Coronavirus is a major threat to the health and lives of all of us and, as such, all of us need to take the steps we can to minimise the risk of spreading this horrible disease.
Just as much other human healthcare has had to stop, we are not able to continue providing veterinary care to animals in the same way as before during the current epidemic as to do so would increase the risk of spread of the virus.
Rather than just getting on with business as normal, for every visit, we need to weigh up the benefits to the pet and the risks of not visiting, versus the risk of spreading Coronavirus.
Below is a flow-chart explaining our decision-making procedure and how to book an appointment.
To limit the risk of spreading the virus, we are limiting our visits to two per day, one at 9.30am and one at 2.30pm. This will allow sufficient time to ensure a thorough clean of equipment between visits.
All appointment requests will start with a video or telephone consultation (which can be booked online) at a cost of £15 to decide whether a visit is absolutely necessary, and if it is, to limit the amount of time needed in the home to discuss your concern about your pet. This cost will be deducted from the visit cost if a visit is deemed necessary and practical.
Please let us know if you are self-isolating or have been in contact with anyone with confirmed or suspected coronavirus. Also, if you or any family members develop symptoms of coronavirus in the week after any visit, please inform us so that we can take relevant
We ask that only one family member is present for a visit and that we maintain 2 metres distance at all times.
Dogs and rabbits will be examined in an enclosed garden, rather than indoors where possible. Cats, and other species if no secure garden is available, should be confined to one room. Where at all possible, no family members should be in the room. If your pet needs holding for any reason, anyone holding them should wear masks and gloves, and wash hands immediately before and after handling the animal.
If medication is required, we will sanitise hands prior to handling this, or provide you with an emailed written prescription to order the medication online. We would recommend washing your hands thoroughly after handling any medication.
We will provide you with any essential information at the time and then write and call later to discuss this in more detail.
To reduce the risk of virus transmission through cash or card readers, we will send an invoice after the appointment which can be paid by BACS transfer or online card payment. Immediate settlement is kindly requested.
For pets which are due for their vaccinations, the timing of these will be worked out carefully using a risk-benefit analysis. For more information, check out our detailed Vaccinations Advice document.
In general, we will not be doing ‘booster’ vaccinations in adult dogs and cats at the moment unless they are in a particularly high-risk situation (for example dogs living on a farm or area with a high rodent population).
Initial puppy vaccination courses can be carried out as long as social distancing can be maintained. We will have a video consultation initially so that the visit is only for the physical examination, vaccination, and microchip if needed.
Kitten vaccination courses can be delayed if the kitten is from a good home and is able to be kept indoors and good hygiene maintained.
Rabbit vaccinations are very important to do annually, so we will still do these as long as social distancing can be maintained.
If you are unsure whether your pet is high-risk, or just want a chat about your concerns, please book a video consultation so that we can discuss the options in more detail.
We anticipate that these limits will remain in place until we are past the peak of the outbreak and the government start to lift some of the ‘lock-down’ restrictions.
At the moment, emergency care will continue as previously, with Medivet Leamington Guy providing out of hours treatment, as well as surgical and hospitalisation facilities. For more information about their current protocols, please visit https://www.medivet.co.uk/coronavirus/
If you are self-isolating, we will be unable to visit your home. If your pet is unwell, please make arrangements for a friend or relative outside of your household to either take your pet to their home for us to examine them, or take your pet to a bricks-and-mortar practice. There is currently no evidence of pets transmitting coronavirus, however there is a potential for virus particles to be in their fur, so good hygiene should be implemented at all times when handling your pets and please limit contact with them if you have any symptoms of coronavirus.
If it becomes necessary for Helen to self-isolate, an email will be sent to all clients who have registered for urgent updates, as well being published on Facebook and the website. In this case, video and phone call advice will still be available if possible but any animals requiring urgent treatment would need to be taken to Medivet Leamington Guy, or your normal bricks-and-mortar practice if you are registered elsewhere as well. Any appointments already booked will be either postponed or referred to Medivet if urgent.
Any clients who have been seen in the preceding week will also be informed of the potential risk.
Because the situation is continuing to evolve, and the limits put on vets are strong guidelines, rather than legally binding, some practices may differ in their interpretation, however we believe that the protocols we are putting in place are appropriate in maintaining animal health and welfare, while reducing the risk of disease spread as much as possible.