Out Of Hours Service Changes for Oakham Veterinary Hospital Small Animal

From Wednesday 15th September onwards, we will be partnering with Vets Now to improve the services we offer to our Out of Hours emergencies. This change is only affecting the small animal department, so it’s our cats, dogs and small furry friends. There are no changes to Equine Out of Hours so patients needing emergency treatment out of hours please continue to contact equine emergency team as before.

We do not have a vet who is dedicated to just night duties, therefore, as for many years our emergencies out of hours are looked after by our day team. These vets have just worked a full day and usually are also scheduled to work the following day. However, if they have a busy night they are understandably often sent home early the following day.  The increasing demand for our services following the growth in pet ownership in the last 18 months and the national shortage of vets have both put a strain on our ability to provide the high standard day and night service which we aim to achieve.  We have, up to now, been unable to recruit any additional vets to share the load.  Partnering with an emergency service that provides specialist care is, we feel, a positive step.

Vets Now has an established, dedicated night team, fully equipped to take care of all your pets' emergency needs whatever the hour. They have bases in both Peterborough and Nottingham and, whilst we appreciate that an extended journey isn't ideal, we have carefully considered the options and believe the welfare of our patients is best achieved with the enhanced night services on offer.

Please rest assured that the pets already in the hospital will still have high-quality 24 hour care that you have come to expect. Our dedicated night nurses will continue to monitor these patients throughout the night and have the support of a vet on call. You will be given a direct telephone number to allow you to contact our night nurse if your pet is staying with us. This number will also be provided to you, should you have concerns following a procedure or operation that your pet received during the day.

In an emergency or if you’re needing urgent advice, the main number to Vets Now will allow you to discuss your concerns with a member of their team. In many instances, we find telephone advice can be sufficient without an emergency consult being required. If your pet is seen at Vets Now our night nurses will forward case history and if it is recommended that your pet be hospitalised overnight then they can return to us on the next working day, where they will remain with us as an inpatient until they are fit enough to go home.

Thankfully most of our pets rarely need access to emergency care out of hours. If, however, you do need veterinary support out of hours please be assured that we have every confidence that the Vets Now team will provide the same high quality of care and treatment you are accustomed to.


We will provide our Emergency service during our opening hours - our intention is to extend these hours once suitable staff have been recruited. 

From 15th September Vets Now Out of Hours Service times are:

Monday to Friday 7pm until 8am

Saturday 5pm until 8am

Sunday 12pm until 8am


In an emergency, during the above hours,  when you call our number 01572 722646, you will be automatically diverted to Vets Now in Peterborough.


If you would like to save the number for an emergency: Vets Now (Peterborough) 01733 512192

Any questions or feedback could you email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Catriona Laird MRCVS and Chris Booth MRCVS Clinical Directors

Are you looking for an improved work-life balance?

We are updating the way in which we work as a team In Small Animal, without compromising the gold-standard patient care and service we provide, upon which our reputation is based.

We are looking for experienced clinicians, vets & nurses, who are enthusiastic, motivated and thrive in a collaborative culture of:

  • Wide & varied caseloads
  • Excellence in clinical knowledge and expertise
  • Access to state of the art toys and diagnostic imaging equipment, including CT and MRI
  • The sharing knowledge and expertise
  • Professional development working alongside certificate holders in cardiology, medicine, surgery and dentistry

For more information please see our vacancies page.


Diabetes Mellitus (DM) occurs when the pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin or the insulin it produces is ineffective.  The body needs insulin to control blood sugar levels and use sugar for energy.  Without insulin sugar accumulates in the blood and spills into the urine causing the animal to urinate lots and drink lots of water.  The brain becomes sugar deprived without insulin meaning the animal is constantly hungry, yet may lose weight due to inefficient use of nutrients from their diet.  The disease most commonly occurs in older dogs and cats and can be managed long term with insulin injections, which are given at home.

With temperatures hotting up it's time to start thinking about taking action to prevent some of the conditions that can affect our small furries at this time of year.  In warmer weather rabbits are vulnerable to a condition called Flystrike, which can progress quickly and ultimately can be fatal.

Flystrike occurs when flies lay their eggs around your rabbit's bottom, these hatch into maggots which in turn chew into the rabbit's skin.  Rabbits with dirty bottoms (loose stools) and wet fur are at risk which means that rabbit's who struggle to clean themselves are more prone to the condition.

The British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA) exists to promote animal health and welfare through the ongoing development of professional excellence in veterinary nursing.  They launched Veterinary Nurse Awareness Month, which happens every May, to highlight the importance of the role of the Veterinary Nurse in practice and in the provision of responsible pet care to the general public.

Did you know that, outside of the consult room, most of the attention and medical care your pet receives is at the hands of a qualified veterinary nurse (RVN)?  No one day is the same and their daily tasks can involve:

  • Taking x-rays
  • Medicating patients
  • Nurse clinics
  • Maintaining equipment
  • Monitoring anaesthetics
  • Dressing wounds

This is all on top of looking after all the hospital inpatients who have been in overnight and admitted as day patients for surgery and procedures.

To find out more about the role of the RVN and how to go about choosing this as a career please click here to visit the British Veterinary Nursing Association website.

What are the options?

At Oakham Veterinary Hospital we have a number of surgeons who are able to offer both the traditional, non laparoscopic spay or use the laparoscopic (keyhole) technique.  Although the traditional 'open' method is still more widely used, some people prefer the advantages of a less intrusive surgery for their pet such as, quicker recovery time, less bruising and tissue manipulation resulting in a more comfortable recovery.

Download this file (laparoscopic spay flyer.pdf)laparoscopic spay flyer.pdf[ ]237 kB

We are delighted to announce that we are now offering Veterinary Physiotherapy and Omega Laser therapy clinics with Sammy Finnemore from Hazelcroft Veterinary Physiotherapy.  Clinics will be held in the practice every Wednesday from 11am to 3pm.

Physiotherapy can help to reduce pain, rebuild muscle, and rehabilitate following injury or surgery; as well as greatly improve mobility, quality of life, and even enhance performance in competitive animals.  Using a combination of manual therapies, electrical therapies (such as the Omega Laser), and remedial exercises, Sammy will deliver a bespoke package of treatments tailored to your pet's specific needs.

Most pets live around poisonous plants all their lives and instinctively know not to eat them.  However, inquisitive puppies might be at risk from common Spring bloomers such as Azaleas, Daffodils and Rhododendrons.  The clinical signs that your dog might have ingested something poisonous could be nausea, vomiting, depression, difficulty breathing and eventually, a coma.  Many plants can be fatal to your pets if eaten in large enough quantities so it is worth doing your research before you stock your garden.  

It's a well known fact that lilies are toxic to cats, simply brushing against the pollen and licking it off their coat can be lethal.  We would recommend that cat owners avoid having lily plants or cut flowers anywhere in their homes or gardens.  Initial symptoms indicating poisoning would be depression, lack of appetite and possibly vomiting.  The symptoms will progress quickly with your cat becoming dehydrated, suffering from diarrhoea, difficulty breathing and bad breath. 

Recent British Veterinary Association (BVA) research has highlighted that a high proportion of pet rabbits are suffering from preventable health issues like obesity, gut problems and dental disease.  The cause of which can almost always be linked to a poor diet.

Rabbits need a fibre-based diet packed with clean hay, grass and leafy greens such as broccoli, cabbage and kale.  Grazing on hay and grass all day ensures a healthy gut and keeps their teeth to the correct shape and length (rabbit's teeth never stop growing so need to be constantly working to grind them down).  

Fleas are the most common external parasites seen on dogs and cats, and a very common cause of skin disease.  It's a familiar misconception that fleas are a sign of neglect or poor hygiene; any pet can get fleas if they are not treated with flea prevention products.  Adult fleas live in your pet's coat, feeding on their blood, but they lay their eggs in the environment i.e. your pet's bedding.  You may see live fleas (small brown insects) in your pet's fur or flea dirt - a fine toothed comb will help you check for this.

Tiny little Jack Russell cross, Pixie Fitch, came in to see Roxane a couple of weeks ago having gulped down a rubber Morph toy, without pausing to chew.  Luckily, her owners had seen her do it and as she's only a tiny 11 week old puppy they brought her straight down to the practice.  She was admitted and given an ultrasound, which showed the toy not progressing well through her digestive system.  There was no option to induce vomiting as the toy could easily have become stuck in her Oesophagus.  The only course of action was to perform an exploratory laparotomy (surgically open up her abdomen to remove the toy).  Having gained her owner's permission, Catriona performed the surgery and successfully removed the toy.

The BBC programme Watchdog recently aired a discussion about the cost of veterinary medicines.  Their reporter found that many people believed they could only buy these medicines from their veterinary practice and were unaware that written prescriptions could be requested (at a small charge) and fulfilled by an online pharmacy.  They went on to point out that such medicines can often be found online at a cheaper price than the retail cost of buying them from your vet.  

As a veterinary hospital which occupies a large site, employs a number of staff and has lots of specialised equipment and facilities we are aware that, although our prices are competitive, we are not always able to match the prices of some online pharmacies.