We hope that you are well, and thank you for your continued support of the practice through these uncertain times. Please remember that if you are suffering from Covid 19, are self-isolating or otherwise housebound, we can still help you and your pets, horses, and livestock. This may be in the form of remote telephone or video consultation, but also with posting of medication, and if you are really unwell we may be able to assist in arranging care or getting help for your animals.
There have been lengthy discussions on social media regarding the current situation, and that we are only able to provide emergency veterinary care, which means that we are not vaccinating pets and horses at present. This is a nationwide policy decided on by our governing body the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), after discussions with Public Health England in response to the current “lock down” situation.
It is designed to minimise public contact from non-emergency trips and maintain social distancing, thereby protecting the NHS. The RCVS has concluded that in the current “no movement” situation the risk to all species of stopping vaccination in the short term is very low, and the risk to public health is far greater than any potential risk to our animals.
Currently for cats and dogs, a few weeks' delay in annual vaccinations will not make a huge difference to their immune status. With no holidays booked and therefore no kennel situations, no agility parties, puppy training classes or shoots currently on the agenda, the risk of them spreading any infection between dogs is also limited. However, we are keen to start puppy and kitten vaccinations as soon as possible, as we are concerned that these younger animals may be of greater risk of infection than any others. If you have a new puppy or kitten please make sure that we know you are waiting to commence a course, and as soon as we are able to we will contact you.
The biggest controversy is temporarily ceasing equine vaccinations, especially after the equine 'flu outbreak in 2019 which we all tried so hard to eradicate. The RCVS has discussed this policy with the BHA, FEI, BEF and BEVA, and all have agreed going forwards for the rest of 2020 that horses will be allowed to compete if vaccinated for 'flu within the last twelve months (after a correct initial primary course and forgetting the six-month rule). It is likely that this may revert back to every six months (nine for racing) in 2021, but hopefully everyone will be back on track by then. This is based on the fact that currently there is far less risk of an equine 'flu outbreak, as all equine competitions and most stud work has ceased and if it did occur again it would be much easier to contain as the movement of equines around the country is currently minimal. Obviously this is not great news for anyone who has a horse whose annual vaccination has run out in the last fortnight or is going to run out whilst this unknown “lock down” period continues. However, we have arranged with our vaccine manufacturer another amnesty month as soon as this period ends. This means that although your horse will have to have its initial starting course again (two jabs 21-92 days apart) you will only pay for one of them - so financially you should not be affected. Again, if your horse has run out please contact the office so we can add you to our list not to be missed as soon as we get the green light for vaccinations again.
We thought you might be interested to see a few of the cases we've been treating during lock-down...
We are still here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week as you never know when your horse might do this!
Thankfully a relatively short nail going up through the frog just missing the pedal bone and any other vital structures. If your horse does ever stand on a nail or screw try and resist the instinct to pull it out straight away. Being able to x-ray the hoof immediately means that we can instantly see how far the nail has gone in, the angle it has gone in and if it is likely to have penetrated any vital structures which might require more serious surgical intervention. This horse has had a course of antibiotics and twice daily foot poultices, and is 100% sound one week later – Phew!
This little male dog couldn’t pee - his bladder was blocked with lots of stones, the smaller ones of them had got stuck in his urethra completely blocking it. This is a rapidly life threatening condition and the dog was already showing signs of severe kidney disease. After two hours of surgery the stones were removed from his bladder and also surgically removed from his urethra, as they were so stuck they couldn’t be flushed forwards or backwards.
The lovely little dog is now back home with his owners and well on his way to a full recovery. He is likely to require a special diet now for the rest of his life to ensure his urine is slightly more acidic than normal, thereby preventing any further stone build up. These and other clinical diets are still available from us if ordered in advance. The image to the right is just some of the stones we removed during his surgery.
We have run Easter competitions in the past as it is always a time of year that we love, with lots of new arrivals brightening up our day. 2020 is not going to be any different with whelpings, lambings, calvings and foalings all happening in the past fortnight. To make us all smile, please submit a limerick about your pet. There will be a prize for the best adult and child (under 14) limerick, please add your age and name to the entry and submit via email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 20th April 2020.
That’s it for this week, but as soon as we know any other details regarding working practice, vaccinations, etc we will let you know. Remember the office is currently open 09:00 'til 17:30 Monday to Friday, and we do still have a vet and nurse on call 24/7. This weekend is Easter so the office will also be shut on Good Friday and Easter Monday.
Have a lovely Easter. Stay safe and well.
Hannah and all at Wood Farm Vets