Our Services during Covid-19

Our main hospital on Salisbury Road is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We have been performing essential and urgent consultations and procedures throughout lockdown in order to maintain the health and welfare of our patients and we will continue to do this.

In addition to helping your pets, we also want to prioritise your safety and the safety of our team members. Therefore we have put measures in place to reduce the risk to you, whilst still helping your pet if he or she needs it.

We are following the government’s guidelines on safe working environments to keep our team safe. We have changed the way we work to maintain social distancing, but working in this way means things take a bit longer. So this means that we do not have the capacity to perform as many consultations and procedures as normal. Lots of work we have to do such as holding pets to be examined, taking blood samples, performing ultrasound scans, or operations require team members to work closely together. Our vets and nurses are very dedicated to the health and welfare of their patients, but we need to consider the health and welfare of the vets and nurses too. We are doing everything we can to offer all essential health care to your pet in as timely manner as possible.

Thank you for your understanding and continued support. We hope that you, your family, and your pets stay well throughout this pandemic.

 

1) Client Health

  • We want to keep you safe. Therefore at the moment, we are asking you only to enter the practice to access reception in order to collect medications, drop off paperwork, or pay for treatment. Please wear a facemask and adhere to all safety measures in place. 
  • We will wear face coverings when we come out to speak to you and collect your pet in order to reduce the risk to you. We would be very grateful if you would wear a face-covering too.
  • We are trying to spread out appointments to reduce the number of people attending the practice at any one time.
  • We are trying to reduce the trips you need to make to the practice, so if you are coming to the practice for any reason and you need flea and worm treatment, or other medication let us know and we can get this ready for you.
  • Please let us know if you have COIVD-19 symptoms and please do not attend the practice if this is the case. Don’t worry – We will find ways that we can assist you and your pet remotely.
  • Please let us know if you or someone you live with is vulnerable or shielding and we will do what we can to help support you remotely.
  • Please ensure you have washed your hands, prior to coming to the practice. Please use the hand sanitiser when entering the practice.

2) Appointments

  • Please call to arrange an appointment for your pet and we can discuss the safety measures we have put in place to keep you safe while your pet is seen by one of our vets or nurses. 
  • We are still offering some vet telephone consultations in order to help remotely where appropriate. This means we can help your pet without putting you at unnecessary risk. Please be aware that these consultations are chargeable.
  • We want to be able to help all pets with health issues. To be able to do this we are having to restrict the number of non-essential appointments at this time. These include weight clinics, 6-month health checks, and weigh and worm appointments. We are sorry for any inconvenience this causes.
  • We are here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for all urgent and emergency cases. Please call us if you are worried about your pet.
  • Please follow the guidance below when attending your appointment. 

3) Visiting a Branch  

  • Consultations are by appointment only so please call us first to arrange this.
  • On arrival at the car park for an appointment with your pet, please telephone us to say you are here.
  • One of the team will come out to you when it is your turn. We will bring your pet into the practice to be examined and we will ask you to wait outside. We can then fully examine your pet whilst reducing the risk to you.
  • The vet or nurse will then call you to discuss the findings and treatment plan over the phone or via a safe distance in the car park. 
  • Payments can be made by entering the practice, over the phone by card or by BACS transfer only. No cash will be accepted.

4) Vaccinations

We are now able to perform vaccinations of all pets. However please be aware that in order to ensure we have appointments for pets that are unwell, we are restricting the number of vaccination appointments we can offer per day.

  • Puppies

∗ Your puppy will need two vaccinations given 4 weeks apart. They can then go outside 1 week after the second vaccination as long as they stay away from water for 3 weeks. Vaccinations can be done from 8 weeks old.

∗ We advise that unvaccinated puppies and dogs are confined to the house and garden

  • Kittens

∗ Kittens should be neutered, vaccinated, and microchipped before they go outside. This protects them from disease, unwanted pregnancies and ensures they can be reunited with you if they get lost or hurt. In order to reduce the number of trips you need to make to the practice, you can arrange vaccinations, neutering, and microchipping at the same time. Vaccinations can be done from 9 weeks.

Please call us to discuss this with one of our vets.

∗ We advise that unvaccinated kittens and cats are kept indoors

  • Dog and cat 1st yearly vaccination

This vaccine is important to ‘boost’ the immunity from their puppy or kitten course. Therefore these vaccines should be done within one month of the due date if possible.

  • Rabbit vaccinations

We can now offer a new combined vaccine that protects against myxomatosis, RHD-1, and RHD-2. This vaccine protects rabbits over 7 weeks old for 1 year, therefore only one trip to the practice is needed. Please call or email to arrange this.

  • Adult dogs and cats

∗ Please be aware that we are still catching up on vaccinations for dogs and cats that were due their vaccinations during the lockdown. We have restricted numbers of vaccine appointments per day in order to ensure that all unwell pets can get an appointment when they need one. This might mean there is a wait of a couple of weeks for an available vaccine appointment.

Adult dogs and cats who are within 12 weeks of their annual booster will not need to restart their course. However, dogs and cats who are over 18 months since their last vaccinations will need to restart the vaccine course.

 ∗ Indoor only cats are at very low risk of infectious disease, so a vaccine may not be needed – please discuss this with your vet. 

5) Neutering

We are now able to start offering neutering. Our vets will be doing a risk assessment in order to make sure that we do this in a safe way. 

Particularly at-risk animals are:

  • Young cats who cannot be kept inside
  • Cats and dogs who are kept in mixed-sex pairs or groups (boys and girls together)
  • Rabbits showing aggression

Please call us to arrange a pre-neuter phone consultation with a vet or nurse.

Please bear with us as we have restricted the number of neuters per day, in order to make sure that we have the capacity to treat all pets that are unwell when they need it.

We would strongly advise that all kittens and cats that are unneutered are continued to be kept indoors. This is vital for the cat population and cat health. We would advise unneutered dogs are kept on the lead.

6) Operations

We have been performing all essential operations throughout lockdown. However, we have to make sure we are prioritising the safety of the patient and of the team members. We are following the government’s guidelines on safe working environments to keep our team safe. Therefore we do not have the capacity to perform as many procedures as pre-COVID 19. An operation means that two or more team members will need to be less than 2 meters apart throughout the procedure. Our vets and nurses are very dedicated to the health and welfare of their patients, but we need to consider the health and welfare of the vets and nurses too. We are doing everything we can to offer all essential procedures in as timely manner as possible.

7) Prudent use of oxygen

We use oxygen when anaesthetising patients for operations. Oxygen is needed by the NHS to treat patients affected by COVID-19. We are therefore taking steps to make sure we manage the use of oxygen in our practice.

8) Medications

  • Please ensure you have placed an order for pet medications at least 2 days before your prescription is due to run out.
  • We can post medications to you if requested (chargeable)
  • Medication checks still need to be conducted every 4 months. However, these can be done via a vet telephone consultation. This means that we can ensure that all is okay with your pet, without putting you at risk by coming to the practice. If your pet needs to come to the practice for this check-up then this can also be arranged.
  • Dispensing medications over the telephone is not normally permitted, however the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons has temporarily relaxed this rule in order to allow us to help manage cases remotely in light of COVID-19. A vet has to do a risk assessment for each patient prior to dispensing medications remotely. Please call us if you would like to arrange a vet telephone consultation to discuss remotely prescribing medications.

9) Pet Wellbeing

  • Dog walks can be continued as long as social distancing is maintained.
  • If walking is not an option, then ask a neighbour or friend to help.
  • 20 mins mental stimulation is the same as 1hr exercise so please use training, tricks, food games to tire your dog at home, if needed.
  • If you are really struggling with support for your dog, then please contact your branch and the team will be able to give you further advice.
  • If you are suffering from Covid-19 then do restrict others from touching your dog or cat. Although very minimal, there is a small chance your dog could pass on the virus.