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Independent Family owned vet practice
Extra special care for your pet

FAQ

Why should I choose Golden Valley to care for my pet?

Top RCVS accreditation: Golden Valley Vets are the only first opinion practice to have achieved the top accreditation from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in this area. This is not a ‘one off’ – we have achieved this status for the past 47 years.   This totally independent accreditation is your assurance that we can offer your pet the best of care at all times. Other local practices also have some accreditation but have not felt it necessary for their clients to make the level of investment that the top accreditation requires.

Top quality vets and nurses:

All the Golden Valley veterinary team feel that the best for your pet is establishing a partnership with us for its care. Your input will be both encouraged and respected and we will do our best to ensure that you are given all the information you need to make informed decisions on your pet’s health.

As the leading practice in the area we are large enough to have all the equipment and resource that is necessary to attract the best vets and nurses. All our team have pets of their own so they really understand how you feel about your pet. We will work with you to keep your pet as fit and healthy as we can for the whole of its life and we will be there for you whenever you need our help. As a team we have a wide range of experiences and different specialities which means that we will only very rarely have to refer you to another practice or expect you to wait for a diagnostic procedure.

Top quality equipment and facilities:

Even the best vets need good equipment to back up their instinct and diagnostic skill, and Golden Valley vets have some of the best in the business. The practice has all the modern equipment and facilities that you would expect from a premium first opinion practice and it is there for you when you need it without delay. All our staff can use all our diagnostic equipment at whatever time of day or night it is needed to help us identify the best course of treatment for your pet. All the information on the exact equipment is shown elsewhere on the site but you don’t really need to know about that – we just want you to feel secure in the resource we have available for you whenever your pet needs it.

Full in-house diagnostics:

Often the speed of reaching the correct diagnosis can have a big impact on how quickly your pet recovers. Golden Valley vets have extensive ‘in house’ diagnostics, including a laboratory and imaging suite, that can be used at any time of day or night by any of our veterinary team to get your pet the correct treatment as fast as possible. We feel our facilities far exceed other local practices and our level of investment in this area is a reflection on how important we feel it is for your pet to get the correct treatment without delay.

Seven day a week consultations:

At Golden Valley Vets we understand the busy lives we all lead these days and believe that you deserve the additional convenience of seven day consultations with your vets.   We offer morning and afternoon routine appointments seven days a week. All our branches are open Monday to Saturday lunch time but we do ask you to attend at Nailsea on Saturday afternoons and Sundays.  You will only be charged extra if you need a consultation after 6.30 p.m. or before 9.00 a.m. the following morning. We believe that this offers our clients more options than any other local practice.

15 min consults:

To ensure that we have the best possible opportunity to correctly identifying what is wrong with your pet most of our consultation periods are for 15 minutes rather than the normal ten. We feel that this allows us to give you the full attention you and your pet deserve whilst still keeping our prices very competitive compared to those who give you less time.

Our own out of hours emergency service:

Golden Valley Vets believe that their commitment to you should cover every hour of the day for every day of the year.   This means that our staff are on site at Nailsea every minute of the day to ensure that your pet gets proper care and full attention.   We always hope you will not need this service but hope you will find reassurance that we are there should you need our help. The phone will be answered by one of our nurses – we don’t ever use answer phones like other practices – and you can be assured that if your pet is hospitalised there will be someone on site looking after them at all times – even if it is just for that extra cuddle.   Our nurses have the day off before and after their night shifts to ensure that they are fully committed to the care and support of any pet in the hospital overnight or brought in as an emergency.   Other practices either outsource their out of hours which often involves a trip into Bristol or they have nurses who are ‘on call’ with the commitment to only make occasional visits to hospitalised animals. This is not good enough for our clients; we believe you deserve, and will get, much better.

We reserve the right to charge an additional out-of-hours fee to clients also registered at another practice.

Laparoscopic surgery:

Golden Valley vets are unique in the area in having the equipment to undertake ‘keyhole’ surgery. As with human surgery this approach has huge benefits in the recovery time from operations and the length of incision that has to be made. Along with other extensive theatre operating and monitoring equipment we currently use the laparoscopic equipment to carry out bitch spays and various investigatory procedures as it has a major benefit in how quickly your pet is back to its best bouncing self! We believe you expect and deserve the best and would expect us to provide you with the latest veterinary procedures. The provision of laparoscopic surgery is just one example of us meeting this expectation.

Therapeutic Laser:

The therapeutic laser is an important development in the field of pain relief and enhanced healing that does not involve the use of drugs. Golden Valley Vets are unique in the area in having this equipment on site. We use it extensively when treating arthritis and other painful conditions and have had some spectacular results. It is also often used following surgery to speed up wound healing and reducing post operative swelling and discomfort. We would suggest that if your pet is having any surgery you would expect your vet to offer the very best in comprehensive pain relief and speed of wound healing. Golden Valley vets are the only practice in the area that can give you this promise.

Our own preventative health plans:

We feel that our care for your pet extends well past the threshold of our premises. As a member of your family we understand that we have a responsibility to work with you to ensure that your pet’s preventative health is the best available and kept up to date. We have therefore devised our own preventative health plans that offer you not only what we believe to be the most effective products that really work, but also a significant discount as well. And we go further – if you sign up to our health plans you will be given a designated member of staff to work with you and to answer any day to day questions you may have. Your personal Golden Valley contact will also be responsible for reminding you when you need to apply product or come into the surgery for a check-up. If you have a new puppy or kitten we have a plan that includes all you need in your first year to include lots of advice, neutering and microchipping. As we run the plans ourselves we do not charge the administration fees that other practices charge their clients so all the money you pay goes on the products and services you receive. Other practices are not large enough to cover the overhead of running their own preventative health scheme so have to adopt a one size fits all approach and pass on the administrative cost to you. This is not good enough for our clients and hundreds of our clients are now enjoying the benefits of the very special plans offered by Golden Valley. Full details of the plans are available on this site or from any of our branches.

Dog training on site:

The correct socialisation and training of your pet can make a huge difference to how much you can enjoy each other’s company in the years to come. A happy well balanced dog is a joy to own and it all starts from how they are treated as a pup. Golden Valley vets feel the correct training is so important they have arranged for classes to take place at Nailsea and all members of our Golden Start preventative health plans receive a money-off voucher for this puppy training.

Ample on site free parking:

Golden Valley vets understand that a visit to the vet can be a traumatic experience especially if you have to spend time driving around trying to park! At all of Golden Valley Vets branches we have ample dedicated parking so you have the shortest distance to carry your cat or walk your sick dog should the need arise. The rest of the time it is just much more convenient to be able to park right outside whichever branch you wish to visit.

Four branch surgeries:

Although we concentrate all our diagnostic and surgical resource at our Nailsea hospital, as that allows us to achieve the highest and safest standards, we also understand that many of our clients live some way from Nailsea and prefer to receive routine veterinary treatment with less travel. Golden Valley Vets therefore offer you the choice of attending one of our branch surgeries In Chew Magna, Clevedon, Long Ashton and Wrington. At a branch surgery you can receive all the routine treatment you would expect from either our vets or nurses and initial and follow up consultations for other conditions.   All our receptionists will be very happy to help you with any issues you may have and can advise on feeding and a wide range of other areas. So please feel free to pop into any or our branches to meet the team.

Vaccinations – Lepto 4:

Vaccinations are often used by veterinary practices as some sort of ‘loss leader’ to attract you in to their surgeries, however it is important to understand exactly what they are offering as all routine vaccinations are not the same. Golden Valley vets are committed to offering you best practice in all elements of their care and this also includes routine vaccinations. So when our vaccine manufacturer announced that they had produced a vaccination that protected dogs against even more variants of the disease call Leptospirosis we decided that it would be offered to our clients straight away. We have therefore been offering our clients the Lepto 4 dog vaccination since April 2014 and are pleased to report that as a result none of our clients have been affected by the recent problems of dogs contracting Leptospirosis (not all of whom survived) experienced by other local practices who were still using the old vaccine. Our clients deserve the best and in this case they definitely got it. Please check carefully if you are tempted to seek cheap vaccinations from other practices, as with many things there is an element of getting what you pay for. Golden Valley Vets will never use cheap vaccines or those from dubious suppliers and we believe that our prices are very competitive when the full extent of what we offer is understood. Our vaccination appointments also include a full health check, for more details, please see the next FAQ.

Why is it important to have an annual health check?

Golden Valley vets feel that whilst the annual vaccination is important the annual health check that comes with it is actually even more important for the long term welfare of your pet. During the annual health check our vets will monitor your pet’s health in a number of ways that will be determined by the age of your pet. A full report will be given to you which will include your individual pet’s body condition score, its oral health score and an indication in human years as to how your pet is aging, as well as some information and advice on day to day care. We will also identify to you what we would like to do the following year to continue to proactively monitor your pet’s health and pick up as early as possible any developing condition. Early treatment often offers the best chance of successful treatment and usually keeps long term costs down so it is really important that we get this important information on a regular basis. All vaccinations are not the same and a comprehensive annual health check is a very important element of your care for your pet – please don’t be tempted by cheap alternatives in the short term and end up paying higher prices in the long term.

Why do we have to be seen for a repeat prescription?

It is a legal requirement that Vets must only prescribe medications to patient’s who are ‘under their care’. In most cases, this means that we must have physically examined your pet within the last six months. However, certain conditions may require more frequent reviews in order to ensure the safe supply of certain medications.

The cost for a prescription review is a normal consultation fee plus an admin charge. This protocol is in place to meet our regulatory obligations, but more importantly to safeguard your pet, ensuring that they are still getting the right dose of the right drug as these may have to be adjusted to ensure the very best treatment. It also allows us to check that the medications are not having any unseen adverse effects by giving your pet a full health check- in some cases this even requires regular blood tests. In order to provide this continued care we ask for your support.

Why should I consider proactive monitoring for my pet?

Historically we have usually worked on a reactive basis, where clients bring in their pet for us to treat once a condition had been identified. However, we are now increasingly trying to adopt a more pro-active approach.

Pets clearly age faster than we do, but we know that even in younger pets there may be signs of organ failure or disease. If these conditions are spotted early, they can often be more effectively treated at much less cost than if the condition is left to develope.   This also applied to any inherited disease your pet may have.

We believe it is best to offer you pro-active monitoring of your pet and this becomes increasingly significant as your pet ages.   The objective is to ensure your pet has the highest quality of life for the whole of their lives so you can really enjoy your time together

Why should I take out a pet health plan with Golden Valley?

You will want the best preventative health for your pet – and so do we. This is why we have carefully chosen what we consider to be the best and most effective products for your pet to keep them in the peak of health, free from fleas and worms, eating the correct diet, and being monitored by your personal Golden Valley advisor who will really get to know this very important member of your family. The plan can also cover neutering in the first year, as well as the following year’s annual health check and booster vaccination.

At the moment we have two health plans: our Golden Start for puppies and kittens and our Golden Health Plan for adult dogs and cats. For more information on these, please visit our health plans page listed under pet advice on our website.

Why do I have to pay at the time?

Our aim is to always offer cost effective veterinary care. To help us to achieve this, we require payment for your consultation or treatment at the time and offer a 10% discount if your balance is cleared on the day of treatment by debit card, cash or cheque, or an 8% discount if paid by credit card – so you can benefit directly as well.

The discount is only offered if a full payment is received on the day of treatment and cannot be offered after that point. The discount is not offered on any out-of-hours’ work.

If insurance work is involved, we would ask you to supply us with a signed claim form which we are happy to submit to your insurance company on your behalf, together with the full payment for your pet’s treatment.

For larger amounts (by prior agreement only) we will accept payment directly from your insurance company. However, all excess should be paid at the time we receive your claim form. If the insurance company has a problem with your claim, or takes a prohibitive length of time to pay, we reserve the right to request payment from you. We also reserve the right to charge an administration fee for work associated with insurance claims.

All outstanding accounts will also be pursued through the courts. We do not feel it is fair for the majority of our clients to cover the costs of a few people who have defaulted on payments. Any charges associated with recovering unpaid amounts will be the responsibility of the defaulting client and added to the amount outstanding.

Why can I not return drugs?

We are required by our governing authorities to ensure that all drugs that we dispense have been stored at the correct temperature even during transportation. We are therefore unable to refund any drugs once they have been removed from the premises. Whilst we understand that this might be very annoying we hope you will appreciate that this will also protect you from ever receiving drugs that may have been damaged or stored incorrectly.

When should I see a nurse instead of a vet?

We understand that pets need a lot of ongoing care! Sometimes all you need is a bit of advice or help with the day to day care of your pet. This is where our dedicated nursing team comes in. We run FREE* nurse clinics 7 days a week at our Nailsea hospital and one day a week at each of our branches.

Nurse clinics can cover anything from a Dental Check and Oral health advice, or helping get you set up to care for your brand new puppy or kitten, to our popular weight watchers clinics. Our nurses are also adept at removing ticks, providing post operative care and wound checks, veterinary prescribed laser treatments, bandage changes and much more. Their wealth of knowledge is also available over the phone, so if in doubt just call, we’re happy to help!