Updated advice on our services during Covid 19

We would like to thank all our clients for their patience and compliance with the protocols we have put in place to enable us to be able to continue to provide urgent and emergency care during the coronavirus outbreak. We are doing our best to continue to maintain our services to ensure animal welfare and health is maintained, but not at the cost of compromising human health. We are working within the guidance of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and the British Veterinary Association and we will continue to be guided by our governing bodies moving forwards.

Guidance was updated at the weekend as to what we can consider to offer following the initial restrictions that were advised, and although by no means are we offering our normal services we are now able to offer the most urgent of vaccinations. In deciding whether a vaccination is urgent or not we will take into consideration the risk of your pet becoming unwell if they do not receive their vaccine, and the risk to you as an owner in leaving the house and travelling during this unprecedented time of movement restrictions.
When we assess which pets warrant vaccination this will be done on an individual basis. New puppies, kittens and previously unvaccinated adult dogs and cats will not be adequately protected and unless the pet can be kept indoors at all times the only way to protect them is to have a primary vaccination course. These will be our priority initially.

For adult dogs who have had previous vaccinations it is the Leptospirosis component of the vaccine schedule that we know does not provide protection for longer than 12-15 months in some dogs. Leptospirosis is spread in urine, mostly from infected dogs and rats.  It can be picked up from moist soil and stagnant or slow moving water. All dogs that go outside could therefore be at risk but those who like to swim or who visit areas where there might be rats will be at higher risk. The risk of delaying the vaccine in dogs that do not swim and are only being walked in clean dry areas is therefore likely to be low.

The diseases we vaccinate cats against are thankfully either very rare or not life threatening, and therefore the risk associated with delaying the vaccine in a previously vaccinated cat is very low. We are therefore not recommending that adult cats should be brought to the surgery for vaccination at this time.

For rabbits myxomatosis and haemorrhagic viral disease are both potentially fatal, and the immunity from vaccination does not provide protection for longer than one year. Therefore, where appropriate, we will be providing rabbit vaccinations as long as your safety with regards to travelling to the surgery is not compromised.

We have put into place systems to protect both our clients and staff to ensure we can maintain social distancing.

  • Clients are not permitted into the building.
  • For us to be able to collect your dog from you and maintain social distancing we can either collect the dog from the boot of your car or from the attached lead to the signpost at the entrance to the car park.
  • If your pet is fearful or has shown aggression in the past then you MUST let us know at the time of making the appointment so we can adequately prepare. If your dog requires a muzzle then you will need to put this on prior to us retrieving the dog for its examination.
  • Payments can only be made over the phone, so please make sure that you bring with you the means to call us on arrival at the surgery and a means of remote payment.
  • If you or a member of your household are isolating due to suffering from COVID19 or symptoms of this, then please tell our reception team at the time of booking. We must ask that you remain isolated and make arrangements for someone outside your household to bring in your pet. We must also know of your isolated status so we can protect our staff, since they will need to wear additional protective clothing to handle your pet - whilst we do not believe dogs and cats can spread COVID19 through clinical disease states, they can act as a fomite similar to a doorknob and surface if they have been in contact with infected individuals.

In summary:-

Most puppies, kittens and rabbits should have their vaccinations as normal. For most dogs, if you as the owner have no increased risk factors in attending the practice, then keeping the Leptospirosis vaccine up to date is justified, following a risk assessment by our team. For adult, previously vaccinated cats we will not be providing vaccinations at this current time. Please ring our team on 01920 468874 if you have any queries, and please discuss your individual circumstances with our team so we can best assist and advise you.