Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a list of the most common questions we are asked at Optivet.

Why have I been referred?

Your vet may diagnose your pet with a complaint which needs assessment and treatment by a referral clinician who has further training in the relevant discipline. This requires you to take you pet to a referral centre, where the clinicians will use your vet’s findings, your observations and a careful and thorough examination in order to diagnose what is wrong with your pet.

A treatment plan will be made, and this may require further follow up visits to the referral centre, or your own vet may be able to continue treatment.

How do I find Optivet Referrals?

Once you have booked your appointment with us, we will send you an email containing your referral pack which includes details of your booking and our contact information.

How long will the appointment take?

It is a good idea to allow at least 1 hour for the initial appointment. If the assessment will take longer than this we may ask you to leave your pet with us.

Should I feed my pet before the appointment?

We will sometimes need to sedate or anaesthetise your pet so that we can carry out further assessment or surgery if required. Therefore, we recommend that your pet has no food after midnight but that water is available at all times.

What do you need to bring with your pet?

All current medication.
Letters, lab results and x-rays from your vet if necessary.
Any special food that you pet may require if staying in with us.
You are welcome to bring in a toy or bedding for your pet but please be aware that it may be lost or damaged if it needs to be cleaned / laundered during his / her stay with us.

Will my insurance cover the cost of referral?

Please check with your insurance company as we are unable to guarantee that your pet is covered. If your animal is insured, please advise the receptionist of this fact. Your own vet will need to fill out an insurance claim form for their treatment. You will need to provide us with a separate claim form so that we can submit a claim form for our treatment.

The amount owing is payable by yourself after consultations and after surgery. Please check with your insurance company where possible that they will cover the condition in case exclusions apply. Where necessary, we will prepare a pre-authorisation claim form to ensure that your pet is covered for the condition before expensive treatment is undertaken.

In special circumstances, we will be able to put a pre-authorised claim to your insurance company as a direct claim. However, you need to tell us about this in advance as this normally takes 3-4 weeks and needs to be completed before any treatment begins.

What are the pre-surgery instructions?

Food and water

 •    Diabetics – NO food or treats after midnight of the night before. Water can stay down overnight and be given up until admission. DO NOT give any insulin in the morning, but bring the insulin, needles and diabetic food with you sufficient to cover 2 days of hospitalization in case this is required.

•    Non-diabetics – NO food or treats after 10pm the day before surgery. Water can stay down overnight and be given until admission.

•    Rabbits- please DO NOT starve. Please bring a bowl of their normal food with them for admission.

Medication/Prescription diets

Please bring any medication or prescription diet along on the day of surgery, even if your pet is not staying overnight. Please ensure if someone else is having to bring your pet in on your behalf that they are aware of times of any medication given/needed and the amount of food needed for each feed.

Admit times

Please be at Optivet Referrals between 8am – 8.30 am. The doors will be opened at 8:00am, unless an earlier admission time has been agreed with a member of staff.

Extra information

Before bringing your dog in for admission please ensure you take them for a wander to allow them to relieve themselves.

Please keep cats in overnight the night before surgery to prevent them from eating anything whilst out, or not being around to be brought in.

We recommend that after certain surgeries (except entropion, medial canthoplasties) your dog should be walked on a harness at all times to prevent a build-up of pressure in the eyes.


Please bring your insurance policy and a claim form with the necessary areas filled in and signed.


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