The RCVS, BVA and BSAVA have up-dated their guidance for veterinary practice as of this week. As a profession, we are now allowed to see anything that may be causing welfare concerns (so anything causing pain or distress). The guidance is that we do everything we can via video platform, as we have already been doing, but if we deem that something has to be seen and have done a COVID risk assessment, we can now do this. We are still having to reduce contact with humans in any way possible, but our work set-up puts us in a fortunate position, in that we can take patients into the van.
In the first instance, therefore, if you wish to have a consultation, please contact us in the usual manner (via call, text or e-mail). We will book a video slot in, which will have a 10% discount applied. If we then need to come to see your pet, a visit fee will be payable, but we will not charge an additional consultation fee, providing the visit is booked within 48 working hours of the video call.
We are also now allowed to resume vaccinations, prioritising young animals that are at higher risk. Older animals will have some residual immunity. However, our set-up should again allow us to see older pets without the need for human contact, so we are happy to resume vaccinations of older pets as well.
In order for us to work in this manner, please restrain dogs on a secure collar and lead (one that cannot be slipped – we will not accept responsibility for loss of dogs through improper restraint), and secure cats, birds, reptiles and small mammals in a suitable, sealed, carrier. We are able to assist those who are less able with restraint, and to catch birds if needed. In these situations, we would need birds to remain in their cages, cats to be in the smallest room (or one with least hiding places), and for you, the owners, to remain at least 2m away in all cases.We do request that payments are made by bank transfer or card wherever possible during the COVID outbreak, please.
Unfortunately, I have had to make the difficult decision to place Heather on furlough. I may therefore need to request that pet owners assist with restraint, where necessary. A new member of staff, Clarissa, will be joining the team for 2 days a week from the beginning of May, which had already been planned. Clarissa has kindly agreed to help us out in the case of emergencies over the next couple of weeks as well, if needed. I know you will all welcome her into our team!
Below is a list of conditions or scenarios that are
considered as emergencies (please call for advice if unsure):
- Breathing difficulties – this usually presents
with an increased respiratory effort/rate and/or with blue tinged gums and
- Unremitting pain
- Difficulty giving birth or passing eggs
- Injuries where there is bleeding or suspected
- Abdominal distension or bloating
- Inability to pass urine
- Inappetence in small animals
- Loss of balance or circling
- Known or suspected consumption of a toxic
The list above is not exhaustive, and there may be other scenarios that require prompt veterinary treatment. From tomorrow, we plan to offer a video platform – more information is to follow! If you have any concerns about your pet at all (however minor), we will be able to triage and assess your pet using this platform. We will also be able to offer some routine appointments this way. Medication can be prescribed as needed and delivery arranged. If your pet is currently on long-term medication, please continue to order this as you would normally.