‘The Ralph’, which opened in 2019, is the UK’s largest private independent (non-corporate) multidisciplinary specialist veterinary referral centre for dogs and cats.
Their hospital is in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, and is named after their founders cat. What a joy to discover a place where my neurodiversity is accepted and I am able to communicate easily and ask necessary questions.
My dogs were expertly cared for and all of us were warmly welcomed. They have regular blogs and journal about what goes on and where you can learn more about the people there. I love this community focus.
I met them when one of my dogs, who I had thought was just a little overweight, went downhill rapidly and after the initial scans and blood tests at my vets was referred to the cardiology team at The Ralph.
The exceptional care from the team gave Paqo, who was discovered to have multiple heart conditions and was very close to the end with heart failure, a whole extra year. He was on special heart medication and he had the most incredible turn around. That was priceless for me. I can never thank them enough for that year as I was not ready at all for him to have gone at that time. It was so sudden and unexpected; they were supportive and kind.
Learning more about hearts and their function was very educational and helped me understand all that was happening enabling me to provide the best care at home.
They are very compassionate and respect the relationships with pets and their carers. Most of all they embrace fear-free practice with their patients. I will not take my dogs anywhere that is not in place.
It is something we all dread when our dogs are in pain, ill or needing medical care. What I do is make sure mine are referred early on so I know they will have the best treatment and care.
The Ralph have a wide range of facilities. All of my concerns are addressed and my questions answered – which is essential for me being neurodiverse – to have information so I can process it my way. Facts are very important for me.
The effects of pain may present in many ways like anxiety and fearfulness, some can be reactive especially in an unknown environment. When a dog is in pain and feeling vulnerable, emotions and irritability can increase just the same as us humans too.
My dogs are large and have had various pain related issues that have needed investigation. It is not always easy as one refuses to walk inside, despite all the work put in when younger! So, he is seen outside and is much happier as a result.
Pain can cause stress so it is essential for me that I am in a place with professionals that understand this and are experienced with how they handle the dogs. But especially who can communicate with me easily. Together we move forward with the least stress and anxiety for my dogs.
When you have such committed and dedicated teams looking after your much loved pets, who are more than our best friends and family members, it makes me feel so much better about where my dogs are and what is happening to them.
The Ralph clinic is where we will continue to go. The best and only place for me and my dogs.