- All out of hours calls are answered first by our hotline operator who passes the details to the appropriate department (either a veterinary nurse or an inspector).
- The veterinary nurse will call the client to get detailed medical information to relay to the on duty veterinary surgeon. Sometimes professional advice is all that is needed, but if not the nurse will arrange an emergency appointment normally at our Hong Kong Centre.
- It is important to realise this is purely an emergency service. The veterinary surgeon and nurse on call will have been working all the previous day as well as the night; we do not have the resources to operate on the same basis as an accident and emergency unit at a public hospital where staff work shifts.
It is difficult and unwise to try to list conditions that are emergencies as each situation is different, but problems such as difficulty giving birth, not passing urine, prolapsed eye, poisoning or traffic accidents generally require immediate treatment.
We do not want to deter members from using our out of hours veterinary service when their pet is genuinely in need of emergency treatment. We do ask, however, that you keep certain points in mind:
- Always call the hotline first on 2711 1000. Do not rush your pet to one of our centres expecting to find a vet on duty.
- Out of hours services are for true emergencies only. Please do not exaggerate your pet's condition; our vets will not give routine treatment or vaccinations if they see your animal for an "emergency" out of clinic hours.
- If your dog is normally treated by a private veterinary surgeon, they will have your medical records and as such should be called first in an emergency situation (all private vets provide a 24-hour emergency service). Your animal's medical records may be vital in treating an emergency condition and it is unethical for a vet to see another vet's clients without good reason.