If you have particular queries relating to your pet's health or behaviour, it is very important that you seek the advice of a veterinary surgeon. If you are not already registered with a veterinary practice you can visit our find a vet page.
If you can't speak to your own vet, why not contact Vetfone? It’s a service similar to NHS Direct, and can be contacted if you are concerned about your pet. Vetfone provides 24-hour nationwide access to expert pet advice and has been running for over four years.
The service is staffed by UK qualified veterinary nurses with experience in providing practical advice about a wide range of problems and animals in a clear and friendly way.
If you contact Vetfone about a condition that your vet is already treating, you will be advised to see the vet first.
If your pet requires treatment or 'hands-on' diagnosis, then the Vetfone nurse will direct you to the nearest veterinary surgery. However, Vetfone report that over 40 per cent of callers don't need to see a vet, as a few minutes' discussion or reassurance often makes it clear that a visit to the vet is unnecessary.
You can contact Vetfone on 0906 500 5500. Calls are charged at £1.50 per minute and the RSPCA receive a proportion.
Alternatively, call the Vetfone service on 0845 057 2222 and pay a fixed fee of £12.50 by credit card (a donation of £1 from each call will be made to the RSPCA).
For a nominal cost you can have a live chat with a RCVS registered Vet Nurse online using the Vetfone petanswer service. Fees are typically between £5 and £20.
In addition to the above services, there is a FREE knowledge base for answers to the most common questions Vetfone encounter. Simply enter your details and a couple of keywords to see all the information they have on that topic.