pet owners is 'know before
you go' so you can relax and enjoy your holiday with your pet."


1. The RCVS is the regulatory body for veterinary surgeons in the UK and
deals with issues of professional misconduct, maintaining the register of
veterinary surgeons eligible to practise in the UK and assuring standards of
veterinary education.

For more information please contact:

Ian Holloway, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons +44(0)20-7202-0725 /
i.holloway@rcvs.org.uk or Claire Millington, Royal College of Veterinary
Surgeons +44(0)20-7202-0783 / c.millington@rcvs.org.uk

For more information please contact: Ian Holloway, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons +44(0)20-7202-0725 / i.holloway at rcvs.org.uk or Claire Millington, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons +44(0)20-7202-0783 / c.millington at rcvs.org.uk

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