OUR SERVICES

‘Full service’ vet clinics in Luton, Dunstable & Harpenden

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CONSULTATIONS

Our consultations are comprehensive, tailored to meet each patient’s individual needs and lifestyle.

IN HOUSE LAB

Equipped with the latest technologies, allowing us to provide a comprehensive range of diagnostic services for our patients

DIAGNOSTICS

We use the latest technology to accurately assess and diagnose your pet’s condition and provide the right solutions

ROUTINE & COMPLEX SURGERY

Committed to staying up-to-date with advancements in surgical treatments, providing your pet with the highest level of care.

At The Vet Clinic Group, we provide a wide range of veterinary services to keep your pet in top condition. Our veterinarians are well-trained and experienced in providing excellent care for all types of animals. We offer preventive care, such as vaccinations and checkups; diagnostics, such as laboratory tests and ultrasounds; treatment for acute illnesses and injuries; surgery for various conditions; dental care; nutritional counseling; and end-of-life options.

We also provide specialized services, such as exotic pet care, behavioral training, and physical therapy. Our staff are committed to helping you find the best solutions for your pet’s unique needs—we’ll work with you to create a comprehensive plan that fits both your budget and your pet’s lifestyle. We understand that no two pets are the same, which is why we strive to provide personalized, compassionate care to each one of our clients.

We believe in providing quality care for all animals. That’s why we offer flexible payment plans so that everyone can receive the treatment they need. We also accept most major credit cards and pet insurance plans as well.

Our goal is to ensure that every animal receives the best possible care—and that starts with you! Please don’t hesitate to contact us today if you have any questions or would like more information about any of our services. We look forward to helping keep your pet healthy and happy for years to come.

ICKNIELD VET CLINIC SERVICES

Surgical Operations

outine operations, eg neutering and dental work, may be booked by telephone during normal office hours and are carried out on weekdays only.

The receptionist will explain about admittance and collection times and withholding food and water. We advise that cats should be kept inside overnight, with access to a litter tray, and that dogs should be taken out to pass urine etc, before being admitted.

New patients or those that have not seen the vet for some time, are usually checked by a Veterinary Surgeon before being admitted. Please inform reception if this is the case.

Before leaving your pet, you will be asked to sign a consent form to allow us to go ahead with a procedure and to leave a daytime phone number in case the Veterinary Surgeon needs to contact you.

Emergency operations can be carried out at any time and may take precedence over routine procedures when necessary.

Emergencies

Our emergency out of hours service is provided by a Dedicated Critical Care Team who are available outside normal surgery hours. To contact this service after hours please ring the usual branch number and your call will automatically be transferred. There is a surcharge for consultations after normal working hours.

Luton Surgery: 01582 727571
Dunstable Surgery: 01582 471177
Harpenden Surgery: 01582 460158

FAQs

How will I find Vets Now?

Vets Now staff will direct you. There is also a map in Yellow Pages.

I won’t be seeing my own Vet who knows my pet?

Under our previous arrangements you could not always see your own Vet, just like you do not see your own GP at Accident & Emergency Hospitals. The most important thing to remember is that you will be seeing a Vet who is awake and experienced in looking after your pet in an emergency.

It will take me longer to get to Vets Now than my own vet – how is this better?

Previously your vet had to go to the practice from home to see you, he or she had to unlock and then find what instruments and drugs were needed. Vets Now are ready and waiting for you; they will be preparing for your arrival in the time it takes you to get there.

What happens if my pet needs to be hospitalised?

Your pet will be looked after by Vets Now until he/she can be returned to you or your practice the following working day.

How will my Vet know what treatment my pet has been given by Vets Now?

Vets Now will email, fax or phone all the details to your vet during the night so your Vet knows exactly what has happened by the next morning.

What makes Vets Now better for my pet?

Previously if your pet needed emergency treatment in the middle of the night or over a weekend, your Vet was called in especially. Your Vet works long days and weekend in addition to having to be available in an emergency. Vets Now only do emergencies – (they work shifts) therefore they are better prepared to give the very best for your pet.

Will I have to pay Vets Now at the time?

Yes – payments should be made by cash, cheque or credit card before leaving Vets Now.

Home Visits

Home visits by our vets can be arranged. For non-emergency calls we are able to visit on weekdays.

We ask that you give us two working days notice from the day you wish us to visit. To schedule a visit please telephone our reception at your nearest branch. There is an extra charge for any visit.

Repeat Prescriptions

Provided your animal has been examined by a vet within the last 6 months, we may be able to repeat the medication previously prescribed without a further consultation. The request must be approved by a vet and should be ready for you to collect on the next working day.

To provide repeat medication for flea and worm treatment, we must have seen your pet within the last 12 months.

To order repeat medication, please complete our online form HERE.

Vaccinations

There are several diseases in dogs and cats that are potentially fatal but can be prevented by vaccination. If you need any advice on vaccinations please do not hesitate to contact us.

Dogs

We recommend that dogs receive yearly vaccination against:

  • Leptospirosis
  • Parainfluenza

and every other year against:

  • Distemper
  • Hepatitis
  • Parvovirus

Cats

Cats should receive yearly vaccination against:

  • Cat Flu
  • Feline Enteritis
  • Feline Leukaemia

Puppies and kittens

Puppies, kittens and unvaccinated animals need an initial course of two injections and a yearly booster to maintain their immunity.

Rabbits

Rabbits should be vaccinated at least annually against Myxomatosis. In areas where wild rabbits are close to the garden it may be best to give a booster every six months. We also recommend a yearly vaccination against Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD).

Neutering

We would actively recommend neutering your pet at an early stage, unless you wish to breed from them later on.

Cats can be sexually mature at the tender age of 6 months. To prevent an unwanted pregnancy we advise you to have your kitten spayed (female) or castrated (male) at 5 months of age. Castrating males at this age helps to stop them roaming and getting into fights. It also reduces the pungent and pervasive smell associated with adult male cats.

Castrating male dogs will help to solve behavioural problems and minimise prostrate problems later in life. If a bitch is spayed before her first season, the risk of mammary cancer is drastically reduced.

However, these important decisions should be fully discussed with the vet to help you decide if and when you are happy to have your pet neutered.

Rabbits and guinea pigs are becoming ever more popular. Neutering them will help in controlling aggression and prevent some problems, but they are more sensitive to stress and therefore an anaesthetic may be more of a risk. Again, fully discuss this with one of our vets.

Parasite Control

Fleas on cats and dogs are inevitable unless you use some flea control. We find that many brands from pet shops and supermarkets are not effective. Fleas like nothing better than a nice, clean warm house in which to breed. The adult flea lives for a relatively short time, but can lay hundreds of eggs, which hatch in the carpets or bedding and re-infest your pet.

There are a variety of products to control fleas – The one most appropriate to your pet’s situation can be prescribed at your consultation with the vet.

Our pets also need worming. Kittens and puppies get worms from the mother, so they need worming monthly, until 6 months of age. For adult dogs and cats, we follow public health recommendations which suggest a 3 monthly worming routine.

Rabbits too can catch fleas – we now stock a new product to treat them. The most serious parasitic disease of rabbits is “Strike”. This is when greenbottle flies lay eggs, usually around the rabbit’s bottom. These hatch into maggots which literally eat the rabbit alive. Unless caught very early this is often fatal. You must be vigilant in the summer months. Predisposing factors include obesity; a dirty hutch and droppings stuck to the bottom, which must be avoided. A natural fly repellant can also be used to help prevent Strike.

Guinea pigs frequently get mites, which cause them great distress as they are so itchy. There is a medicine available to control this condition.

The majority of our flea and worm products are by prescription. This means that we must see the animal every 12 months. If your pet is having annual vaccinations (as they should), then this is not a problem. If not, then we will have to make an appointment to see your pet, when we normally charge a reduced consultation fee, for flea and worm treatment check-ups.

Dentistry

Pets need to have good oral hygiene to keep a healthy set of teeth and gums throughout their lives.

Without proper preventative care, plaque and tartar can accumulate and lead to gingivitis and periodontal disease. The structures supporting the tooth may be damaged which can ultimately lead to tooth loss, affecting the welfare and longevity of your animal.

All our surgeries have modern equipment available to mechanically clean and polish your pet’s teeth.

We also stock an excellent range of brushes and toothpaste to help with home care and can instruct on correct brushing technique.

Hill’s Pet Nutrition also produce specific formulated diets to help good oral care.

Weight Control

Weight control is one of the most important forms of preventative health care for your pet. Obesity can be a factor in the development of many diseases, such as arthritis or diabetes.

Feed requirements will vary greatly between individuals depending on metabolism, activity levels, and a variety of other factors. Most commercial pet foods will give a recommended daily amount to feed for your pet’s ideal weight. It must be remembered that this is only a guide to feeding – you must also take into account any other sources of food available.

We employ nutritional advisors so please feel free to ask for advice if you are concerned at all about your pet’s weight or feeding. We have a selection of complete foods designed to encourage or maintain weight reduction, whilst still providing balanced nutrition. Accurate scales are provided in the waiting areas.

Nutrition and weight clinics.

We are now pleased to offer free pet nutrition and weight clinics for your pets.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of your pets’ diet, food and nutrition, or are concerned your pet is overweight, then please make an appointment with one of our nurses for your free check.

Our nurses will advise you on all aspects of nutrition and weight management.  This includes diet, discussion on food types/brands, excercise and weight reduction.  They can plan a regime to help your pet achieve their optimum health and weight, with all the benefits this brings.

Obesity is preventable, and can lead to shorter life expectancy and other serious health problems.

To arrange your free nutrition appointment, please contact the Luton surgery on 01582 727571.

Acupuncture

Where conventional medicine is not applicable, acupuncture could help your pet to cope with conditions such as chronic arthritis or back pain.

Acupuncture is surprisingly well tolerated by all types of animals including dogs, cats and rabbits and response is seen in around 85% of animals. A typical session involves examining the pet for sore areas and using the fine needles to stimulate the nerves in the area to “normalise” responses to the stimulus. An average session includes 10 minutes of needles being in place.

Usually a series of 4 weekly sessions are recommended to give the best response and these can be organised at our three surgeries.

Acupuncture can be used to help the following conditions:

  • Arthritis
  • Muscle injuries – acute or chronic
  • Hip or elbow dysplasia
  • Post operative pain
  • Cruciate rupture pain
  • Bladder/urinary incontinence
  • Lick wounds/granulomas
  • Megacolon
  • Chronic idiopathic cystitis

Caroline Colborne-Baber has been trained in acupuncture and has had success with many of her patients. If you are interested in trying acupuncture for your pet, book an appointment with Caroline or call our Luton Surgery for more information: 01582 727571

Microchipping

Microchipping is a simple and permanent form of identification for your pet, essential for obtaining a Pet Passport, and for peace of mind.

It is a quick and usually painless procedure to inject a tiny microchip under the loose skin at the back of the animal’s neck. The chip holds a 15-digit code which is read by a hand held scanner. WHen the central database is contacted, the unique code number on the chip identifies the animal and the owner by name, address and telephone number.

Most local authorities, police, animal charities and vets have a scanner. The database is accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and the system is internationally recognised. Microchipping your pet requires just a normal visit to one of our surgeries.

Pet Insurance

It is well worth considering pet insurance. It means you and your vet can offer the very best medical treatment to your pet without the worry of how to pay.

When deciding on an insurer always read the small print to ensure you compere like for like. The following may help you compare policies:-

Firstly, what type of cover is offered? Lifetime cover, a fixed amount for life or an annual contract?

The most comprehensive level of cover is “Lifetime” where an insurer will offer a fixed amount of cover for vet fees each year and then reinstate the full amount of the benefit each year when you renew your policy.

Also consider whether the policy includes:

  • Referrals to veterinary University Hospitals and other referral centres where specialist knowledge and equipment is available.
  • Complementary treatment such as acupuncture.
  • Specialist diets and prescription foods.
  • Cover for animals over a certain age.
  • Third party liability should your animal cause damage or injury.

Whilst we do not recommend any particular insurance company we have information on many of the major insurers. Ask Reception for details. You may also be interested to know that when the time comes for you to make a claim we complete the claim form for you and forward it to your insurer who will then reimburse you direct.

Prescription Diets

We stock a wide range of Hill’s diets for both the healthy pet and the sick patient.

For the healthy animal

We have a wide range of Hill’s Science Plan foods to take your animal from a youngster (GROWTH diet) through adolescence into adulthood (MAINTENANCE diet) and from there into old age (SENIOR diet). Also we have a LIGHT range for those pets who are a little on the heavy side! These diets are readily available at Reception.

For the sick patient

In addition to any medical treatment your pet may be receiving, the vet may suggest a particular prescription diet as an adjunct to therapy.

These diets can be of great benefit in many conditions including heart disease, kidney problems, anorexia, urinary crystals, liver disease, obesity plus many more.

In all cases, the vet will prescribe a particular diet for your pet. These diets are not available over reception without consultation with a vet in the first instance.

If your pet is already on one of these prescription diets and you need a further supply, please remember to give our Reception staff at least three days notice so that the required food can be ordered for you.

Final Care

When the time arrives that every pet owner dreads, as your animal comes to the end of its life, we would like to think that you would trust us to advise you. We will discuss the situation carefully with you and once the decision is made, carry it out professionally but with compassion.

We understand that this is a very traumatic time and our staff are trained to help and advise you on the options available. We can recommend a professional Pet Crematorium which offers a range of services including the return of ashes in a casket if you so wish. Alternatively, you might want to be personally responsible for your pet’s burial, as long as this is permitted by your local authority.

The bond that develops between owner and pet can often be very strong and we know that many people find this to be an exceedingly difficult time. Remember, we are pet owners too and we know from personal experience how you are feeling.