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01883 741440

Vets Telephone:

01883 741449

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Your referral appointment

Your referral appointment

In the same way that a GP refers a patient for Specialist treatment, so your vet can refer your pet to us. Our team includes internationally recognised Specialists in cardiology, orthopaedics, neurology, ophthalmology, oncology, surgery, internal medicine, anaesthesia and radiology. All have completed many years’ additional study in their chosen fields and some are world-class experts.

Your consultation

Before the appointment

Most pets need to fast before their consultation appointment. This means food should be withheld from midnight, although water can be given as normal. Pets under 12 weeks of age and diabetic pets should not be fasted, and diabetics should receive their insulin as normal.

On arrival, please park and follow the signs to reception. Disabled parking is available and if you have any special requirements or require help accessing the hospital, please let us know in advance.

You should aim to arrive ten minutes before your appointment. Our reception team will check you in and make sure you and your pet are comfortable.


During the consultation

The Specialist will ask lots of questions about your pet’s health and condition during your consultation. It may feel that they’re repeating what’s already in the medical notes, but it’s really helpful to hear things straight from you.

He or she will talk to you about possible treatment options or diagnostic tests for your pet, including an estimate of costs, and together you’ll decide how to proceed.

We know this can be a difficult and emotional time, and that some of the language we use might be unfamiliar, so please ask as many questions as you need in order to make your decision.

Some owners like to make a list of queries or concerns beforehand, which they can ask in the consultation.

We will communicate regularly with you while your pet is in the hospital, advising on estimated costs and if additional procedures result in costs being exceeded.



The majority of patients are admitted for a day or overnight when undergoing diagnostic tests or surgical procedures. More serious conditions may require a longer stay. Your clinician will advise you when to come back and pick up your pet.

Once your treatment plan is agreed, your pet will be taken to the wards to meet the nursing team and be settled into their kennel.

We have separate cat, dog, isolation and high dependency wards, all with natural light and air conditioning. All kennels have special vet beds and blankets. Unfortunately, we cannot accept your pet’s own bedding and toys for risk of infection.

Our nurses work in teams and are assigned to particular specialisms for a week at a time. This ensures your pet has the same team of nurses looking after them for the duration of their stay. All new admissions are given a check by their nurse before settling down to wait for their procedure.

Our nursing assistants feed all the patients, as advised by the clinicians, and keep patients clean and well groomed, with plenty of cuddles and TLC!



Our Imaging Suite has the facilities to conduct MRI scans, CT scans, ultrasound scans, endoscopy and x-rays, and is staffed by qualified radiographers. Most patients are sedated or anaesthetised prior to their procedure. Afterwards, they recover in the wards under the constant supervision of our nursing team. Preliminary results of imaging studies are available immediately.



Surgical and some diagnostic procedures require general anaesthesia. Our team of internationally recognised anaesthesia Specialists oversee all anaesthesia in the hospital.

Anaesthetic plans are individualised to patient needs, and extensive ‘multi-parameter’ monitoring is employed as standard, just as in a human ICU. We continually strive to optimise pain prevention and pain relief in all our procedures, helping patients to recover quickly from anaesthesia and surgery.

For further information about anaesthesia and what to expect, please see our Anaesthetic Pet Health Information Sheet.



We perform a range of operations, from cataract surgery to brain tumour removal, in our suite of four operating theatres. Our theatre team includes Specialists in orthopaedic surgery, soft tissue surgery (including cancer surgery), neurosurgery, ophthalmic surgery and even cardiology, along with Specialist anaesthetists, theatre nurses and nursing assistants.

Before surgery, the patient is assessed and an individual anaesthetic and pain management plan created. During surgery and recovery, the patient is monitored constantly, and reassessed according to the Specialist’s recommendations. Patients recover on the wards, where they are regularly checked. Individualised nursing care plans ensure a happy and speedy recovery.


On the wards

Our ward nurses represent the largest team in the hospital. Ward nurses monitor patients, prepare patients for procedures, administer medication as directed by Specialists and ensure all necessary checks are carried out, as well as other requirements such as physiotherapy.

Nurses are allocated to specific disciplines and work together to ensure continuity of care for patients, with thorough handovers between early and late teams ensuring nurses know the patients well.

Patients who are very poorly are kept in the High Dependency Unit (HDU) under constant supervision. HDU is equipped with incubators, extra-large kennels to allow nurses to sit in with patients and even a crash trolley, just in case.

Our cat ward is quiet and calm, designed so that cats cannot see one another from the kennels, in order to minimise stress.

Feeding and special diets

During their hospital stay, patients are fed high-quality, digestible foods. Every day, fresh chicken and white fish are cooked for those that need a little extra encouragement to eat, and we also prepare foods for patients we know will try something else. We avoid foods that are known to confer risk of tummy upset and we understand that some pets have known food intolerances. If your pet has a specific dietary need, please consider bringing some of their food with you to ensure we can maintain their dietary routine.

Visiting your pet

If you wish, you can visit your pet during their stay. To keep the hospital running smoothly, visits take place within specified times and there may be occasions when we feel it is better not to visit a patient.


Discharge appointment

When your pet is ready to go home, a discharge appointment will be made. During this appointment, your Specialist or one of the nurses looking after your pet will meet with you and explain any homecare instructions. This will cover issues such as exercise, pain management and things to look out for. We will explain strategies to help your pet’s recovery, such as physiotherapy or wound care, and advise if you need to come back for a re-check. Please ask us if you have any concerns or if anything is unclear.

If you are covering costs through an insurance policy, we will be happy to help you with your claim. Please see the insurance information on our website for further details. After your pet is discharged, a letter outlining all diagnoses, treatments and further plans will be sent to your vet.



We dispense medications at the time of discharge. If you prefer, you can ask us for a prescription so you can obtain your pet’s medications elsewhere (a small charge will be made for this). We can only provide prescriptions for animals under our care, so any patient requiring repeat prescriptions will need to be re-assessed by us at least every 6 months. Communication

Once your pet has been discharged, if you have concerns about any aspect of their recovery or behaviour, please call us. Vets and nurses are on the premises 24/7 and will be happy to help. We will aim to put your mind at rest, provide advice or if necessary, re-admit your pet to the hospital.


We are confident that we can offer your pet the best clinical care available. We put heart and soul into caring for our patients and always value feedback.

It means the world to us to know that our care is valued, so please feel free to send an email or a card if you are happy with the care your pet has received. Likewise, if you don’t feel we have done our best, please let us know and give us the chance to put things right. We can only improve things if we know where we have gone wrong, so appreciate you contacting us with any concerns, however small.

You can tell us about your experience by filling in our online feedback form or from reception, or by emailing us at: [email protected] or giving us a call on: 01883 741440.


Still unsure?

If you have any questions or are at all unsure about what to do regarding your pet's referral to us, please do not hesitate to call us on 01883 741440 - our reception staff will be happy to help..


What to bring to your NDSR consultation

What to bring to your NDSR consultation

  • Please check with your vet that they have sent us your pet’s medical history and laboratory reports
  • Please bring with you X-rays, scans or other information your vet may have supplied
  • Please bring with you any prescribed medication that your pet is currently taking
  • If you are making an insurance claim, please bring a claim form with you.

Clipping prior to an operation


  • Any fur in the area of a surgical procedure must be removed before the operation takes place to ensure sterile conditions. Sometimes, the area to be clipped can be quite extensive. This is because more than one surgical technique may need to take place or the surgical team may need to handle other parts of the patient, which must also be sterilised.

North Downs Specialist Referrals is an RCVS Accredited Veterinary Practice

Our Achievements...

We are committed to excellence in the provision of our clinical service, client service and in the way in which we look after our staff and facilities...


What our Clients say about us...

Buster has visited 3 times to date and every time we have been dealt with compassionately, with honesty and with great care. Extreme thanks to Joel and Joao, we can’t recommend them more highly.

Buster Richards

Our oncologist Gerry Polton was just superb. Thorough and extremely informative he immediately put us at our ease due to his obvious competence and ability to not only explain the situation but also to address our many questions and concerns. However every member of staff was helpful and lovely to deal with. More human hospitals should take a leaf out of NDRS’s book!!

Coco Mahon

Absolutely wonderful. From the moment, we walked through the door, the care to my dog and I was out of this world. Thank you so much.

I felt very confident and safe leaving my beloved dog with you! I felt reassured with two telephone calls a day.

James was super helpful on email and over the phone. He did a fantastic job, what a hero!

Very professional, welcoming and organised. Excellent surgeon –this is the second cruciate ligament op and the first one’s re-visits were amazing.

I cannot fault the care and the treatment we received from all of the staff we encountered. Thank you all so much.

A very calm environment which helps with anxious pets and owners. The vet was extremely helpful and friendly and the Receptionist who made the tea and dealt with us was also calm and friendly.

When I first brought Rory to you I was genuinely of the opinion that he had only days, if not hours, to live. To see the transformation that you effected during the two days that he spent at NDSR was quite mind-blowing. To see the continuing progress that he has made since then has been the icing on the cake. We do not know how long he (or, indeed, any of us) has left but I can assure you that every penny has been well spent and I would unhesitatingly recommend the services provided by you and the other members of the NDSR team involved to anyone who was concerned about the welfare of their pet.

George Tyson

Everyone we came into contact with from our first visit to our last was friendly and helpful. Although a long journey for us we wouldn’t hesitate to come again if need be.

Kami-Khan Ross

We can’t thank you enough for the care and love you showed Kirby and us. You got him home to us to spend a special week. He has left a huge void and we will remember him for being the most amazing dog. Our best wishes.

Kirby Erentz

I just wanted to say how happy I am with my experience so far at NDSR. The reception staff are really helpful. Also, our vet, Ursula is fantastic. She is really caring, compassionate and takes the time to explain things properly. This is particularly useful given the complexity of Orla's condition. She is a credit to your practice and I thought she deserved a mention.

Kiri Nowak

Couldn’t have asked for any more and looked after our needs and Millie’s who started to enjoy going to the vets! First class service all round.

Millie Beasey

Having understood from my own vet that there was nothing to be done for my dog, I was surprised and delighted to be offered more than one way forward on my first visit to NDSR. I found Gerry Polton’s detailed explanations to be clear and easy to grasp, and he was very patient and happy to answer my many questions, which was a huge help in making the right decision for my dog.

Shona Campbell

Throughout this time Gerry and the rest of the NDSR staff have been unfailingly professional, compassionate and helpful. I couldn’t have put my beloved dog in better hands and I am grateful to them all for the care they have given us.

Shona Campbell

Once again thank you for your kind and professional attitude, we very much appreciated all we have received in your excellent clinic!

Ulrike & Holly Nerreter

Committed to excellence