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COVID-19 INFORMATION – NOVEMBER 2020

What is the best way to contact the practice at the moment?

For emergencies:  8.30am – 6pm Monday – Friday and Saturday 8.30- 12 noon always phone us on 01384 372849

For non-urgent cases:  Please phone the practice between 11am – 4pm or message us on Facebook and we will reply within 5 working days.

For repeat prescriptions, food or flea and wormer: Please use the REPEAT PRESCRIPTIONS FORM

When you arrive: Please see below

How do I order repeat medication or flea/worm treatments or food?

Please do NOT phone us – we want to be available to help pets who need immediate attention. Please order via our website using the Repeat Prescriptions FormYou will receive an email from us straight away confirming the order. The items will usually be ready for collection within 2 working days. Full details are on the website. Where possible you will receive a phone call to ask for payment in order to reduce the wait time when you come to collect the medication etc.

When can I collect food, repeat medications and flea and worming treatments?

Monday – Friday, 11am – 5pm

If you are a key worker and this is inconvenient, please message us via Facebook and we will make alternative arrangements.

Please order repeat medications and food via the appropriate form.

We are also still delivering or posting flea and worming treatments free of charge for pet health club members.

What happens if my dog/cat’s booster vaccination has been missed?

We are now able to provide vaccination appointments and are working to get everyone up-to-date.  Please message us via Facebook and we will contact you within 5-7 days to book an appointment.

Your pet with have some lasting immunity to the viruses included in the vaccination and it can safely be postponed for at least 3 months.  If it has been longer than this then we would recommend a ‘re-start’ vaccination course of two injections 3-4 weeks apart to ensure immunity.  This second injection would be provided free of charge.  Each individual pet will have different levels of risk and discussing this with the vet at the time of the vaccination appointment is recommended.

I need my pet to be spayed or neutered. What do I do?

Think & plan ahead! Message us via facebook. We are carrying out these procedures daily now; we can book an appointment for you.

Why do I need a telephone consultation? How can a vet make a diagnosis?

Our vets are initially providing a telephone consult service for most problems to be able to take a full and accurate history and decide whether your pet needs to be physically examined and how urgently that would be needed.  In a lot of cases medication can be prescribed remotely for you to collect from the practice.  We may ask for a photo or video or even do a video-call to be able to assess your pet.  If the vet recommends a physical examination we can arrange that for you as part of the call.

When I arrive for an appointment, what do I do?

When you arrive for an appointment or to collect a hospitalised pet – text the word ARRIVED to 0745 802 9203.

This is an automated system and will ask you to respond with your name, pet’s name, post code and car colour & registration.  We will acknowledge your text and will attend to your request.

We are working hard to keep the wait times to a minimum but please bear with us, as everything is taking much longer. Thank you for your patience.

Why do we have to wait in the car park for our appointments?

At the moment we are reducing the number of people that are coming into the practice in order to adhere to social distancing rules and advice from the Government. The more people there are in, or moving through the practice, the higher the risk is for spreading COVID-19 between clients and staff. Whilst the care of your pets is our main priority, safeguarding our clients and staff is of high importance too. Should one of our team have COVID-19 symptoms, this will have a big impact on the service that we can provide as it may mean multiple members of staff have to self-isolate at home. This is obviously something that we want to prevent happening as much as possible.

The good news, is that we also find at the moment that the animals that we are seeing are much calmer when we see them, after having waited in the car. This makes them easier to examine and a less stressful experience at the vets for them.

Why are the appointments taking longer?

Currently, we are staggering our staff start times along with guidance from the Government to reduce the spread of COVID-19 within our team, this means that at some points through the day we are working with smaller staff numbers than previously, so it is taking longer to complete certain tasks.

Also, by asking our clients to wait in the car park for appointments in order to adhere to social distancing, appointments are taking longer to allow time for:

  • A member of staff to collect your pet from the car park
  • The vet to obtain detailed information from you regarding your concerns (in the car park or over the phone) or read the relevant history notes
  • Examine the animal thoroughly and obtain any samples needed
  • Recording our findings on the system for future reference and charge for the consult
  • Get any treatments ready
  • Return the pet to you, take payment by card, ensure you understand what we have done and are comfortable with what to do going forwards
  • We then ensure we wash our hands and clean the room ready for the next patient, in order to reduce transmission of COVID-19.
How do I pay?

If your pet is seen at the practice for an appointment, at the moment we are asking that clients pay via contactless or card payment. We may take card payment by phone whilst you are in the car park as most payments are done directly after a consultation.   We are able to bring the card machine out to you, (however this is not ideal when it’s raining!) The machine is wiped down appropriately between each user.

If you have a telephone consultation, we ask that payment is made over the phone at the time of booking the appointment.

After a surgical procedure or hospitalised stay, payment may be taken when we phone you to provide an update and make arrangements for you to come and collect your pet. Sometimes it may be when you come to collect your pet if receiving more treatment during the day.

Can COVID-19 infect pets, and can they transmit it?

At present, there is very limited evidence that companion animals/pets such as dogs and cats can be infected with COVID-19. Therefore, there is no current evidence that pets can transmit the disease to humans. (gov.uk) useful link https://www.bva.co.uk/coronavirus/coronavirus-advice-for-animal-owners/

Can pets spread COVID-19?

It is the case that animals may act as fomites, as the virus could be on their fur for a short period of time in the same way it is on other surfaces, such as tables and doorknobs. That’s why our main advice for animal owners continues to be to practise good hand hygiene by washing your hands thoroughly (for 20 seconds with soap and water) after touching your pet. (bva.co.uk)

There is no evidence that you need to wash your pets to control the spread of coronavirus. Never use household or commercial cleaning products, disinfectants or antibacterial wipes on pets. (gov.uk)

I need an appointment for my pet, but there is confirmed or suspected COVID-19 in my household.

Make contact with the practice and alert us to your COVID-19 status. Ultimately, the welfare of your pet is highly important to us and we encourage you to still contact us for pet health care, even if you are confirmed to have or suspected to have COVID-19.  From there we will come up with a plan that best suits your concerns and your pet’s needs, but still maintains safety for our staff and other clients.

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