Mull and Iona Vets – Covid-19 update
This post is to highlight changes to the veterinary services provided by Mull and Iona Vets, and provide advice to our clients accordingly.
Our in-person services are now absolutely restricted to treatment of emergencies and very urgent cases only and provision of end of life care. This is in accordance with Government and RCVS guidelines* (see below), and is in order to protect the health of our staff, their families, and the wider community. As I highlighted in a previous post, the size of our practice premises do not allow for safe social distancing.
We will continue to provide telephone consultations and supply essential medications.
I will be providing detailed information as soon as possible regarding phone consultations, repeat prescriptions, vaccinations and routine treatments in a factsheet that will be posted here as well as on our practice website. If you have a non-urgent query and do not find what you are looking for there please email [email protected] rather than call so that we can keep our lines free to deal with urgent cases and queries, and please be assured we will respond when we can. We are in a quickly evolving situation and we will update with further notices if necessary. Please be patient and please understand that our staff are dealing with the same crisis you are, some of us with underlying health issues and concern for vulnerable family members, and that we are working to do all we can safely.
These are unprecedented measures, taken in unprecedented times. I fully understand the concern many will feel as a result of this, and, as you can probably imagine, this situation creates a massive conflict for myself and my team, whose working lives are dedicated to providing animal care, but we must urgently prioritise public health. Every contact increases the risk of spreading Coronavirus, and our time to act decisively to save human lives is now. No one should doubt the gravity of the situation.
Please be aware also that we only have one vet and one nurse available for emergencies, and, should the need arise as this crisis develops, we have already offered to donate essential equipment to the NHS.
These circumstances mean that more than ever we must carefully protect our livestock and pets from avoidable injury and illness.
Based on our experience of what brings pets to our clinic we would like to make the following suggestions. This is not a comprehensive guide and is mostly aimed at dogs since they will be most impacted by the changes in daily life, but some points will apply to other species as well.
To help us to continue helping you, PLEASE consider the following:
- Do not increase exercise abruptly.
- Avoid high impact activities, particularly those that involve jumping, twisting and sudden stops and turns.
- Do not use ball, frisbee, or other energetic games (see both points above) to tire dogs or amuse children, instead, take gentle physical exercise and find ways to work their mind instead.
- NO stick throwing, carrying, or chewing, regardless of whether they have done so without incident before.
- Minimise opportunities for misadventure… unless your dog plods or potters calmly and predictably then on-lead walks will prevent the myriad of cuts, breaks, dislocations, and sprains that regularly present.
- Be aware we are approaching snake-bite season.
- Assume other dogs do not want to be approached by yours unless you know otherwise.
- Do not abruptly change the amount or content of pets diet, this includes treats – and be aware of what they may be receiving from the entire household.
- To reduce chances of stomach bloat, don’t exercise dogs during the 30 minutes before or 2 hours after a meal.
- Prevent your dog from scavenging while out on walks or on the beach.
- Don’t allow dogs to drink seawater and look out for jellyfish in the water or on the beach.
- Take extra care over foods, medicines and waste that would cause harm, in the home and garden.
Latest advice from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons:
*Although veterinary practices may remain open, in order to comply with the most recent government requirements, the number of clients seen face-to-face should be kept to an absolute minimum. Furthermore, clients and/or veterinary professionals should only travel to see animals if judged essential to do so.
This means that animals should only be seen in emergencies or where, in the judgement of the veterinary surgeon, urgent assessment and/or treatment is needed in order to reduce the risk of patient deterioration to the point where it may become an emergency in the near future (ie within the three-week time frame currently laid out by the Government for these measures).
Routine treatments, other than those essential to maintaining the future food supply chain, should not be carried out until further notice. You may, however, offer your clients advice and consultation services via remote means, including prescribing POM-V medicines where appropriate (see FAQ 3). The same principles apply if you usually work in an ambulatory role, for example if you are an equine or farm vet.