Christmas time is a weird time at the Vets, We have panic shopping for flea and worm treatments but generally do not see so many of our patients unless they are really ill. I suppose that people are too busy stocking up on Turkey and trimmings or going away from home to visit relatives to notice minor illnesses.
The one time I can guarantee an emergency is during our lunchtime festive meal, usually just as the food is suitably hot or cold depending on what we are having that year. The number of times I have eaten cold pizza is uncountable. It’s never just I need to collect tablets or pick up some food but usually a full GA repair life and limb/extract foreign body which will then mean 99% of the surgery will need a deep clean before we go home, but from experience it’s not worth being open until our normal closing time because we will be sat here for 2.5 hours trying to find something productive to do but really wishing you were at home also sorting stuff out. People always seem to be surprised that we are only closed for 2 days, and that we can see them between Christmas and New Year, but pets cannot choose when to be ill and obviously we are on call as normal during the bank holidays. I have been called out on both Christmas day and Boxing Day – genuine emergencies but also have been called about a dog that was sitting in front of a hot fire panting…..
The day before we close for Christmas itself is usually quite quiet and we plan to see the pets that really need to see us from morning to night, extending our consult times and booking no routine ops for that day. We always seem to have a patient that needs an urgent test and crucial test but the labs are obviously closed for the festive period .We have tried to ensure that we have ordered in and dispensed all the routine medications that pets may need in the 2 weeks during this time. We also know that people like to share their Christmas dinner and are ready for the resultant upset gastrointestinal tracts in the days following Christmas!
On top of this we have the things pets eat that they are not supposed to including various poisonous edibles including but not limited to Christmas cake, mince pies, Christmas puddings, grapes, chocolate, Onions, Alcohol, Macadamia nuts, Blue Cheese, Mouldy foods, and Cooked bones/Carcases. Then there’s Christmas ornaments – Tinsel, Baubles, Fairy lights, plants including Poinsettia, Lilies, Ivy and Mistletoe, Toys and their batteries, and other detritus. Our advice just be careful, put stuff away and stick to pet food!
Now lunchtime interruptions normally are rare the rest of the year, but it’s almost a cert on festive meal day. We have tried the meal on not the last day before Christmas, tried changing the times but showing off the festive crackers hats at reception occurs on a regular basis. So just to put it out there we plan to have our meal this Friday and we plan to have a buffet so the food should keep. As it happens we are open the day after our meal as it is Saturday, but never mind there should be plenty of snacks to keep us going!
We would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and as usual we are on call if you do need to see us.

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