Calling the vet out of hours: what you need to know *H&H Plus*

  • Andrea Oakes discovers what happens when illness or injury occurs “out of hours”

    Accidents tend to happen at the most inopportune moments as horses owners are only too aware, and sickness rarely saves itself for a convenient time. Thankfully, if disaster strikes at night or over the weekend, veterinary help is usually just a phone call away.

    But who answers these out-of-hours emergency requests and drives to the scene if hands-on treatment is required?

    In the UK, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) requires that veterinary practices make provision for 24-hour emergency cover. The majority achieve this by running a rota within the existing team, or with neighbouring practices, meaning that the on-call vet often works the day before their night-time shift — and will most likely be back at work the following morning.

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