Approach to emergencies

After discussions with many of you over the years we thought you would appreciate us giving you a brief overview of how we approach and manage emergency calls by our large animal veterinarians.

Obviously there are times of the year that emergencies are more likely to occur than others. To cater for this, for example during the calving period, we will increase the number of large animal vets on-call to accommodate the spring rush.

However there will inevitably be occasions that a vet is not immediately available. We appreciate that your request for help is important to you and be assured it's very important to us as well. In such cases the general approach is... Our staff member who takes your call for assistance will ask you a few questions, for example, if it is a calving, is the calf dead or alive? The purpose of this is to enable us to prioritise calls. Support staff are trained to ask particular questions and do an initial assessment of your needs. Some calls require the utmost urgency whilst others, although need attending as soon as possible, can wait.

If we take the case of a down cow, a few simple questions will determine if the cow is a stable milk fever cow, or a grass staggers cow that is threatening to die and needs urgent attention.

An emergency situation is stressful and invariably occurs when both you and your staff are busy! On the odd occasion where we are also a bit stretched please appreciate that the questions being asked are about us trying to meet your, and your animal's, needs in the best way we can. Our aim is to provide the fastest most efficient response possible with the minimal stress for all.

Here's hoping that you will not have the need, however if you do, then rest assured we will do our utmost to get to you as quickly as possible.