This year continues to bring uncertainty and worry to us all, and with a second national lockdown in place those of us with pets have the additional confusion about what vet services will be available over the next month.
We have taken a look at the guidance from the British Veterinary Association and the restrictions on how vets can approach treatment are more flexible than last time, therefore vets should be able to provide more services for your precious pets. Here’s an update on what we think vet services will still be available.
Over the past few months, veterinary surgeries across the country have been busy getting all those pet vaccinations back on track, and it looks like those important first vaccines and overdue ones may still be able to take place. Please check with your surgery if your pet is due a vaccination in November.
Puppies and kittens
Vet surgeries will still be able to offer those primary vaccination courses to puppies and kittens, some may even offer the first annual vaccination to ensure those younger more vulnerable pets remain protected from diseases. If in any doubt we would advise that you give your surgery a call.
Unless your pet’s vaccination is actually overdue it is unlikely that your surgery will offer boosters over Lockdown 2.0, please be reassured that your pet will be fine to wait a month. However, if your pet’s vaccination is already overdue give your surgery a call as they may recommend that it is in the best interests of your pet to give the vaccination.
If you can delay neutering your pet until December then please do so, but if there is an animal welfare need for example season related problems, behavioural issues or you have unneutered opposite sex pets in the household, please call your surgery as this may be considered a necessary procedure.
Vet practices, as before, will remain open for emergencies and urgent cases. If you are worried about your pet, for your peace of mind, do call the surgery and they may be able to see you by video consultation or talk to you through a phone consultation. Many vets offer these additional services to help you and your pet during this worrying time.
Safety at the surgery
Nothing will change, your vet surgery will have been adhering to very strict cleaning protocols and social distancing measures, so if a visit to the practice is deemed necessary, the vets will ask you to wait outside. If you are currently in a household that is self-isolating or if you have been diagnosed with Covid-19, please let them know before your appointment. Upon your arrival at the surgery you may be asked to:
- Call the practice and let them know you have arrived for your appointment
- Wait outside until a member of staff comes to collect your pet
- Phone or video call into the consultation with the vet
If you are self-isolating or have symptoms of COVID-19 or unsure if your pet needs to see a vet there are alternative ways to access a vet that do not involve leaving your home.
Online appointments are used initially as triage, allowing the veterinary surgeons to make a clinical judgement as to whether your pet can be treated remotely or will need to attend the practice for an examination. If you don’t have access to a device with a camera, many vets are also offering telephone consultations. Should your pet need to be physically examined at the surgery, your vet will assess the situation and will invite you in for an appointment.
Preventative care is especially important during this unsettling time. Many vet practices are offering preventative advice (sometimes for free) with their veterinary nurses. Don’t forget the flea and worming treatments to see you through lockdown.
Speak with your vet to find out what additional services they are offering.
We do not anticipate any medicine shortages, but we have seen some delays with postal services so it may be worth requesting a longer prescription from your vet and/or buying your pet’s medication online. For your peace of mind, it might worth ordering your pet’s medicines way in advance so you don’t run low and maybe consider choosing the trackable delivery options as you can see where your parcel is at any time.
Pets are highly attuned to changes in their environment and our emotions, which can lead to stress and anxiety. So what can we do to help reduce the anxiety of our pets? Perhaps consider calming medications to avoid pet stress from the change. For cats there are products like Feliway, Calmex and Yucalm and for dogs consider DAP or Calmex and Yucalm for dogs. View the full range of calming products for pets.
Lockdown was a challenge for pets with arthritis, one long daily walk is not ideal for these patients. Thankfully, there is no limit on the amount of exercise you can take this time so dogs can be walked on their usual schedules. But if you do notice your dog struggling to get up or they already have an arthritis diagnosis, please do speak with your vet about their medication needs. You may want to consider a joint supplement to help slow the progression of arthritis and reduce joint pain.
Our online shop, offers a wide range of products to choose from to make sure that your companions are safe and protected throughout the coming months.
If you are concerned that your pet needs medication, please call your vet for advice. For certain repeat prescriptions, it may be possible for your vet to email, post or deliver these to you.
If you’re worried about any aspect of your pet’s health, please call your veterinary practice and they will guide you on the right course of action.