COVID-19 update

Hello fellow lock-downers.

The Government have designated veterinary care as an essential service. The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and British Veterinary Surgeons have given us some guidance on what patients we should and should not see here.

I thought that it might be useful to share this with our clients.

We are not permitted to see pets for booster vaccinations, Well Pet Club six-monthly health checks, nail clips, weight checks or non-urgent investigations. We have also been told not to start puppy or kitten vaccination courses but we can give second vaccinations where a course has been started.

The recommendations may change if lock-down is prolonged beyond the initial 3 weeks. We can note on our records to contact you after the restrictions are lifted – please call or email if you would like to be on the list. We will contact owners of pets needing their vaccinations as soon as the restrictions are lifted.

For many cases we are advised to conduct telephone or video telemedicine consultations. We are, temporarily, permitted to prescribe medicines after such a “non-contact” consultation. Examples where this is appropriate include: mild trauma (such as a torn nail), skin and ear problems, post-operative checks, medication checks, small wounds, lameness or lumps. In some cases the vet will recommend that the pet should be seen and we will arrange for an examination at the Hexham surgery.

There are some cases where we will always want to physically examine and treat the pet. These cases include: severe trauma, seizures, significant bleeding, difficulty breathing, a persistent cough, retching, vomiting or diarrhoea associated with being unwell, straining to poo or wee, toxin ingestion, and ongoing treatment for Diabetes or Addison’s disease.

In short, if in doubt then please telephone the practice for advice. We would always prefer a telephone call than to not be asked for advice or not see a pet and have their health deteriorate.

Stay well… and we will help your pets stay well!

Tim Pearson, Vet and Clinical Director, Orchard House Vets

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