Coronavirus Update

 

PET CLIENTS – ADVICE ON WHAT TO DO DURING THE CORONA CRISIS

(For Farm and Equine advice, please scroll down)

In conjunction with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and British Veterinary Association (BVA) this is how you can care for your pet during COVID-19 and this is what we are able to do.

We are open at our Blissford branch and our staff are on hand for you and your pets during this difficult time. Our Cranborne branch is currently open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9am – 5pm and Tuesday and Thursday between 9am and 2pm for collection of food and medicines, and for vaccinations where necessary (see our guidance below).

Coronavirus open

All clients are being offered video or telephone consults, enabling you to get the advice you need and for our team to decide if we need to see your pet in person to provide further care. For any emergencies we’ll ask you to attend the practice immediately.

We can provide essential care for all pets during the current government restrictions. This includes some vaccinations as well as providing products such as pet food, flea, worm and tick products, as well as ongoing medications. For any products you’d like to order simply call us to arrange for payment and safe collection/delivery of these items.

The below Q&A provides further details on how we are caring for pets at present.

What conditions constitutes an emergency needing immediate care?

If any of the below are occurring contact us IMMEDIATELY.

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Open wound injuries – significant bleeding
  • Trauma (e.g. car accidents)
  • Male cats struggling in the litter tray to pass urine
  • Rabbits neglecting food
  • Swallowing hazards i.e. toys/clothes etc.
  • Ingestion of poison/harmful substances
  • Eye problems
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea especially if your pet appears quiet or depressed or if it is going on for a long time (more than 24 hours)
  • Swollen abdomen or retching (especially large dogs)
  • Loss of thirst & appetite
  • Struggling to give birth
  • Seizures
  • Significant weakness or collapse
  • Flystrike
  • Struggling to urinate
  • Acute severe lameness

If the advice is to come into the practice please follow our advice below:

Please do not walk into the practice, we need to keep everyone safe.

Let us know you have arrived by calling us from the parking area or tapping on the door, and we will come out to collect your pet while maintaining social distancing measures.

Please let us know if you are self-isolating or showing any symptoms of Covid-19 before planning to come in. 

I am concerned about my pet’s health in general but I do not think it is an emergency?

To respect social distancing rules we are replacing our standard consultation service with video and telephone consultations. Please contact the practice to arrange an appointment or click here.

Can I bring my pet in for an INITIAL VACCINATION COURSE?

Unvaccinated puppies, kittens and rabbits are at risk from picking up the diseases we commonly vaccinate against.

Whilst the risk can be lessened by keeping pets inside and avoiding contact with unvaccinated animals, your vet can discuss your pet’s current situation with you, and risk assess whether vaccination at this point is recommended.

Please contact the practice to arrange an appointment and instructions on how we will keep you and our staff safe to enable us to carry out this treatment for your pet.

Can I bring my pet in for its ANNUAL VACCINATION BOOSTER?

Dogs – If your dog is due its annual booster, please discuss this with your vet. If your vet decides that your dog is at risk of picking up Leptospirosis then they may choose to administer a booster vaccination.  Please contact the practice to arrange an appointment and instructions on how we will keep you and our staff safe to enable us to carry out this treatment for your pet.

Cats – No. We can safely postpone this vaccine for up to 3 months after the due date without requiring a restart. If your cat is more than 3 months overdue their booster, please discuss this with your vet who will recommend what the best course of action is for your cat based on their situation & lifestyle.

Rabbits – If your rabbit is due its annual booster, please discuss this with your vet. If your vet decides that your rabbit is at significant risk of picking up either VHD or Myxoamatosis, then they may recommend vaccination.  Please contact the practice to arrange an appointment and instructions on how we will keep you and our staff safe to enable us to carry out this treatment for your pet.

How can I get my FLEA, WORM, TICK and FLYSTRIKE treatments?

It is important that you continue to give your pet the appropriate treatments. Please contact us to arrange getting these products to you.

Or REPEAT FOOD and MEDICATIONS?

It is important that you continue to give your pet the appropriate food and medication. We receive regular deliveries of pet food and medications, so there is no concern or reason for stockpiling. Please contact us to arrange getting these products to you, prior to your pet requiring repeat food or medications.

Can my pet still have ELECTIVE OPERATIONS such as Neutering, Dentistry and Lump removals?

At present elective operations such as neutering are not deemed essential. If you are worried about a lump on your pet we strongly recommend a video consultation with your vet at this time and if considered necessary by the vet we can advise on the best ways to manage.

Can I bring in my pet for a HEALTH CHECK?

Not at this moment in time because this is not deemed critical. However, depending on availability, we may be able to conduct a health check via a video or telephone consultation. Please ask the practice for further information.

Can I bring my pet in for NAIL CLIPS? Or to have their ANAL GLANDS expressed?

This should be postponed if your pet is not in any danger of feeling discomfort. If you are uncertain whether this is the case please arrange a video consultation or telephone consultation with the vet or the nurse.

What about ULTRASOUNDS and BLOOD TESTS?

The practice can deem whether this would be critical or not – please contact them to understand more.

The above still hasn’t answered my question?

Please contact us directly.

 

EQUINE CLIENTS – ADVICE ON WHAT TO DO DURING THE CORONA CRISIS

Please be assured that our staff are still on hand for you and your horses during this difficult time, we will not allow sick or injured horses to be left uncared for.

We have taken measures to ensure we can still treat for essential care to avoid unnecessary suffering or maintain equine welfare, whilst keeping you and us safe. As part of this all clients are being offered video or telephone consults, enabling you to get the advice you need and us to make remote assessments as to whether it is essential for us to see your horse in person to provide further care.

We are also still able to provide products such as worming products, as well as ongoing medications. Simply call us to arrange for payment and safe collection/delivery of these items.

The below Q&A provides further details on how we are caring for equines at present.

What conditions constitutes an emergency needing immediate care?

If your horse is suffering from any condition detailed below, contact us IMMEDIATELY.

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Open wound, laceration or puncture injuries
  • Trauma (e.g. car accidents)
  • Acute lameness. A sudden lameness that is obvious at the walk.
  • Laminitis
  • Eye problems/ trauma
  • Colic
  • Foaling difficulties
  • Foal emergencies (e.g. collapse or diarrhoea)
  • Recumbency or collapse
  • Severe depression
  • Choke lasting more than 15 minutes.
  • Diarrhoea
  • Difficulty eating or drooling
  • Sudden onset ataxia (wobbliness)

What happens if my horse is ill, but I do not think it’s an emergency?

To respect social distancing rules we are replacing our standard consultation service with video and telephone consultations. Please contact the practice to arrange an appointment or click here.

If following this it is deemed appropriate your horse will receive veterinary attention if it is sick, injured or if not attending is/or would lead to a welfare situation.

Can my horse receive it’s vaccinations?

Flu & tetanus initial or part courses – Yes. Please contact the practice to arrange an appointment and instructions on how we will keep you and our staff safe to enable us to carry out this treatment.

Third injection of Primary course – In these exceptional times we need to delay these injections to the full timescale in which we have to do these, wherever possible. Please contact us for an assessment to be made on this.

Annual boosters – Whilst currently the risk from equine flu is minimal as there are no horse movements or competitions (the main reasons flu spreads) we recognise that many regulatory bodies require annual boosters to be given within 365 days. If your horse falls into this category please discuss this with your vet – they may be able to put in place a safe, appropriately social distanced, means of administering the required vaccines.

6 or 9 month boosters – No. These are currently halted until further notice.

Herpes – Yes. Pregnant and currently active breeding mares only.

EVA – Yes. Please contact the practice to arrange an appointment and instructions on how we will keep you and our staff safe to enable us to carry out this treatment.

Can my horse’s routine dental care be carried out?

No. Routine rasping/floating will be postponed. If however your horse suddenly stops eating, starts quidding or has a painful head/jaw your horse will be seen under emergency and welfare guidance. Any work done will be done under sedation to allow social distancing to be maintained.

Can mares be scanned to see if she is in foal?

Routine stud/reproductive work raises particular questions. The main question being is this essential for animal welfare. Foalings and sick foals will be attended to as per normal, but there is no guidance from the RCVS, BEVA, BVA or any of our regulatory bodies on routine reproductive work. Implications for stopping breeding totally have consequence far beyond the veterinary industry and discussions with regulatory bodies are ongoing.  Please contact us directly for the most up to date information on this. Please note scanning for potential twins is essential and MUST NOT be postponed beyond the 14 -16 day window.

Can my horse get COVID-19?

There is currently no evidence that a horse or pony, can suffer from or transmit COVID-19. The World Health Organisation continues to monitor the latest research on this and other COVID-19 topics.

Can I get my horse’s feet trimmed or shoed?

The Farriers Registration Council confirmed on Tuesday 24 March that its farriers can continue to provide essential services to equines, using their judgement as to matters of priority and/or urgency, with appropriate social distancing, hand washing and equipment cleaning. Many are using a traffic light system for assessing essential care. Routine shoeing should be delayed for three weeks. Please check with your vet if special remedial shoes are fitted, as it may be necessary to reshoe within the current period. Please note this position is subject to change.

Can I get repeat prescriptions?

Yes. It would be required normally that an animal is seen every six months to allow us to write the prescription for you. As this would not be deemed essential contact, the prescription is likely to be issued subsequent to a video or a phone call.

Can I be there to say goodbye, if my horse needs to be put to sleep?

Yes. You can be close to your horse whilst adhering to government advise on social distancing and hand washing to keep our vets safe.

Will my horse insurance be affected if my horse can’t get its routine care?

Insurance companies are reviewing their policies regarding routine care to reflect the current period and reasonable adjustments. Leading equine insurers have assured the British Equine Veterinary Association that policies will continue to be honoured in circumstances such as delays in annual boosters being administered or treatment plans not being completed prior to 12 months cover ending, directly resulting from COVID-19 restrictions. Please check directly with your insurance company for specifics.

The above still hasn’t answered my question?

Please contact us directly.

 

FARM CLIENTS – ADVICE ON WHAT TO DO DURING THE CORONA CRISIS

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and the British Veterinary Association, following Government announcements, have advised farm animal veterinary surgeons are key workers.

We are working, but our services are limited to what is considered essential services. In addition, each job is triaged by our staff and vets (essential or not) and a risk assessment is conducted at the time of making the appointment and on arrival of our vets at your premises. It is vitally important to both you and our staff that we observe the 2-metre (“length of a cow”) social spacing while we work together.

We request your patience in these difficult times as the above draws out the usual process of making an appointment and completing a call on farm. If we do not all observe the Government’s guidelines on social spacing and cutting out unnecessary travelling, our categorisation could be revoked!

Can I collect medicines from the practice?

Yes, when they have been pre-ordered. Due to limited staff availability ideally phone a minimum 48 hours ahead. You will be advised at this time on our current pick-up protocol. Ring us as early as possible to add to existing orders or if necessary while you are sitting in your vehicle at our premises.

Which call out types are you still doing?

Each case will be dealt with individually. Our farm vets may be able to give telephone or video calling advice that allows you to carry out the treatment required. The use of photographs or short video clips sent to the vets can help with this. Please ring the practice with any enquiries.

Are there any special requirements when the vet arrives at my premises?

Yes. Staff will ask if anybody on your farm/premises is self-isolating, has COVID-19 symptoms etc. We must minimise risk of transmission when on your farm by observing the 2-metre social distance rule. A single farm staff member to assist vets when on your farm – there may be exceptional circumstances where more help is required, but our vets will risk assess this when on your premises.

Are you still TB testing?

Yes. We are following current APHA guidelines on TB testing during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Are you still doing Red Tractor inspections?

We are following the Red Tractor guidelines. Red Tractor advised on Wednesday 25th March 2020 that they are not expecting vets to complete inspections currently and will understand if audits become overdue. Please check www.redtractor.org.uk for further guidance and updates. If you have any concerns contact the practice and/or Red Tractor for advice.

Can I vaccinate my livestock?

Yes. Subject to availability, we will continue to supply vaccines for you to administer. We ask you to plan ahead, allowing wherever possible more than the standard 48 hours notice, as we do not have large stocks in the practice and some wholesalers presently have slightly reduced delivery frequency.

What precautions are your vet practice taking to stop the spread of COVID-19?

We are observing Government guidelines. If staff suspect they have any symptoms of COVID-19 they will self-isolate at home. This may affect our day-to-day work and is another reason for triaging calls.

The above still has not answered my question.

Please contact us directly.