Cocker spaniel in wards with nurses

How to be referred

If you and your primary care vet feel that your pet has a condition which is beyond the scope or expertise of what can reasonably be achieved in general practice, then a referral to a specialist is appropriate.

A referral can only be made by your primary care vet, who will provide us with all the medical information we require in order to treat your pet and discuss the possible solutions with you when an appointment has been made. To find out more about what to expect from your referral journey, have a look at our Your Visit page.

Referral is a system of professionals working together to offer all pet owners the best service and healthcare options for their animal family member. Specialists at referral centres have vast experience in their field and access to specialist equipment that might not necessarily be available in general practice.


Specialist James Guthrie examining a patient in consult

Specialist Dr James Guthrie examining a patient at Fitzpatrick Referrals Orthopaedics and Neurology.


Why Fitzpatrick Referrals?

We provide referral-level care for orthopaedic and neurology presentations 24 hours a day, 365 days of a year, and we make these five promises to each and every patient and their families:

  • We promise to work with every family towards achieving the best possible quality of life for their animal family member
  • We promise to respect the emotional needs and financial constraints of our clients and support them in their time of making and coping with difficult decisions, whilst providing them with the fullest possible information to make informed choices.
  • We promise to support our professional colleagues in every way we can at all times and will ensure that they remain fully informed. Our referring practitioners will remain integral to the care team for the patient to maintain continuity of care.
  • We promise to uphold the strictest code of moral and ethical conduct for the betterment of our patients and our profession at all times.
  • We promise never to advise intervention purely because it is possible, but only where it is warranted and justified. We take seriously our responsibility to judge the fine line between suffering with hope of recovery where pain can be relieved and suffering when it is best to say goodbye to a beloved friend.


Fitzpatrick Referrals