Animor® Clinical Policy
At Animor® we aim to provide the very best healthcare to all our patients, treating and caring for our members’ pets as if they were our own. We provide this service free at the point of care, a model which ensures that treatment decisions are based solely on what is best for both owner and animal without a financial constraint.
We strongly believe that prevention is better than cure and believe in working with our members to improve the health of their pets. But if intervention is necessary, we tailor our clinical approach to your pet’s needs.
Standard of service
At Animor® our services are delivered by qualified veterinary surgeons, assisted by qualified (RVN) or trainee veterinary nurses. All veterinary surgeons and qualified nurses are registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), so must act in accordance with their guide to professional conduct at all times. Animor® is fully accredited by the RCVS PSS (Practice Standards Scheme) and maintains the standards accordingly.
Animor® clinicians will only ever treat a pet based on our assessment of the medical need. Whilst we do have a team of highly trained and experienced veterinary surgeons, in some cases we may suggest in the interests of our member’s pet, that we refer them to a specialist outside the Animor® network. Those specialists are specifically chosen by Animor® and will be as local as possible to the Animor® Veterinary Centre. Animor® is a membership organisation offering free at the point of delivery healthcare for our members’ pets, however, we will also provide veterinary services to non-members, who will be charged in the normal way.
At Animor® we will work with you to ensure your pet stays healthy and well. Our entire focus is on preventing illness and we will see our members (your pets) every six months for a healthy pet check so we can work together to help you to achieve this.
The Animor Vitality Index® (AVI® )
Prior to joining an AVI® will be calculated for each member.
Carried out by a veterinary surgeon initially this looks at
- preventative care
- previous health conditions
- existing health conditions
- a detailed clinical examination
The AVI® is an overall measure of your pets’ health and each six months a vet or vet nurse will recalculate this index and help you to improve this score.
Standards of Service
The entire veterinary team at Animor® are dedicated to giving your pet the best treatment possible.
Our clinical team includes
- Veterinary surgeons
- Registered Veterinary nurses
- Student veterinary surgeons
- Student veterinary nurses
All are registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and act in accordance with their respective codes of professional conduct.
All our Pet Healthcare® Centres are accredited by the RCVS Practice Standards Scheme (PSS).
Where our clinical team decide that it is in the best interests of your pet to be referred, Animor® has a local network of approved Specialist Centres which we work closely with. One specialist visit per year is covered in our Prevent and Care® and Prevent and Care Plus® memberships. An additional specialist visit per year can be added as an extra benefit.
Vaccination is very important to prevent serious or fatal illness for dogs, cats, rabbits and ferrets.
We see your pet once a year for vaccination after an initial course in dogs and cats.
The following are the diseases we vaccinate individual species against
- Dogs – Parvo, Distemper, Infectious Hepatitis, Leptospirosis (four strains) and Kennel Cough
- Cats – Feline Panleukopaenia Virus (feline enteritis), Feline Herpes Virus, Feline Calicivirus and in some cases Feline Leukaemia Virus
- Rabbits – Myxomatosis and Viral Haemorrhagic Diarrhoea (two strains)
- Ferrets – Distemper
Rabies vaccination is required for dogs, cats and ferrets that wish to travel outside of the UK.
As with any vaccine there is always a small chance your pet may develop some side effects after their visit. The vast majority of animals have no side effects at all, but some may develop one of the following
- Mild temperature
- Swelling at the site of the injection
- Mild clinical signs of the disease being vaccinated against
In extremely rare cases a hypersensitivity reaction or immune mediated disease may occur but the incidence of this is less than 0.01% of animals vaccinated.
For further information on each vaccine please see our full clinical policy on the website.
Most owners are aware that their pet may require treatment to prevent flea,tick and worm infestations. We consider the following factors when recommending which products to use for each individual member
- Environmental toxicity
- Side effects
- Cover against potentially fatal parasites in the area
- Cover against parasites that are zoonotic (can cause illness in humans)
We advise all our feline patients are neutered.
We will offer early neutering before 5 months of age provided your cat weighs 2kg or more.
Although neutering does slow your cat’s metabolism slightly and can lead to weight gain if their diet is not altered appropriately, it has several advantages
- Preventing unwanted pregnancy – female cats can become pregnant from 4 months of age
- Reducing the risk of mammary (breast) cancer in females (this is the 3rd most common cancer in cats)
- Reducing urine spraying and marking in males
- Reducing roaming, fighting and risk of contracting infectious diseases (FIV/FeLV) and being injured in road traffic accidents (mainly male cats)
In almost all cases we advise female dogs are neutered. Usually with larger breed dogs (>15kg) we advise that they have at least one season before we spay them.
Advantages of neutering:
- Prevention of pyometra (uterine infection) - this is a potentially life-threatening disease that affects 23% of females below 10 years of age
- Reduced incidence of mammary (breast) cancer – this is the most common form of malignant tumour in dogs. Risk is reduced between 99.5% and 74% if done before the 3rd season
- Preventing unwanted pregnancy
In all dogs there is a small increase in the risk of:
- Hip dysplasia and cruciate ligament disease
- Certain other cancers (haemangiosarcoma, lymphoma, mast cell tumour, transitional cell sarcoma, prostatic cancer and osteosarcoma)
- Urinary incontinence and cystitis in females
- Weight gain – this can be controlled by altering diet appropriately
In male dogs there are advantages to castration however they are often balanced equally with the disadvantages. We tend to assess individual dogs and help you make the decision on a case-by-case basis.
Temperament in males is often the deciding factor and if we are unsure if castration is the right option for your pet we can choose to use a reversable chemical implant to help us make the decision.
It is legal requirement for all cats and dogs over 8 weeks of age to be microchipped. All Animor® pet members will have to be microchipped.
Post Operative Care
All animals that have had any procedure or surgery will be discharged with a post operative care plan. This will include
- Appropriate pain relief
- Any other necessary medication
- Detailed home care instructions for the owner
- Post operative check ups – usually these will be scheduled at 2 and 10 days for all our surgery patients
Advice will be available 24/7 via:
- Animor® Vetinary Centre (during Centre hours)
- Our partner out of hours practice
- Our members app
- FirstVet – our partner telephone vet service
The use of veterinary medicines is legally controlled. For your pet to receive a prescription only medication (POM-V) it needs to
- Have been examined by one of our veterinary surgeons
- Have the medication prescribed by the vet
- Have regular checkups with our vets in the case of long term/ongoing medication (including some parasite treatments). These visits could vary from monthly to annually depending on the individual patient and medication prescribed
Returning unused or out of date medication is also controlled. We are unable to re-administer or sell any medicines that have left our clinic.
We are happy to responsibly dispose of any out of date or unused medicines but unfortunately we are unable to offer refunds.
Telemedicine and Photography
Animor® uses the latest in both clinical and communication technology to provide excellent service. We use photography widely to document everything from patient identity and our members possessions to facilitating education, keeping owners informed and tracking disease progression. By signing our clinical policy document you are consenting to the use of photography in this manner.
Animor® members will have access to the telemedicine service provided by our partners at FirstVet.
Visiting or staying at the vet can be stressful for some patients. To minimise this we have
- Species specific wards
- Segregated waiting room areas
- Feline consult room
- Pheromone therapy and specially designed housing in our dog, cat and small furry wards
Our practices are ISFM approved for our feline patients.
If you are concerned about your pets’ stress levels when coming to visit us, please let us know ahead of time. In most instances we will be able to prescribe medication to help reduce their anxiety ahead of the visit.
Emergency and Out of Hours (OOH) Provision and Overnight Stays
All Animor® Veterinary Centres and Hospitals have a legal obligation to provide 24-hour veterinary care for their patients.
This care may be outsourced to a local OOH provider. This also applies to patients requiring overnight hospitalization and care as our Veterinary Centres are not staffed overnight. Owners may be required to transfer their pet to the OOH clinic.
Anaesthesia and Sedation
The use of anaesthesia and sedation are an essential part of providing comprehensive veterinary care and ensuring the safety of our staff and welfare of our members.
Any aneasthetic or sedation carries a risk.
At Animor® we aim to minimize this risk for each patient by
- Performing a full clinical assessment on the day of the procedure
- Using specially tailored anaesthetic protocols for each patient
- Having a fully trained individual monitoring the anaesthetic from the time your pet receives a premed to when it has completely recovered
- Making use of advanced monitoring equipment
It is natural for some owners to feel slightly apprehensive about their pet having an anaesthetic or sedation and our clinical team is always happy to discuss any concerns with you.
The use of appropriate analgesia (medication/techniques to relieve pain) is an integral part of maintaining animal welfare and improving quality of life.
It is not always easy to tell when our pets are in pain – especially with cats and small furries (prey species).
We will use validated pain scales in dogs and cats (Glasgow Composite Pain Scale) to tailor their pain management plan and review this on a regular basis.
For our small furries we will use the available Grimace Scales where applicable.
Our vets will always be there to talk to if you are concerned that your pet needs pain relief.
Animals taken out of their comfort zone can sometimes feel fearful or stressed, especially if they are not feeling well. We want to make all visit as stress free as possible - usually we will be happy to prescribe medication ahead of a visit to help any nervous pets. Despite this there are some animals that will still feel anxious.
In this situation the ‘fight or flight’ instinct may kick in. To protect your pet and our staff we may need to use certain restraining techniques which may include use of muzzles, gauntlets and special cages. Sometimes we will ask to chemically restrain (sedate) your pet. This is often less stressful and safer for them, but we will always discuss this with you first.
To reduce the development of antimicrobial resistance and safeguard both human and animal health all our clinical staff following the BSAVA and BVA guidelines on responsible use of antimicrobials.
Wildlife and Exotic Pets
Injured or ill wildlife will be admitted.
Where rehabilitation is feasible, we work with local rescue centers and charities to treat and release these animals. Unfortunately, any wildlife with severe injuries or illness will be euthanased on welfare grounds.
While dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, chinchillas, rats, mice, degus and hamsters can all become Animor® members we do not have the facilities to accommodate non mammalian species.
- Avians (parrots, chickens, budgies, cockatiels, waterfowl etc)
- Reptiles (snakes, lizards, tortoises, bearded dragons etc)
- Invertebrates (spiders, insects etc)
- Amphibians (frogs, toads etc)
We will be happy to provide advice on which local vets have facilities to deal with these patients.
Animals live in the present moment and for animals with diseases that are not curable, get worse over time and cause pain and suffering we always aim to make sure that the bad days never outweigh the good. This is so that our members never suffer unnecessarily.
Despite this saying goodbye to a pet is often one of the hardest decisions owners will have to make.
Our clinical team is always available to help, support and give advice during this difficult time and will be with you whether you choose to have this happen in a quiet room at one of our clinics or at home.
We will require an owner to consent to the procedure, but you can choose to be with you pet or say goodbye beforehand. There is no right or wrong decision.
We will be able to discuss options for home burial, individual or routine cremation with you when the time comes.
Cruelty and Welfare
We expected all owners to be responsible and abide by the Animal Welfare Act 2006. This includes providing the 5 welfare needs of all animals in their care.
- Health - protection from pain, injury, suffering and disease and to receive treatment if they become ill or injured
- Behaviour- the ability to behave naturally for their species eg. play, run, dig, jump etc
- Companionship- to be housed with, or apart from, other animals as appropriate for the species. i.e. company of their own kind for sociable species like rabbits or guinea pigs, or to be housed alone for solitary species like hamsters
- Diet- a suitable diet. This can include feeding appropriately for the pet’s life stage and feeding a suitable amount to prevent obesity or malnourishment, as well as access to fresh clean water
- Environment- a suitable environment. This should include the right type of home with a comfortable place to rest and hide as well as space to exercise and explore
We will not tolerate cruelty, abuse or neglect.
If this is suspected, we reserve the right to contact the relevant authorities and cancel membership.
Extremes of appearance can impact on an animal’s welfare and predispose them to medical problems including
- Recurrent skin infections
- Eye problems
- Recurrent ear infections
- Breathing difficulties
- Dental disease
We are here to offer free advice on all aspects of pet ownership, especially to anyone thinking of getting a new pet. We can provide guidelines on training, behaviour and healthy conformation and work towards ensuring all our members can lead happy and healthy lives.