The role of a client care team in Hawick

As with any business in Hawick, a vet practice such as ours at Hawick Vets needs a strong supporting team for the non-clinical business functions. The client care team will generally be the first and last port of call for pets and their owner. Depending on the size of the practice, this can include:

Practice Manager

The practice manager at Hawick Vets oversees the general everyday running of the practice. The practice manager will work closely with the clinical directors and nursing manager to report on performance, manage complaints, oversee stock levels and ensure client and team satisfaction. Some practice managers will have a clinical background, having worked as a Registered Veterinary Nurse and chosen to progress into a management position.

Receptionists

Our Hawick Vets receptionist answers calls, book appointments, and welcome clients and pets to the practice. Receptionists are the face of the practice, so strong people skills are essential.

Accounts team

Process client payments, manage debts and pay third-party supplier invoices pertaining to business functions.

Insurance administrator

Support the claims process for your Hawick Vets by recovering treatment costs for insured pets.

Unlike the clinical roles, most client care team positions have an administrative and customer service focus. Key skills needed are organisation, patience, empathy, reliability and communication. The client care team deal with clients experiencing a full range of emotions, from joy to fear and loss and as such, they must be sensitive to the situation at hand.

While the client care team is not involved in the treatment side of the practice, being an animal lover helps!

If you would like further information about the role a client care team plays at Hawick Vets. Please feel free to contact us.

 

 

 

The role of a patient care assistant in Hawick

A patient care assistant in Hawick works alongside and supports the whole practice team to achieve the highest standards of patient care. Under the direction and supervision of a veterinary surgeon or registered veterinary nurse (RVN) they will assist with monitoring of inpatients, infection control and handling animals safely for procedures such as injections, blood samples, bandage changes and nail clipping.

Grooming and exercise will often be carried out by a patient care assistant, so having a good knowledge of animal husbandry and the differing needs of various species and breeds is necessary.

PCAs at Hawick Vets are also responsible for maintaining patient accommodation, surgical theatres and treatment rooms, ensuring the highest standards for colleagues, patients and clients.

As and when required PCAs at Hawick Vets may be called on to help with front-of-house duties such as answering telephones, booking appointments and greeting pets and their owners.

Becoming a PCA

There are no specific qualifications required to work as a PCA in Hawick, although some candidates will have completed or be studying towards a vocational qualification. Individuals must be able to work as part of a team, accept instruction, be friendly and helpful and have good communication skills. A love of animals and a people-focused attitude are both essential.

Demand is high for these roles in Hawick, as the experience they provide offers those who would like to take it, a pathway to becoming a student veterinary nurse (SVN) and working towards becoming a qualified RVN.

If you would like further information about the role a PCA plays ay Hawick Vets please feel free to contact us.

Spring Hazards in Hawick

Spring is an exciting time for most of us in Hawick, pets included! Lighter nights mean more opportunities for being outdoors in and around Hawick. To ensure a happy and safe season for your animals, take a minute to make yourself aware of hidden dangers which could lead to a poorly pet.

Fleas, ticks and worms

Whilst a year-round problem for pets and their owners, fleas, ticks and worms become more prevalent as the temperatures rise. The best thing you can do to protect your pet is to use preventative treatment to avoid infestation. Please speak to your vet at Hawick Vets about the best option for your pet or about our (Pet Health for Life) plan, which includes preventative treatment and much more for a monthly fee.

Ivy

Whilst ivy is great for covering unsightly fences and outbuildings; it’s not great for cats and dogs. If eaten, ivy can cause vomiting, drooling, diarrhoea and abdominal pain. Prolonged contact with the leaves can cause skin conditions and soreness.

Lilies

Lilies are highly toxic to felines and if you suspect your cat has eaten any part of a lily plant, it’s essential to seek emergency advice at Hawick Vets. Lily poisoning in cats can lead to kidney damage which, untreated, can be fatal.

While less dangerous to our dogs in Hawick, with fatalities being rare, lilies can still cause illness. Your dog may show signs of listlessness and lethargy. They might also vomit and lose their appetite.

Insect stings

Not just a problem for humans, bees and wasps can sting our furry friends too, with the added danger of mouth stings if they accidentally eat one. External stings can be treated with a cold cloth to reduce the swelling. Give your pet ice cubes to lick or iced water to drink for mouth stings. Always monitor your pet for any signs of swelling around the mouth, tongue or throat, which can indicate an allergic reaction. Seek urgent veterinary advice from your local Hawick vet should you notice any changes.

Tulips

The worst danger to cats and dogs in and around Hawick comes from eating tulip bulbs, so keep an eye on your pet’s digging in the garden or public parks. Signs of tulip bulb ingestion will include increased heart rate, trouble breathing and tremors. Get in touch with us immediately at Hawick Vets if you see any of these signs.

Grass

If you’re thinking of reseeding your lawn in Hawick to banish the winter damage and refresh it for the summer months, then do be aware of the potential danger to your cat or dog. Grass seeds are arrow-shaped and sharp, meaning they can bury into fur and through the skin, scratch eyes, get stuck in-ears and even be ingested.

Try to avoid walking your dog through long grass when out and about and keep any grass areas at home trimmed short to avoid risk. Regular grooming of your pet can be helpful in spotting grass seeds in their fur before they become embedded.

Fertilisers

It’s the time for farmers and gardeners to start encouraging their soil into life, but fertilisers – both for home use and industrial – can be dangerous to our pets. Look for non-toxic fertilisers to use in your garden and be aware of community spaces when walking your dog. Vomiting, high temperature and diarrhoea should always be checked out by a vet.

If you have any further questions or queries about spring hazards, please feel free to contact us at Hawick Vets.

 

Jubilee weekend opening hours

With an extended bank holiday on the horizon, we wanted to let you know our opening hours. Please see below our opening times and our out of hours contact number:

Thursday 2 June 2022 – Spring bank holiday

8.45am to 6pm (usual opening hours)

Friday 3 June 2022 – Platinum Jubilee bank holiday

8.45am to 6pm (usual opening hours)

Saturday 4 June 2022

CLOSED as usual

Sunday 5 June 2022

CLOSED as usual

If your pet needs emergency or out of hours care or treatment, please call our usual practice number – 01450 372038 – for further information.

May bank holiday opening hours

With an extended bank holiday here, we wanted to let you know our opening hours on Monday 2 May 2022.

Hawick Vets will be open 8.45am to 6pm (usual opening hours).

If your pet needs emergency or out of hours care or treatment, please call our usual practice number – 01450 372038 – for more information.

Easter opening hours

Whether you’re planning a weekend break or a few days at home, we will be here over the Easter weekend should you need us.

Please familiarise yourself with our opening times over the Bank Holiday weekend.

15.04.2022 (Good Friday) – usual opening hours 8.45am to 6pm

16.04.2022 – CLOSED as usual

17.04.2022 – CLOSED as usual

18.04.2022 (Easter Monday) – usual opening hours 8.45am to 6pm

We hope you have a safe and happy Easter from all the team at Hawick Vets.

Spring hazards in Hawick

Spring is an exciting time for most of us in Hawick pets included! Lighter nights mean more opportunities for being outdoors in Hawick. To ensure a happy and safe season for your animals, take a minute to make yourself aware of hidden dangers which could lead to a poorly pet.

Fleas, ticks and worms

Whilst a year-round problem for pets and their owners, fleas, ticks and worms become more prevalent as the temperatures rise. The best thing you can do to protect your pet is to use preventative treatment to avoid infestation. Please speak to your vet at Hawick Vets about the best option for your pet or about our Pet Health for Life plan, which includes preventative treatment and much more for a monthly fee.

Ivy

Whilst ivy is great for covering unsightly fences and outbuildings; it’s not great for cats and dogs. If eaten, ivy can cause vomiting, drooling, diarrhoea and abdominal pain. Prolonged contact with the leaves can cause skin conditions and soreness.

Lilies

Lilies are highly toxic to felines and if you suspect your cat has eaten any part of a lily plant, it’s essential to seek emergency advice. Lily poisoning in cats can lead to kidney damage which, untreated, can be fatal.

While less dangerous to dogs, with fatalities being rare, lilies can still cause illness. Your dog may show signs of listlessness and lethargy. They might also vomit and lose their appetite.

Insect stings

Not just a problem for humans, bees and wasps can sting our furry friends too, with the added danger of mouth stings if they accidentally eat one. External stings can be treated with a cold cloth to reduce the swelling. Give your pet ice cubes to lick or iced water to drink for mouth stings. Always monitor your pet for any signs of swelling around the mouth, tongue or throat, which can indicate an allergic reaction. Seek urgent veterinary advice should you notice any changes.

Tulips

The worst danger to cats and dogs in Hawick comes from eating tulip bulbs, so keep an eye on your pet’s digging in the garden or public parks. Signs of tulip bulb ingestion will include increased heart rate, trouble breathing and tremors. Get in touch with us immediately if you see any of these signs.

Grass

If you’re thinking of reseeding your lawn to banish the winter damage and refresh it for the summer months, then do be aware of the potential danger to your cat or dog. Grass seeds are arrow-shaped and sharp, meaning they can bury into fur and through the skin, scratch eyes, get stuck in-ears and even be ingested.

Try to avoid walking your dog through long grass when out and about and keep any grass areas at home trimmed short to avoid risk. Regular grooming of your pet can be helpful in spotting grass seeds in their fur before they become embedded.

Fertilisers

It’s the time for farmers and gardeners to start encouraging their soil into life, but fertilisers – both for home use and industrial – can be dangerous to our pets. Look for non-toxic fertilisers to use in your garden and be aware of community spaces when walking your dog. Vomiting, high temperature and diarrhoea should always be checked out by a vet.

The role of a veterinary nurse in Hawick

Ask most veterinary practices in Hawick and they will tell you that their Registered Veterinary Nurses (RVNs) are at the very heart of everything they do, we are no different at Hawick Vets. Such is the respect for RVNs that a whole month is dedicated to celebrating their roles – Veterinary Nurse Awareness Month takes place every May and is recognised worldwide.

Whilst the role of a vet nurse in Hawick is centred around the care and treatment of poorly animals, they also spend a significant amount of their time with pet owners, offering support, advice and guidance.

A day in the life of a vet nurse at one of our Hawick vets practices can be incredibly varied, from assisting a vet surgeon with scheduled clinical or surgical work, to running nurse clinics for specific patient concerns, e.g. weight management and responding to emergencies. They may even assist with front of house duties at our Hawick Vets practices from time to time, if needed. Everything a vet nurse does is carried out with the patient’s need at the heart of what they do.

The title of Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN) can only be used by nurses who have undergone extensive training, education and passed the required assessments to be added to the register of veterinary nurses held by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS).

By being on the register, they agree to adhere to the professional code of conduct and work within this. Surprisingly the title Veterinary Nurse is not protected, and this means anyone, qualified or unqualified, can call themselves a veterinary nurse. RVN is a title nurses use with pride, and rightly so, for it takes several years to be able to use those post-nominals.

As well as the clinical element of their role, RVNs will also prepare an animal for surgery, change dressings, administer fluids and medication, monitor anaesthesia and vital signs and take blood and urine samples. Most of this is done under Schedule 3 of the Veterinary Surgeon’s Act, and tasks such as blood sampling can only be performed by an RVN or a student registered with the RCVS.

Nurse clinics with ourselves in Hawick Vets may include information around nutrition, dental care, or senior pet ownership, while services such as nail clipping and vaccination boosters often sit within a nurse’s remit. Many nurses take ownership of their nurse clinics within Hawick and enjoy the bond they build with their patients and their owners.

 

Studying to become an RVN

To qualify as an RVN, candidates can choose to study for a university degree, a level 3 college diploma or apply for an apprenticeship at a participating veterinary practice. Entry requirements vary, but previous experience, like formal work experience, is valued.

All courses must be accredited by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and include multiple practice-based placements working alongside qualified veterinary professionals.

Student veterinary nurses (SVNs) must enrol with the RCVS to legally carry out some of the nursing procedures needed for their training. Once nurses are qualified and have completed their necessary training hours, they will then be able to register with the RCVS as an RVN.

For further information, visit the National Careers website

Or alternatively, if you would like additional information about undertaking this career with us at Hawick Vets please feel free to contact us.

 

The role of a veterinary surgeon in Hawick

Our veterinary surgeons in Hawick (commonly known as vets) serve the healthcare needs of animals. Once qualified as a vet, there are many roles such as teaching, research, government and clinical work. Clinical vets can work with farm animals, zoo animals, horses, laboratory animals, pets or a mixture. It is an incredibly diverse and challenging job.

The majority of vets in Hawick work in private practices treating pets such as dogs, cats, rabbits and birds. The health and welfare of animals under their care is their priority (rather like a doctor for people). This is achieved by diagnosing and treating diseases or injuries, preventing disease and advising owners on how to best look after their pets.

Prevention

As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. For that reason, part of a vet’s job is to advise owners on how to prevent disease. This includes recommending and administering annual vaccinations and treatment to help them avoid fleas, ticks and worms. A health check with a vet will include a physical examination and more advanced techniques were indicated to identify abnormalities that could be treated to avoid the onset of disease.

Diagnosing

When an animal is displaying symptoms of injury or illness, it is a vet’s job to diagnose what is wrong. Sometimes this can be a physical using their skills to observe, feel and palpate the animal, or there may be a need for diagnostic tests like blood tests, x-rays, or scans to get to the root of the problem. If further checks are needed, the vet will make the necessary arrangements and then process the results of those checks accordingly to diagnose the problem.

Treating

A key part of a vet’s role is deciding how best to treat an ill animal to bring them back to health. This may involve prescribing medication that the animal’s owner can often administer at home, or it could involve surgery to fix a broken bone or remove a tumour. In some cases, the animal may need to stay at the clinic for treatment like a stay in hospital or be referred to a specialist for further care. Many vets take further qualifications in their chosen field, such as surgery, internal medicine, cardiology, etc.

How to become a vet surgeon in the UK

To qualify as a vet, you will need to study towards a veterinary degree, approved by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). Veterinary degrees usually take five to six years to complete and, to be accepted onto a degree course, you will need 3 top A-Levels or equivalent, including biology and chemistry. Candidates also need to prove they are dedicated and motivated and have some experience in the industry (work experience at a veterinary practice and working with animals).

For further information, visit the National Careers website here.

Next steps

Following on from qualifying as a vet, most will join a general practice such as ours at Hawick vets or undertake an internship. There is a required period after starting to fulfil the graduate development programme. Many companies such as Linnaeus offer great support to new graduates in beginning their careers as vets.

Following on from qualifying in general practice, some vets will choose to specialise in a particular area of animal treatment. This enables them to become highly skilled in their particular field and requires further study, intense time and effort and undertaking a residency.

If you would like further issues regarding the role of a veterinary surgeon please contact us at Hawick Vets for further details.

 

Protect your dog against Kennel Cough

Does your dog come into regular contact with other dogs in Hawick? Maybe out on walks, or at the local Hawick park, or when they’re staying in kennels? If so, we’d highly recommend a Kennel Cough vaccine or booster. And, with our new oral vaccine, it’s now even easier to protect your dog.

Kennel Cough, or infectious tracheobronchitis, is a very contagious respiratory disease. It’s transmitted by close contact with an infected dog and can be associated with boarding kennels, therefore it’s especially important to ensure your dog is covered if you’re planning a trip away.

Call us today on 01450 372038 to arrange an appointment


What are the symptoms of Kennel Cough?

The primary sign to look out for is a deep hacking cough, which can sometimes lead to retching, sneezing, snorting, gagging or vomiting.  In some cases, you may only notice your dog starting to cough after excitement or exercise and you may also notice a discharge coming from your dog’s eyes or nose. Some dogs may get a fever, and in very rare cases may progress to pneumonia.  Symptoms will start after three to 10 days – and can go on for up to three weeks.  Often the cough is worse at bedtime causing sleepless nights all round.

How is Kennel Cough diagnosed?

Diagnosis is often based on the clinical signs and the history given by the owner, also if the dog is housed together with lots of other dogs that are all presenting similar signs, it makes the diagnosis of kennel cough more probable. If a gentle palpitation of the throat causes a retching cough, Kennel Cough is likely.

What treatment is available for Kennel Cough?

There is no specific treatment for viruses involved in Kennel Cough, but antibiotics are sometimes used to treat bacterial infections. Infected dogs should be rested and isolated from other dogs for around 14 days. In most cases, dogs will recover from Kennel Cough within three weeks. Ensure they are living in a well-ventilated area and avoid the use of a lead and collar. To aid recovery, your dog may be prescribed cough suppressants or anti-inflammatories. Sometimes antibiotics may be required to target Bordetella Bronchiseptica.

What’s the best way to prevent Kennel Cough?

The best way to prevent Kennel Cough in Hawick is through vaccination. The vaccine is a quick and painless procedure for your dog in the form of a nasal spray or your dog may benefit from the new oral solution that we now have available at Hawick Vets.  The oral method is easier to administer and therefore may reduce stress for your dog and you as the owner.

The Kennel Cough vaccination is given once a year. Depending on individual circumstances it may not be given at the same time as their annual booster. Please contact us at Hawick Vets if you’d like more detail.

If you’re going on holiday, it’s important that your dog is vaccinated against Kennel Cough, otherwise kennels may not accept your dog. Prepare in advance as the vaccination should be given at least one week before their stay for the nasal method and three weeks for the oral method.

If you are concerned your dog may have caught Kennel Cough and is presenting symptoms, speak to a member of our team for advice.

Alternatively, if you would like to arrange a Kennel Cough vaccination for your four-legged friend, call us today on 01450 372038 to book an appointment.

Don’t forget, if you’re a Pet Health for Life plan member in Hawick, the kennel cough vaccine is included as part of your plan!