If your pet were to be ill, would you know how serious it was? Do you know whether they’d need a vet NOW or if it could wait till tomorrow – or even if it was something you could deal with by yourself? While you could of course phone your vet – all vets have arrangements for the care of their patients outside normal opening hours, and they’ll almost always give free telephone advice – you might not want to bother them. So what many animal owners do, is to go online… but of course, how do you know you can trust what you find? Dr Google is rather likely to give you 10 different answers!


This was why we created our original Symptom Checker. The aim was to provide a reliable, accurate resource that would let you, the owner, check your own animals’ symptoms and see what you needed to do. Did you need to call the vet? Was there any first aid you could do? Could this be managed at home? The aim was to give you that information at your fingertips. So, we assembled a huge team of vets, many of them RCVS Specialists in their respective fields, and built it. And it has proven hugely popular!


However, the original system is now more than ten years old – and sadly, it was starting to look its age. What was ultramodern back then now looks a little dated. What was optimised for a PC monitor, doesn’t look quite right on a smartphone. And what was intended as a simple signpost to how soon your pet needed care couldn’t handle the extra information that the modern animal owner needs to know – not just how urgent is it, but what could be wrong with your animal, and what this might mean for them.


For the last 6 months, we have been updating the Symptom Checker – it has a new and improved user experience, designed with less scrolling, so it is more user friendly and works even better on mobile devices. The design is sleeker, with questions more defined and the responses and advice easier to read. It also has a new section, “What could be the problem?” to provide you with additional information about your pet’s symptoms.


We’re really proud of it, and we’d love you to try it out! But we’re also aware that it needs to work for you – so if you have any feedback or suggestions – please get in touch and let us know!


So, please take a look at our new Symptom Checker – and the new Poisons Guide that goes with it!