The British Veterinary Association (BVA) have reviewed what Veterinary Practices are allowed to provide during the Coronavirus and have changed a few things from the last update. Here is what is now allowed;

This advice is effective from the 14th April for the duration of the lockdown or until further notice, so be sure to keep checking back to see if any guidance has changed. During this time, like previously stated veterinary professionals can continue to work to provide services which are essential to animal health, which includes relieving pain and suffering.

These services can be provided as long as social distancing rules are applied. Most vets are still asking clients to call the practice if they are concerned about their pet, and if the vet thinks the animal needs to be seen, clients are asked to call the practice from the car park and a member of staff will collect the animal. The vet will then phone the client after examining the animal and coming up with a treatment plan.

I know I have said this before and as an animal lover (and having to take my own rabbit to the vet during this time), it is very hard to not be with your beloved pet whilst they are examined. But, these are the rules for now and know that the staff are looking after your pet with the same amount of love and care you would expect.

“My Pet Needs Medication”

If your pet needs medication, many practices are offering to post out medication if you are unable to travel, but all will be offering contact-free medication collection. All you need to do is phone your vets to order the medication (please give them extra notice to get the medication as they will be very busy during this time) and once you have paid over the phone, they will let you know when the medication is ready.

Once the vets have called you to say the medication is ready for collection, phone them when you have arrived in the car park and they will leave the medication on a table out the front of the practice.

What Veterinary Services Are Allowed?

It is always best to phone your vets and ask what services they are offering at the current time, but the guidelines from the BVA include;

  • Vaccinations – Primary vaccinations and year one boosters for dogs are cats are not allowed. Leptospirosis vaccines are allowed due to the zoonotic risk. Rabies vaccines may go ahead if required for certification purposes. Rabbit vaccines are also allowed due to seasonal risks.
  • Neutering – Chemical options should be considered first. If this is not an option and not neutering the animal could be detrimental to the animal’s health, welfare or population control, it may go ahead. This includes neutering cats if they live with other entire cats or cannot be kept indoors, and rabbits in mix sexed pairs. Rabbits may also be neutered to prevent aggression.
  • Microchipping – this may go ahead if the animal is in the practice for another reason.
  • Flea and Worm treatment – may be dispensed in accordance with local disease risks and public health concerns.

What Counts As An Emergency?

If you are worried about your pet, always phone your vet first for advice. The following are classed as emergencies and would need urgent veterinary attention;

  • Severe trauma e.g. a car accident
  • Seizures
  • Jaundice
  • Pale gums
  • Weakness/collapse
  • A cough that has been persistent for a week or more
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty during labour
  • Acute severe lameness
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Significant bleeding
  • Retching
  • Toxin ingestion
  • Difficulty urinating/defecating
  • Excessive urination/thirst
  • Vomiting/diarrhoea with lethargy
  • Ongoing treatment and monitoring of Addisons patients
  • Flystrike
  • Gut stasis (rabbit or guinea pig who has stopped eating and defecating)
  • Euthanasia

What Services Cannot Go Ahead?

Anything deemed non-essential cannot be seen by your vet. This includes;

  • Adult cat vaccines (unless it has been longer than 15 months since their last vaccination)
  • Kennel Cough Vaccinations
  • Non-essential consults eg nail clips, weight clinics, general health checks

I know these are worrying times for everyone, but please bear with your veterinary team at this time. They are doing all they can for your pet with skeleton staff and without them, our beloved pets would not have any medical care.

Do you have a puppy? Read this post on how you can socialise your puppy during the coronavirus.