Our governing bodies the RCVS and the BVA have issued revised guidance on the work that veterinary practices can carry out from the 14th April 2020. This is in anticipation of an extension to the governments “lockdown” period to combat Covid-19 and a recognition that the current “emergency only” work situation will have a detrimental effect on animal health and welfare if no other work is carried out for the unknown period of “lockdown” time.
In addition to the emergency work and essential livestock production work we were already carrying out this now allows us to carry out the following procedures:
Small Animal: Puppy, Kitten and Rabbit vaccinations (incl 1st year boosters)
Neutering of animals (only if impossible to stop breeding / keep apart)
Microchipping (at the same time as carrying out another procedure only)
Equine: Vaccinations (initial course and annual boosters)
Colt castrations (until fly season starts and only if safe to do so)
Reproduction work (mares that are already in foal only)
Farm Animal: Investigation of long term welfare issues ie blood sampling for trace elements / high cell counts.
This is NOT a return to business as usual and we will still be offering a telephone / video consultation and remote prescription service for the majority of our cases. However, this does give us the scope to perform procedures that although may not be imminently life threatening would have a detrimental effect on your pet / horses / farm animals welfare if left undealt with for the next 2 months. For example a dog with a ruptured cruciate ligament could have surgery or a horse with a nasty aggressive sarcoid could have cream applied to it. All cases will need to have a detailed risk / benefit assessment performed before they can be carried out especially where a visit to your premises is required. Please read the BEVA Covid checklist for owners document (attached) and be prepared to answer some simple risk assessment questions prior to a visit being arranged.
We can only provide these additional services by adhering to the governments social distancing advice and not making any unnecessary journeys. This means that we will only see animals and our clients face-to-face where absolutely necessary (thereby protecting you and our staff) and will still be following these standard procedures:
- All payments are to be taken over the phone by card or online by BACS
- The door to the practice will remain shut and patients will be collected from the carpark and taken into the surgery where they will be examined / procedure performed with the vet and nurse. Any communication about the patient with the client will then be performed over the telephone.
- Equines may be sedated to enable procedures to be carried out safely without restraint from additional animal handlers.
- Prescriptions may be collected from the practice remotely by telephoning from the car park or can be posted to you (additional charge).
- Vet may attend calls with their “team” nurse where additional animal handling is required, so that social distancing can be maintained with the client.
- Disposable gloves and hand sanitiser will be used at all times. Additional personnel protective equipment (PPE) will only be used where there is a real known risk to human health.
Thank you again for your understanding of this rapidly evolving unprecedented situation. These guidelines are continually being reviewed by our governing bodies and no doubt further updates will follow in the next few weeks. For those of you who have missed vaccinations within the past month, please bare with us - You will be priority to be fitted in for calls / consultations but currently with our two team approach we have slightly reduced staffing availability. If you have not been contacted by ourselves to rearrange an appointment by Wednesday 15th please contact us. We are still in the process of determining which month would be best suited for a vaccine amnesty month and details of this will follow shortly. We have also attached a copy of the Norfolk Equine Vets joint statement showing the united front we all have to currently work together and fight Covid 19.
Currently breeding of animals (not for the food chain) is still not recommended, however we are conscious that the sports horse breeding season would normally be starting. If you are still thinking of breeding your mare this year please contact Florence, so that if and when these restrictions are lifted we can organise the diary accordingly as there are only so many stables and fields at Wood Farm!
We have had quite a few limericks entered into our Easter Competition and hopefully we can compile them all into a little folder in reception for clients to read after this is all over. They have certainly made us all smile! Closing date for entries is this Friday.
As always stay safe, well and enjoy all this time with your animals.
Hannah and all at Wood Farm Vets