Pet Advice

Information on caring for your pet


Please bring your pet in from 8:00am onwards. Make sure your pet doesn’t eat from 8:00pm the night before. It is very important that the stomach is empty to reduce the risk of vomiting whilst under anaesthetic. Small amounts of water may be given.

If your cat is due to have an operation it’s a good idea to keep him/her indoors the night before; very often, cats suspect something is going to happen and disappear over the fence at the sight of their basket!

Once home after the operation, keep your pet warm and quiet. Feed as recommended by the nurse or vet and keep cats in overnight in case of problems. Please phone immediately if your pets shows signs of distress.

Injured Animals

Take care - injured animals may bite or scratch out of fear. Move your pet to a safe area where you can keep them warm and quiet. Do not offer food at this point. Phone the surgery immediately so that we can ensure a vet is ready and waiting when you arrive.

End-of-Life Care

We may not like thinking about the sad day when we'll have to say goodbye to our pets but we believe it is best to make decisions now - they're so much harder when we're grieving.


Some people like to bury pets at home, perhaps their favourite spot in the garden. Others prefer to use a pet cemetery so that they can visit the grave, even if they move house. The Surrey Pet Cemetery and Chestnut Lodge both offer burial services for pets.


Surrey Pet Cemetary will collect from either Acorn surgery and can offer two options:

  • Individual cremation - pets are cremated individually and ashes can be returned to the owner or buried in the memorial garden.
  • Communal cremations - pets are cremated in small groups and the ashes buried in the memorial grounds. Memorial tablets may be placed in the flower beds planted over these sites.

Some crematoria perform communal cremations but will return ashes to owners; these ashes may not be entirely those of one animal. Do read the small print to ensure you get the service you want.

Pet Insurance

Advances in medicine, both human and veterinary, mean we can successfully treat a wider range of illnesses and injuries. Limbs which would once have been amputated can now be saved with pins and plates. Heart conditions which would have been life-limiting are diagnosed and controlled. Pets with arthritis can live pain-free lives with long-term medication and skin allergies successfully kept at bay.

All of these advances cost money and, unlike the NHS, vets do not receive government funding; our patients bear the full cost of treatment at the time it's performed.

Buying pet insurance means that your pet can benefit from the treatment they need and you won’t be faced with unexpected bills or difficult decisions.

Before signing up to any policy, do read the small print and make sure you are getting the right one for your pet. For example, check which conditions may be excluded, whether there are any excesses to pay and if there is a maximum amount the insurance company will pay for any one condition.

Useful Medical Terms

During consultations, vets and nurses may use terms you don't understand. Please always ask if you are unsure of anything; they will be happy to explain.

  • Acute - a condition which comes on suddenly and usually severely (see chronic).
  • Anorexia - loss of appetite (not to be confused with anorexia nervosa, which is a psychiatric condition in humans).
  • Antibiotics - drugs which kill or inhibit specific bacteria. They are not effective against viruses.
  • Cardiac - to do with the heart.
  • Chronic - long-term, e.g. a chronic ear condition is one which grumbles on over a long period.
  • Congenital - present at birth.
  • Cystitis - inflammation of the bladder.
  • Drain - a tube through which fluids can drain after certain surgeries.
  • Dysplasia - Literally "badly grown", e.g. in hip dysplasia, the hip joint does not develop correctly.
  • Excise - the total removal of a tumour or organ.
  • Histopathology/Histology - the examination of a surgical specimen (such as a lump) in a lab. Samples are carefully prepared and examined under powerful microscopes by a pathologist to discover the cause of a disease.
  • Hyper - increased, e.g. hyperthyroid means the thyroid produces too much hormone.
  • Hypo - decreased, e.g. hypothyroid means the thyroid does not produce enough hormone.
  • Ideopathic - no known cause.
  • -itis - anything ending in "itis" means that an inflammation is present, e.g. bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchii which lead from the windpipe to the lungs; dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin (from "dermis" meaning skin). The "itis" can be caused by a range of factors.
  • Mastitis - inflammation of the mammary glands, usually caused by bacteria.
  • PA - per anus, usually used to describe the origin of bleeding or discharge.
  • PV - per vagina, usually used to describe the origin of bleeding or discharge.
  • Pathogen - virus or bacterium which causes disease.
  • Oral - mouth, so drugs which need to be taken "orally" are taken by mouth.
  • Renal - to do with the kidneys.
  • Resect/Resection - to remove, for example, a tumour or an organ. With resection, not all of the tissue may be removed (see excise).
  • Respiratory - to do with the lungs and breathing.
  • Sutures - stitches.
  • Zoonotic - diseases which can pass from animals to humans.