Take a look at our services

  • 24 Hour Care
  • Acupuncture
  • Dentistry
  • Dermatology
  • Home Visits
  • Keyhole Surgery
  • Microchipping
  • Nurses Appointments
  • Hydrotherapy & Rehabilitation
  • Neutering
  • Vaccinations

24 Hour Care

24 Hour Care

We provide on-site 24 hour patient care and an emergency service at our Lichfield hospital.

Should your pets require overnight hospitalisation or emergency treatment, you can be assured that they will be looked after by our own team of vets and nurses. We never leave your pets on their own, day or night, giving you that extra peace of mind.

24 hour emergency line – 01543 262464…you will always speak to a nurse never an answer machine.



What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture needles placed at specific points on the patient

Acupuncture involves the insertion of a needle/needles at acupuncture or trigger points on the body, with the aim to help treat a disease process.

What can acupuncture be used for?

One of the most common reasons for using acupuncture is to treat long term painful musculoskeletal problems such as osteoarthritis or back pain. It can also be used to treat lick granulomas, urinary incontinence and and other conditions. When acupuncture needles are inserted various effects are triggered at that site and throughout the rest of the body. Needles are normally inserted close to a source of chronic pain, such as osteoarthritis. This chronic pain is recognised by the brain as a result of ongoing nerve activity. When the needles are inserted this creates a new stimulus which now overrides the ongoing (chronic) pain. The brain is effectively fooled into concentrating on this new, non painful, stimulus and less of the chronic pain is experienced.

Helpful local effects also occur within the vicinity of the needle, such as the promotion of healing. General effects on the body are the result of the stimulated release of substances such as endorphins. These effectively work as a form of strong natural pain relief

What are acupuncture points?

Acupuncture points used in Western veterinary acupuncture have been adapted from the human points described in Eastern acupuncture. It is not fully understood what makes these points significant but they are normally located close to nerves and nervous structures and are sites capable of stimulating the nervous system.

What are trigger points?

Trigger points are tender points, usually felt as knots, in a taut band of muscle. They can cause referred pain. They often occur in set locations which in dogs frequently coincides with known acupuncture points.

Is acupuncture painful?

Whilst the aim of acupuncture needles is to create a stimulus that is interpreted by the central nervous system as potentially damaging, the aim is not to create a painful stimulus. The needles used are very fine and in most cases animals fail to notice them being inserted. Many animals will become relaxed with acupuncture needle insertion and may remain drowsy for up to 24hours. It should be noted that some animals may initially be more painful with their condition following a treatment, this is often an indication that they will respond well to acupuncture treatment.

Is my pet a candidate for acupuncture?

Most dogs tolerate acupuncture very well, but the ideal candidate should be a calm individual who is happy with being handled. It is not ideal for aggressive patients. In most cases we ask owners to remain with their pets during the session which helps to keep the animal calm. Cats would need to be assessed on an individual basis.


Does acupuncture work?

The response varies. Many animals respond very well, improving their quality of life significantly. Others do not enjoy the same effects. Often we are using acupuncture in addition to medications which are no longer helping enough and we are concerned by the level of pain the pet is experiencing. In these cases owners often decide it is worth a try. Acupuncture should be approached with an open mind, and each case is assessed as an individual. Often the initial effects are short lived but tend to build up as the sessions continue, we ask owners to keep a diary to assess the response.

How many sessions would my pet need?

Initially sessions are carried out weekly for 4-6 weeks. If the animal has responded well we then aim to do top up sessions every 8 weeks, or sooner if a relapse is noted before.

How do I arrange an acupuncture appointment?

All cases are assessed individually and acupuncture is available to all our clients and those from other practices if your own vet is not trained in acupuncture.  Ian Thomas has completed the ABVA Foundation course and is happy to see clients. Alternatively we can arrange referral to someone with certification.

If you would like to see Ian to discuss acupuncture please phone our Lichfield hospital.

Will my insurance pay for acupuncture?

Many insurance companies will now cover complementary therapies such as acupuncture or hydrotherapy as part of a treatment regime. Your insurance company can advise you.


As discussed above long-term pain as a result of osteoarthritis is one of the commonest reasons that acupuncture is performed.

Osteoarthritis is inflammation and destruction in the joints. It can develop either with wear and tear as animals age, due to a previous trauma, or sometimes as a result of a developmental condition.

The pain resulting from osteoarthritis  may be displayed in various ways. The pet may show lameness, stiffness when rising, a reluctance/difficulty jumping up and using stairs or a reduced exercise tolerance. The pain may result in a change in the animals demeanour.

Owners may often notice that they don’t want to interact with the family as much, aren’t keen to go out, become grumpy and generally loose their spark.

Traditionally we are very aware of osteoarthritis in dogs, because we actively walk them and take them in and out the car, it is easier to notice when walks are becoming slower and less enthusiastic or when we have to start lifting the dog into the car.  However recent studies have demonstrated that cats are commonly affected by osteoarthritis. The symptoms in cats are harder to spot as they will naturally reduce their own exercise. Owners should look out for changes like; a reduction in grooming, stopping jumping up to favourite hiding places/surfaces, a change in demeanour,  missing the litter tray, not going out as much and pain reactions when stroked.

There are various medications that can be used for osteoarthritis including non- steroidal anti-inflammatories like Metacam or Onsior, opiods like tramdadol and joint supplements. Often a combination of therapy is needed. Sometimes we may have concerns using these medications due to other health problems or medications may simply not be enough to try and control pain. Alternatively owners may be keen to try a non-medicinal treatment option. Acupuncture is often helpful in these situations. Hydrotherapy may also be useful and we can provide information on local hydrotherapy units.

If you think you are seeing any of these symptoms in your pet, arrange an appointment with one of our vets, you may be surprised how much we can do to help your pet in their elderly years and we certainly do not see ‘getting old’ as a disease process. Treatment of pain can often result in the return of the happy pet that you are missing.


We offer pet dentistry services at Pool House Vets. More pet dentistry content coming soon!


Dermatology Referrals

Mark Craig is a veterinary dermatologist. Mark qualified as a vet from Liverpool University in 1985. After 5 years in general veterinary practice, he spent three and a quarter years as a resident in dermatology at the Royal Veterinary College, where he gained his certificate in small animal dermatology. Since leaving the college in 1993, Mark has built up Re-Fur-All Referrals, a veterinary dermatology referral service in the south of England and midlands. He is particularly interested in skin allergies and he regularly performs intradermal allergy testing.

Mark is dermatology editor for the veterinary publication, UK Vet, writes extensively on animal skin diseases, translates dermatology articles and text books from French to English, and has presented papers at national and international dermatology congresses.

Mark consults at Pool House Veterinary Hospital typically every 3-4 weeks.

Approximate length of an initial referral consultation is one hour and a quarter. Subsequent consultations are scheduled for between 20-30 minutes.

Mark sees mainly cats and dogs but welcomes all animals with skin problems, no matter how challenging!

To visit Mark’s website for Re-Fur-All Referrals, please click here.

Contact us for bookings

Home Visits

Home Visits

We are able to provide both vet and nurse home visits if required. For routine visits we appreciate as much notice as possible, as this helps us to plan our day. We can provide home visits Mon-Fri between the hours of 10am-4pm. Visits outside of these hours, particularly at weekends and overnight, can sometimes be difficult to accommodate as we have reduced staff numbers at these times, please be understanding if we cannot immediately attend.

In some circumstances it may be beneficial for your pet to attend the surgery. On any home visit we are limited to the amount of equipment and medication we can bring with us. This may delay your pet getting the treatment it needs and could be detrimental in some conditions. We will advise you if we think your pet needs to attend the surgery and discuss options available for transportation.

Contact us for bookings

Keyhole Surgery

Keyhole Surgery

Pool House Veterinary Hospital is pleased to launch our laparoscopic service.

Jamie Newton BVMS CertAVP MRCVS leads our laparoscopic and thoracoscopic surgical team at our Lichfield Hospital and is available for advice from clients and referring vets alike on 01543 262464. We have performed in excess of 150 keyhole procedures since launch and as such we feel comfortable in this technique.

What is laparoscopic surgery?

Otherwise known as keyhole or minimally invasive surgery, it is a gentle alternative to conventional open surgery.

Laparoscopic surgery is performed using a tiny camera (known as a laparoscope) and long slender instruments that are placed into the animal’s abdomen through small incisions of 5 – 10mm.

Why laparoscopic surgery?

Laparoscopic surgery has become a major part of human surgery and only very recently is the evidence becoming clear that it has many advantages to our veterinary patients too.

  • Significant reduction in pain and stress after surgery
  • Faster recovery times for our patients and quicker return to normal exercise
  • Smaller incisions
  • Better visualisation for the surgeon

For sick animals where invasive diagnostics are required, a shorter, less painful procedure can often make a big difference and often mean hospitalisation time can also be shortened.

Pool House Veterinary Hospital are very keen for our patients to benefit from these advantages and therefore have invested heavily to offer this service to our clients and their pets.

Are all procedures best performed laparoscopically?

Not all procedures can be performed through tiny incisions. For example open surgery is often best placed to remove foreign bodies (stones, socks etc.) from the gastrointestinal tract or for the removal of diseased organs (spleen, uterus etc.).

However there are many procedures and particularly elective procedures that are ideal for this type of surgery- for example bitch neutering, undescended testis in male dogs, preventative surgery for stomach twists (GDVs) or even exploration of the abdomen or thorax for biopsies.

Are there any side effects from this procedure?

The most common side effect seen in humans is shoulder pain, however this is not experienced in our patients.

Nevertheless, no surgery (laparoscopic or traditional) or general anaesthetic, is without its risks and these will be discussed with you prior to admission to the hospital.

Are laparoscopic procedures covered by pet insurance?

Yes, in the majority of cases this surgery is covered by your policy. As always it is always best to check with your insurance company regarding your individual policy. Please note that routine neutering is not covered by your insurance including laparoscopic neutering.

Laparoscopic Spays

What to expect from a laparoscopic spay

Laparoscopic spays (also known as “keyhole spays” or “lap spays”) involve placing a camera (laparoscope) and a long slender instrument into the abdomen via 2 small incisions. Due to the positioning of these instruments, a large diamond shaped clip of fur is clipped to ensure the area is sterile. In a laparoscopic spay only the ovaries are removed, compared to a conventional open spay, in which the entire uterus and ovaries are removed together. Removing only the ovaries is still completely effective at preventing unwanted pregnancies and pyometra (infection of the uterus).

Your dog is discharged the same day as surgery, 2 small incisions will be visible on the midline of her abdomen but usually no Elizabethan collar is required.

We understand how difficult it can be to rest young bouncy dogs. Following a laparoscopic spay your dog will be sleepy that night as with any other dog who has had a general anaesthetic but are usually back to normal the next day. Only 2 days of lead restricted exercise is required compared to 2 weeks with a traditional spay.

We recommend a post-operative check of all patients who have had a general anaesthetic normally 3 days after surgery with a final check at day 10 to check the wounds have healed well.


As per other laparoscopic procedures the advantages are very similar.

  • Less pain after surgery
  • Exercise restriction of 2 days rather than 2 weeks
  • 2 small incisions
  • No sutures to remove


You can see our price list here.

How do I arrange to have a laparoscopic spay?

Laparoscopic surgeries are only available at our Lichfield hospital so if you wish to book please phone the hospital on 01543 262464. If you would like more information on this service or have questions regarding laparoscopic surgery then please do not hesitate to ask your vet, or call any of our branches, and we will ensure you get to speak to someone who can help you.

Prophylactic Laparoscopic Gastropexy

What is a Gastropexy?

A gastropexy is the permanent fixing of the stomach to the abdominal wall. This is performed specifically to help stop the twisting that is fatal in GDVs (Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus).

Prophylactic (i.e. to prevent disease) gastropexy is indicated particularly in at-risk breeds and/or for animals who have a first-degree relative with a history of GDV.

It should be noted that bloating can still occur but this is not life-threatening.

What breeds are at particular risk?

  • Great Danes
  • Weimaraners
  • St. Bernards
  • Irish Wolfhounds
  • Setters
  • German Shepherds
  • Dobermans
  • Standard Poodles
  • Bloodhounds
  • Basset Hounds
  • Shar Peis

Prophylactic Surgery

Gastropexy surgery is normally prophylactically performed during a neuter (female or male) but can be performed as a stand-alone surgery.

Gastropexy can be performed as an ‘open’ traditional surgery or as a laparoscopically-assisted approach (keyhole). Keyhole is out preferred surgical technique due to the less invasive and less painful nature along with a quicker return to normal function.

As per a keyhole spay, there are no external sutures to be removed.

Can a dog with GDV have a laparoscopic gastropexy?

Unfortunately, due to the emergency nature of a GDV the stomach needs to be physically and rapidly untwisted via an ‘open’ surgical approach. In addition, there are often other pathologies encountered (e.g. splenic torsion, gastric wall necrosis, vascular thrombi) that have to be surgically dealt with.

What is the cost and how do I arrange to have a laparoscopic gastropexy?

The cost of the procedure depends on the size of the animal and if the procedure is undertaken as a stand-alone surgery or alongside a neuter. Our team at Lichfield or at any of our branches are more than happy to discuss the costs in detail and to book the procedure for you.

Please do not hesitate to phone us if you would like to discuss this service in detail with any one of our vets.



As of April 2016 it is a legal requirement to have your dog microchipped! Owners found to have a dog that is not microchip could face a fine. Don’t get caught out, get your dog microchipped today.

Everyday animals across the country go missing from their homes and end up in the care of the local veterinary practice or dog warden. Many owners will use collars to identify their pets, but what if your pet loses their collar or if they aren’t wearing it when they go missing? Often in these cases there is no way for your pet to be traced back to you and sadly many pets are never reunited with their owners.

This scenario can be easily avoided by having your pet microchipped. This is a simple procedure which can be done quickly and without anaesthetic.

The microchip is implanted under the skin at the scruff of the neck, using a sterile loaded needle. It takes seconds to do and lasts a lifetime.

How does it work?

Every microchip has its own individual number which can be read using a special scanner. Once inserted, we complete with you the necessary paperwork which then links all your pets details to this number. Should your pet go missing, the vet, rescue centre or dog warden will scan to check for a chip number and this can then be checked on the national database to obtain your details so we can contact you.

To have your pet microchipped, just phone to book an appointment with your vet or nurse.

Nurses Appointments

Nurse Appointments are available at Pool House Vets.

Hydrotherapy & Rehabilitation

Mobility Matters is our veterinary hydrotherapy and rehabilitation centre based in Lichfield. We offer a range of services in hydrotherapy, physical rehabilitation and chronic pain management for dogs and cats. Fronted by our highly qualified veterinary nurse and physiotherapists, we aim to provide the very best care and support for your pet.

Find out more about this service.


We offer neutering services at Pool House Vets. More neutering content coming soon!


We offer pet vaccinations at Pool House Vets. More vaccinations content coming soon!


We would be more than happy to discuss the costs of your requirement or procedure. Please contact your local branch for further advise and support.

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