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In the run-up to Christmas, the hospital, which is a bit like the pet equivalent of A&E, saw a 57% surge in calls as worried pet owners battled with the unexpected dangers of the festive season.
These included everything from accidental ingestion of mince pies and tinsel to fairy light and candle burns. One of the biggest causes of emergency admissions was chocolate poisoning in dogs, with Vets Now seeing a 788% increase in cases on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Other emergencies the hospital regularly deals with include road traffic accidents, excessive bleeding, diarrhoea and vomiting, choking, respiratory problems and seizures.
Some remarkable cases to come through the doors of the Glasgow hospital recently have included a two-year-old spaniel who swallowed a 26cm stick, a little cat called Jasmine who needed emergency surgery and a blood transfusion after being hit by a car, and a puppy called Max who needed major surgery after wolfing down six corn on the cobs.
Kirsten McLeod, hospitals director at Vets Now, said: “The expansion and refurbishment of our hospital is great news for Greater Glasgow’s 500,000 pets and their owners.
“It means our specialist, referral and emergency vets can continue to provide the highest level of care for pets 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“The hospital handles out-of-hours emergencies — at nights, on weekends and holidays — when daytime veterinary practices are closed, and emergency and specialty treatment during daytime hours, mainly on a referral basis from daytime vets.”
Last year, its emergency vets treated more than 5000 out-of-hours cases while its dedicated team of specialist and referral clinicians in disciplines such as oncology, internal medicine and surgery saw 1000 new cases.
Kirsten added: “Every week our incredible team of vets and vet nurses treat more than 100 out-of-hours emergency and daytime referral cases. Each and every one of those is someone’s beloved pet with their own unique story to tell.
“Previously we were working at capacity. The refurbishment and expansion work will allow us to save even more pets’ lives.”
The expansion will not only provide the hospital with extra space but, just as importantly, more state-of-the-art equipment. This includes a new fluoroscopy service which will, in essence, allow vets to do real-time X-rays.
This hospital, which employs 90 people across clinical and non-clinical roles with a further 10 roles to be added, is also the only facility in Scotland to offer a ground-breaking new treatment for Alabama rot.