Office hours for Oakham Veterinary Hospital are Monday to Friday,  from 8am to 6pm and appointments can be made anytime between these hours. The office is also open between 8.30am and 12pm on Saturday mornings. If your horse is referred outside these hours there will be a voice message on the main hospital telephone number that will provide you with contact information for the on call team.

It is a requirement of law for your horse to travel with its passport at all times, therefore you MUST bring it with you. We have a lockable, fireproof safe for all passports that are stored with us.

What to expect on arrival

On arrival please pull up to the gates of the equine car park and go to reception to identify yourself. The reception staff will open the gate to allow you to park and you will be greeted by one of our nursing team, who will ask you to complete some routine paperwork and a consent form. For emergency cases that are referred outside office hours the on call team will be informed of your arrival, and will be waiting to admit you without the need to enter reception.

Non emergency referral cases will be booked for a consultation with one of our vets, generally in the afternoon. A large part of our referral caseload involves lameness/poor performance evaluations and these are generally first seen on an out-patient basis. Preliminary investigations and treatments are normally carried out in the presence of the owner/trainer/rider to enable choices to be made about treatment options and costs to be explained. However if it is a complex case, we may request the horse be admitted for a period of time to allow a full assessment. You will be advised at the time of booking whether this is likely to be the case.

It is our policy to organise the hospital schedule such that potential surgery cases (as identified by the referring vet) can have theatre time ‘ear marked' for the following day. This avoids clients having to make any extra journeys and ensures that the treatment proceed as quickly and effectively as possible. If your horse has been referred for surgery it should, where possible, have had its shoes removed and been 'let down' for a period of time.

If you know that your horse will be admitted as an in-patient, either for surgery or for imaging such as scintigraphy or MRI, we would ask that you bring any items that your horse will require during its stay. This includes rugs, tack (for lameness assessments) and any specific feed requirments. The majority of horses are stabled on a cardboard, dust free bedding - if this is not acceptable please inform us prior to your appointment and we will do our best to accomodate your requirements.

During its stay your horse will be under the primary care of the assigned case vet. You will be updated daily on the progress of the examination and when a diagnosis has been made, you will be informed of the management and treatment your horse requires.

Upon completion of the examination and any treatment at the hospital, your horse can be collected between 7.30am and 6pm. If you cannot organise collection between these hours, special arrangements can be made, however you will be charged an out-of-hours discharge fee. At the time of collection you will receive full discharge instructions and any medication that has been prescribed.

How to pay

Our policy on referral cases is to bill the client direct; however for new clients we request credit card details as security for payment. We encourage payment at the time of treatment or collection of the horse. For specific payment terms contact our reception team.

Visiting

We do allow clients to visit their horses when in the hospital. Clients MUST report to reception on arrival. Visiting is restricted to office hours during the week and at specific times at the weekend.

Reporting

Regular telephone reports on the progress of your horse will be provided by one of our team. You will receive a daily telephone call from one of our nursing team for general progress reports. The case vet will phone you separately to give more detailed informtion and to discuss treatment options. The frequency of this will depend on the specific case.

For surgical cases we endeavour to contact all clients by telephone as soon as their horse has recovered from anaesthesia to advise on the progress of their condition.

In addition a detailed written report of our findings will be prepared for you and for your referring vet. If appropriate the referring vet will also receive copies of radiographs, MRI images or bone scans. If requested a report will also be forwarded to your insurer.