We understand that having your horse referred to another veterinary surgeon can be a difficult or stressful decision. Our team of veterinary surgeons, nurses, and support staff are dedicated to provide the very best care for your horse. We have dedicated clinicians in their field with extensive experience and expertise, and we continually strive to enhance and improve the support we offer to referring veterinary surgeons, horse owners, and their horses. 

Alongside our work, the purpose built facilities and experience in using a wide array of diagnostic, therapeutic and surgical equipment are fundamental to ensuring your horse receives the best treatment and care. 

We understand that particularly in times of injury or an emergency, horses can often arrive following a stressful event, and our team work hard to ensure that your arrival at the practice gives you the confidence that your horse is in the best place to receive the excellent clinical care that it needs to help it on the road to recovery.

Our dedicated team of clinicians and support staff are on hand to ensure you are kept informed regarding your horse’s treatment and care throughout the duration of their time at South West Equine.

Here our aim is to answer some of the most commonly asked questions and to reassure owners of the care and service that they and their horse/s can expect to receive when visiting South West Equine Referral Practice.

Frequently Asked Questions:

All referral cases must come to us from your vet. Your vet can refer a case to us by emailing
or by completing our refer a case form here.

If your first opinion practice does not have a preferred referral practice to send clinical cases to, you can request that your horse is referred to South West Equine Referral Practice should you wish us to treat your horse. Again, this can be done by your vet either emailing our clinical team or completing our refer a case form on our website.

When you arrive on the Nutwell Estate, please do not unload your horse until you have met with one of our team. Once your horse is admitted with us, our immediate priority is to make them comfortable, administer any medication that is required and to carry out our initial assessments and any emergency procedures that are required. The time that this takes does vary on a case by case basis, so we ask owners to please bear with us during this time, and we will provide you with an initial update at the soonest opportunity.

Our team will ensure they are settled in as best as possible and keep you informed throughout your horse’s stay. At this point, we will ask for any insurance information to be confirmed. This is to ensure as much as possible a stress free decision process depending on what veterinary care is required. 

If your horse has to be hospitalised, the team will contact you as soon as possible to advise and update on the case. This will be an opportunity for you to advise any specific management information specific to your horse is provided to the team ahead of your horse’s stay. This might include your horse’s preference on the type of roughage for example. Your horse will be stabled throughout their stay in large purpose built airy stables. We can provide your horse access to grazing in day paddocks if needed and appropriate. Our team are on hand to provide 24/7 monitoring of in-patients. If your horse needs to stay in the practice for ongoing treatment and care, our team will be in touch to discuss a care plan. 

If your horse has a suspected viral or bacterial disease such as Strangles, we do have isolation facilities. Our team will be in touch prior to your arrival. 

We know it is worrying when your horse is hospitalised and so we will endeavour to contact you daily whilst your horse is
with us to ensure that you are kept up to date with their health and progress.

If you are able to confirm the best telephone number and/ or email address to contact you on we will keep this on file during the duration of their stay.

Once your horse is admitted with us, our immediate priority is to make them comfortable, administer any medication that is required and to carry out our initial assessments and any emergency procedures that are required. The time that this takes does vary on a case by case basis, so we ask owners to please bear with us during this time, and we will provide you with an initial update at the soonest opportunity.

As the practice is a medical environment, we do ask that all your horse’s belongings are left at home in order to avoid the transferring of any disease, viruses or pathogens into the shared areas. Whilst this can be disappointing for some, it is important that this rule remains in place so as not to compromise the health and wellbeing of the animals in our care. Similarly, all paddocks, in-patient barns and isolation units are kept clear of equipment and are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between cases to ensure the environment is sanitised and ready for the next patient to use.

Please feel free to contact the office on 01392 872881

We will keep your vet informed on the case and send them a clinical report. If necessary, our team will discuss the case and ongoing care with your vet following your visit. 

We do our best to enable owners to visit their horse whilst hospitalised, but this is always arranged with your animal’s best interests in mind, so in some situations this may not be appropriate due to the care and treatment that they are receiving.

If you do would like to visit the practice, please discuss this with the clinical team who will be able to advise on the most convenient time for you to attend.

The office opening hours are 08:30am – 05:00pm Monday – Friday. During the office opening hours you will be able to contact our admin and finance team regarding any queries that you may have, as well as to discuss treatments with our clinical team.

Outside of the office opening hours, our clinical team are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and are on hand to admit emergency cases into the practice at any time.

To contact our clinical team outside of office hours, please call 01392 872881 and you will be transferred directly to the on-call veterinary surgeon who will be able to assist you with your case.

Please note it is the role of the insurance company to reimburse you for the fees incurred for veterinary treatment. If your horse is insured, it is your responsibility to contact your insurance company before your horse’s appointment. If your horse is admitted as an emergency at night, on the weekend or bank holiday, you should notify your insurance company as soon as possible after admission. You need to check with your insurance company about your level of cover, any exclusions that might apply and what excess you need to pay.

Contact your insurers who will send you a claim form. Do not wait until treatment has finished as it may be too late to claim by then. Fill this in promptly and return it. Your insurers will ask your vet to fill in a form too – some companies do this directly with the vet, others ask you to forward the form to the vet. It is important to get the form to the insurer and the vet promptly, with any accompanying paperwork such as invoices. Please fill in the whole form, including the date when the condition was first noticed to avoid the claim being delayed. If the vet continues to treat the horse after the claim was submitted, contact the insurer who will ask you for the invoices and maybe a continuation form or vet report.

Please remember that for insurance claims, the role of the insurance company is to reimburse the policy holder for the fees paid by the policy holder for the veterinary treatment. All invoices must be settled within our normal payment terms, even if they have not been reimbursed by the insurance company by the time payment is due.

For more insurance and payment questions please visit our Payment & Insurance FAQs page.

We ask that only the horse(s) that is receiving treatment from us is brought into the practice. This ensures that our facilities are available and ready for inpatients, especially for any incoming emergencies. If your horse does get stressed when it is away from its companion, please give us a call to discuss ahead of your appointment.  

We are open from 8.30am – 5.00pm Monday to Friday. If you are not able to drop off your horse or pick up during these times, we can organise an early or late pick up for a fee of £100. If you would like to pick up your horse during the weekend, this can be arranged. 

If we have space for your horse’s stay to be extended, the additional overnight charge is £90.

We do not offer any first opinion services. Your horse can be referred to South West Equine Referral Practice for elective procedures and emergencies by your vet. We are happy to discuss your horse’s case with your vet, irrelevant to whether it leads to it being referred to us or not. 

We appreciate that a situation can change and you might need to cancel your appointment. We ask that you inform us of a cancellation as soon as possible. Cancellation fees may apply. 

Please arrive for your appointment at your allotted appointment time provided by our office team. Please avoid arriving earlier than this time as our team might not be ready to admit your horse.  We will be in touch with as much notice as possible if your appointment time changes. 

We appreciate that there are some situations that are outside your control that mean you arrive late to your appointment. We will try to accommodate this though we may need to delay or reschedule your appointment to a different day if we cannot fit you in that day. 

If you have travelled a long way to South West Equine Referral Practice, we can recommend a number of places to eat, visit and stay if required whilst your horse is receiving treatment with us. Please speak to our office team who will be happy to give you some options. 

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Our team are on hand to advise on any insurance queries