1 Pool Way,
Cambridge, CB5 8NT (map)
Phone: 01223 247 986
Our subsidised animal clinic in Cambridge is exclusively for pet owners who are on means-tested benefits and who cannot afford private vet treatment living within the area covered by the clinic.
If you wish to use the clinic you MUST bring proof of benefits or paperwork (such as a bank statement which shows that you have a very low income) each time you visit.
If you are unable to bring your pet yourself it's fine for a helper to bring them for you, but the helper must show proof that you are in receipt of benefit and needs to have a signed note from you confirming that they are bringing the animal on your behalf.
The Cambridge clinic can treat most common domestic animals, but we do not have facilities for reptiles, poultry, exotic birds or farm animals.
If your animal belongs to a group that we cannot treat at the clinic, it may be possible for us to provide some financial help to enable them to be seen at a private vet. If you live inside our branch area, you can phone 07742 658 086 for advice about help.
Otherwise phone the national control centre on 0300 1234 999.
There is a basic £15 charge per visit, plus the cost price of any medicines prescribed for your pet.
The basic charge is payable to the RSPCA Cambridge and we use it to cover part of the cost of paying for vets to staff the clinic. Even though the university charges us less than a commercial rate, we do still need to pay for their services. Microchipping costs £10.
Cat and dog vaccinations cost £12 for the first vaccination and £12 for the booster 3 weeks later (if you are bringing a puppy or kitten) and £15 for annual boosters for cats and dogs.
If your cat or dog is not microchipped we require that this is done when they are vaccinated (at the second vaccination in the case of kittens and puppies).
Rabbit vaccinations cost £17 and need to be done each year, but there is no need for a 3 week booster.
You do not have to pay a consultation fee when bringing your pet for vaccination, micro-chipping or neutering as this is included in the charge for these.
Please note: we can only accept cash or cheque.
Charges for medicines are paid directly to the University of Cambridge vet school. They can take credit or debit card payments, as well as cash and cheque.
If your pet needs an operation it will be charged at cost price, excluding the value of the operating surgeon's time.
There is no appointment system at the clinic and animals are seen on a first-come, first-served basis (except some very infectious cases who may have to be seen last). However if an animal is desperately ill, let the reception volunteers know and they will ask the nurse to examine them immediately and move them up the queue if necessary.
Booking-in normally begins at about 8:30 am and no further cases will be admitted after 10:30 am, although everyone who has arrived by then will be seen. On busy days this will mean a long wait.
Tuesday: 9-10:30 - Open surgery
Wednesday: 9-10:30 - Vaccination, microchipping, neutering pre-checks and post-operative stitch removal only.
Please note: If you are bringing a puppy or dog for their first vaccinations we advise that you come to the Wednesday session and not one of the open surgeries, to avoid bringing them into contact with other dogs who may already be carrying infection. If possible, leave the puppy or kitten in your car while you register and only bring them into the building when it is your turn to see the vet. Carry them so that they do not risk picking up infection from where other animals have walked.
Suspected cases of infection CANNOT be seen at the clinic on Wednesdays, to avoid risk to young animals who are there for their first vaccinations.
Thursday: 9-10:30 - Open surgery
Saturday: 9-10:30 - Open surgery
Out of hours emergency treatment
Only registered clinic patients are eligible for out-of-hours emergency treatment at our reduced rates. This is charged at a higher rate than normal sessions in order to prevent the service being abused for non-urgent cases.
Registration is of individual animals, not the owner, so if you have several animals it is very important that you get them all registered. You can do this by bringing them to the clinic for their annual vaccinations or for a health check. No more than 3 dogs can be registered per household.
You will be given a registration card with an emergency number to contact if your pet is ill or injured outside normal clinic hours.
If your animal is registered with the clinic and has a problem which cannot wait until the following day, you should phone the number on your registration card for advice on what to do.
Please note: If your cat or dog has a litter and you plan to sell the puppies or kittens it is unfair to other owners to use our clinic for their vaccinations. You should charge the purchasers enough to cover the cost of the initial vaccinations at a private vet.
Our staff have instructions to refuse to vaccinate litters of pedigree puppies where they have reasonable grounds to believe that the puppies will be sold for profit.
Cambridge is a very high-risk area for myxomatosis, which is a distressing and almost always fatal disease of rabbits. The virus which causes the disease can be transmitted from wild rabbits to tame ones by biting insects such as mosquitoes without any need for direct contact. It is therefore extremely important that all pet rabbits are vaccinated to protect them against this killer disease.
Cambridge is also a high-risk area for canine parvovirus which causes vomiting, diarrhoea and bleeding from the intestines and is often fatal. Vaccination will protect your dog, but remember that vaccinations need to be maintained with yearly boosters to be fully effective.
If your dog is not vaccinated and starts vomiting or has diarrhoea DO NOT let them mix with other dogs and phone your vet for advice. If you have more than one dog, keep the sick one away from the ones who are still healthy.
Contact your vet by phone for advice before getting the healthy dogs vaccinated - they may be carrying the disease and it is important that they are not brought into contact with other dogs.
Neutering will prevent your pet from having unwanted litters (remember that pet shops do not always sex animals correctly). It also has health benefits for most animals, such as greatly reducing the risk of tom cats contracting diseases from wandering and fighting other male cats.
In the case of rabbits, neutering makes it possible for a male and female to live together and this is usually a much more harmonious pairing than two females or two males.
To put your pet on the waiting list for neutering, you need to bring them to the Wednesday session, for a pre-operation health check.
Payment should be made at this point and is
£20 for male cats, guinea pigs and ferrets
£21.50 for male rabbits
£35 for female cats
£40 for female rabbits
£40 for male dogs
£55 for female dogs.