Clinics are run Monday to Friday in the morning, afternoon and early evening. They are scheduled every 10 minutes, but may extend longer if the patient requires more time. There are further clinics on Saturday morning and evening. The consulting rooms are spacious enabling the whole family to come, accommodating large dogs, or several animals. The veterinary surgeons have regular consulting periods enabling you to request to see a particular vet. We aim to maintain case continuity, but have experienced clinicians to discuss difficult cases.
We have off road parking. The reception staff will aid you, if requested, in moving your pets from and to the car. The vets will come to the car to assess patients if deemed appropriate.
The consulting rooms are fully equipped. We have Blood Pressure monitors, an ECG for heart traces, and we use a tonometer to check for glaucoma that is so gentle that it doesn't require l local anaesthesia.
Hillside Veterinary Centre is a registered Training Practice. We have three Registered Veterinary Nurses and are currently training two more. The practice is assessed externally on its facilities and standards. The nurses are always available for advice.
Our Animal Nursing Assistant runs individual weight clinics free of charge. One of our patients with great success won slimmer of the year in a National competition. You are always welcome to just pop in to weigh your pet and meet the staff.
Our large waiting room is accessed by a gentle ramp approach from off-road parking. There is a spacious client toilet. Staff will also assist you in the car park, and if appropriate, vets will attend to patients outside. The consulting rooms are large enough for the whole family or several dogs.
Consultations are by appointment and are scheduled for 10minutes. This will be extended if necessary. It is important to us to spend time with our patients and owners. We provide routine core vaccination; microchipping; PETS travel scheme (all vets are OVS); and can advise on nutrition, neutering and dentistry.
Being overweight not only puts strain on joints, heart and lungs. It interferes with the functioning of the liver and the skin. Fat produces hormones that influence appetite and glucose metabolism. It makes becoming a diabetic much more likely. It decreases quality of life significantly.
We run FREE weight clinics. Tanya has successfully guided two cats to win Hills Slimmer of the Year. May be your pet could be the next one. It doesnít always mean changing food choice.
We have separate kennelling for dogs and cats in closed non-adjoining rooms. We use Feliway in the cattery to aid with stress. We also have separate isolation kennels for contagious conditions and a vivarium for herpetiles.
We can, when necessary, take a blood sample and provide you (and us) with the results within 15 minutes. We are able to measure a variety of red and white blood cell parameters, biochemistry results, electrolytes (salts), and specific tests such as thyroid activity, blood glucose and fructosamine, and phenobarbitone levels. New tests for SDMA, an early warning test of kidney function, and C-reactive protein, a measure of systemic inflammation such as occurs with septicaemia are also available. Along with these we have specific tests for Parvo, FeLV, FIV, Lungworm, pancreatitis, and feline heart disease.
We can send samples to an outside veterinary laboratory for pathological evaluation. The results can be back the next day.
The modern x-ray unit is situated in a purpose built room. It is powerful enough to cope easily with the largest dog, and sensitive enough to deal with small exotics. The digital nature of the x-rays enables us to further enhance specific areas for examination, and transfer the images to referral centres.
If an x-ray is necessary, it usually requires sedation. Even though the exposure time is a fraction of a second, most of our patients are not used to lying still on a table in strange positions. After taking an x-ray, we will make you an appointment for later that day with the vet to talk you through the images and the diagnosis.
An ultrasound uses sound waves echoing back from organs to enable us to interpret their size and consistency. We have Doppler facility so that we can judge blood flow. Most commonly we use it for monitoring pregnancies.
The fine endoscope can be used to look up catís noses for grass blades, access French Bulldogs turbinates for airflow, or take pictures of dog's eardrums.
The tonometer is an amazing device that enables us to measure the internal pressure of an eye. Our model is excellent, in that it is so gentle, no local anaesthesia is required. The patient doesnít even blink. It works on the theory similar to a ball bouncing off a wall. Less energy is lost to the wall if it is harder than soft; with a hard wall the ball will return at a similar speed, with a softer wall it will be slower. Glaucoma is a problem in dogs and cats.
We have two systems for blood pressure measurements; an automated unit that fits the tail, and a more accurate manual Doppler unit. We usually keep the patient in for several readings to remove the stress of transport and 'white coat' anxiety.
Whilst a stethoscope can judge the acoustics of the heart, and x-rays show its shape, an ECG allows us to look at the electrics of the heart.
This is a dedicated minimalist room that is fully tiled to enable top down deep-cleaning. It is here that we perform a variety of orthopaedic and soft tissue surgeries.
We are fully equipped for external and internal fixation on fractures; cruciate and patella surgeries; major tumour removal and injury repair; caesarean sections; airway management. We have fully trained nurse Anaesthetists using up to date monitoring systems. We use the safest drugs and materials, not the cheapest.
The practice has a dedicated operating room that is maintained to operating standards. It also has a pre-operation room for preparation of animals prior to operating, or performing wet or 'dirty' operations such as dental work. This is a generous room that can also be used for consultations when needed.
We stock a variety of drugs, so as to provide the optimal sedation or pre-medication for the species, temperament and health status of the patient. Some procedures may require sedation only. Frequently we use neuroleptic analgesia - a combination of a sedative and a pain killer that avoids having to use a full anaesthesia.
Prior to any procedure, the patient will be examined to ascertain if there are any health issues to take into account, whether the condition has changed, or if there is another problem that needs attention.
Pre- anaesthesia blood screens are often performed. These are recommended for dogs and cats over eight years of age. They give an indication if there is anaemia, infection or dehydration, or a latent kidney or liver problem, that may be exacerbated by anaesthesia. We can run these tests in the practice and have results with-in 15 minutes.
We use the latest and safest gaseous anaesthesia, sevoflurane. It provides quicker recovery and is less irritant to airways. This is 10 times the cost of alternatives in use, but is cardio-protective, very responsive and doesn't persist in the patient. We have vital-sign monitors to augment the trained veterinary staff monitoring the anaesthesia.
Dogs and cats are housed in separate kennel rooms. Rabbits and ferrets are also housed separately. We have a vivarium for reptiles.
We are willing to attend your pet at your home. This is usually arranged for late morning, Monday to Friday when we will not be leaving the practice understaffed. However, as we are limited on the examination and treatment we can do in your home, it is preferable for your pet to attend the practice.
There is an extra charge for home visits as they do take time.
If a home visit becomes necessary when the surgery is closed, there will be a delay in the vet attending as they will need to go to the surgery first to collect appropriate medication. The vets do not carry drugs in their cars. They may also have to wait for a nurse to be called in to accompany them.
It is always distressing when your companion reaches a point in their lives when the only positive action you can take is euthanasia. All the staff have pets, and have lost pets. We will do our very best to make this time as least distressing for your pet, and for you.
It is more practical, and therefore less distressing to perform this task in the consulting room. However we can arrange home visits, and sometimes it is possible in the car. You are welcome to stay with your pet, or leave them in our charge. We will respect and care for them either way.
Afterwards you can take your pet home to bury, or to a pet crematorium of your choice. Or you can leave your pet with us to arrange cremation. We can, also, arrange individual cremation with their ashes returned suitably for scattering, or in a casket, vase or effigy.
The crematorium we use is fully licensed, and we have also inspected it.
We have elected to maintain the traditional service of one of our vets and nurses being available when the practice is closed. To reach a vet in an emergency or to ask for advice; ring the practice telephone 01270 625310. A recorded message will give you the number of the duty vet.
Your pet will be seen at Hillside Veterinary Centre. You will not have to travel to a a distant strange site. Emergency operation, blood tests or hospitalisation can be performed at the practice out of hours.If you require a home visit, this will be done as soon as it is feasible. It is generally quicker and more effective to attend the surgery.
Services supplied after the practice is closed do attract a higher charge.