14 APRIL 2020 – UPDATED ADVICE FOR OUR CLIENTS – COVID-19

Hello to everyone out there, we hope you are well and keeping safe

We are through the first period of lockdown, and no surprise, we expect it to be extended; this is assumed to be 2 months.

Firstly  –  thank you for your patience and supportive messages in this ongoing COVID 19 pandemic, we really appreciate it. Our team is doing their best to help you in these challenging circumstances.

We are open and here to support you as always, in any way we can. Providing care for our clients and their pets remains our top priority, no change there!

Human safety and health remains paramount, and this means we must ask you to do your part in preventing the spread of COVID 19. Please read these guidelines to do this.

Please remember that the lockdown restrictions continue unchanged. We have only to remind ourselves of the incredible work frontline NHS workers are doing to save lives, to put our situation in perspective.

As the initial three-week period of lockdown will be extended, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons has updated their advice to vets across the UK.

We ARE NOT returning to business as usual. Our primary commitment is to prioritise human safety by reducing travel and contact for you, our team and the wider public, thereby supporting the national effort.

We are still open for EMERGENCIES AND URGENT CASES ONLY. Our opening hours have changed – we close at 6 pm Monday-Friday; Saturday hours have not changed.

Our new guidelines now enlarge the group of any POTENTIALLY URGENT cases, considering what might become worse in the next 2 months (rather than previously the upcoming 3 weeks). A situation for your pet that was deemed safe and comfortable for 3 weeks, is now being reassessed looking at 2 months.

From Tuesday 14th April we are allowed to start and/or complete puppy vaccination courses. We will contact our clients to whom this applies over the next few days. If you haven’t heard from us in a couple of days please get in touch.  We are working with SOCIAL DISTANCING in place, to protect yourselves, and our staff. We ask that you bring puppies either in a cat carrier if they are small enough, or with a collar and lead so that we can maintain some distance.

At this time we ARE NOT seeing adult dogs for boosters, if they have been regularly vaccinated. If you believe that your animal is at high risk, then an exception may be made at the discretion of the vet. Please contact us to discuss. Booster vaccinations can be booked for mid-June onwards, when we hope the COVID 19 restrictions will have eased. If there is any change to this, we will let you know. You will not be charged extra for any extra vaccinations required due to the COVID 19 situation.

We encourage you to keep your kittens indoors. Please phone to discuss your individual case, so that we can risk assess your situation to see when we can book your kitten’s vaccinations.

We are not currently booking routine neutering of dogs and cats, if you would like to discuss your situation it will be decided on a case by case basis, so please contact us.

You must phone the surgery before coming to us. We may arrange a video consult via PetsApp to assess whether it is necessary for you to bring your pet to the surgery.

Our standards of care have not changed, but the way we must manage how that care is administered is more complicated. We must balance that care with any risk to your health and ours, to reduce if not eliminate spread of COVID 19.

Emergency and urgent care will always be provided; we must triage remotely before you arrive (discuss your pet’s condition and plan accordingly).

Urgent cases will be assessed by a nurse over the phone, and in some cases by a vet using our video chat Petsapp consult service. There is a charge for this valuable consultation service. If your pet needs to be seen in-person following a video consultation, there will not be an additional exam fee charge.

You can download PetsApp onto your phone or tablet here:  https://petsapp.com/elston-veterinary-clinic  

You can also use Petsapp to request an appointment, prescriptions, pet food, or ask a question. The chat line is of course free to use. We will get back to you the same day. The chat line is open between 8.30 am and 6 pm Monday to Friday excluding bank holidays. If you leave a chat message out of these hours, we will pick it up the next time we are open.

DO NOT USE PETSAPP FOR EMERGENCY HELP, please phone the practice on 01980 621999

If you have not yet downloaded the link for this service, we encourage you to do so now….it is very easy to use, we promise!

For pets attending the practice, our social distancing and elimination of face to face contact protocol remains in place.

We will ask you to remain outside the practice building for the duration of your visit. We are hugely sympathetic to any concerns you might have about this policy.

  • Do not drive to the practice if you are self-isolating, or are in any way ill. We will ask you to clarify your current medical status with regards to COVID 19.
  • Please keep your phone on and with you at all times.
  • When you arrive, a vet will phone you to discuss your concerns about your pet’s condition, and take the history from you while avoiding face to face contact.
  • At that point, one of our team will come out to your car and collect your pet; cats in your carrier, or your dog will be taken with one of our leads into the practice.
  • After your pet has been examined, the vet will phone you to discuss the findings and discuss them with you. We can discuss any concerns you have about your pet with you.

Our previous instructions for ordering repeat medication, food or other supplies remain in place:

IF YOU REQUIRE REPEAT MEDICATION, PET FOOD, OR OTHER SUPPLIES, PLEASE PHONE AHEAD.

Please keep your pet’s deworming medication and flea prevention treatments up to date, they are so important this time of year. They can be posted to you, which will incur a small fee. **HEALTHY PET CLUB MEMBERS will not incur a delivery fee for deworming and flea treatments.**

If you are housebound, we can still deliver items to local addresses in Shrewton and Orcheston. This remains subject to our team availability. If you know of anyone who is housebound and struggling, please let us know.

Our contact-free collection process remains in place:

  • Use click and collect, petsapp chat, email or telephone to place your order.
  • We will notify you when your order is ready for collection.
  • On that phonecall or chat you can pay for your order, and say when you are arriving to collect.
  • We will leave your order outside for you to collect at your arrival time, weather permitting.
  • Medication will be placed in the green box just outside our front door, and pet food will be placed outside our door just before you arrive.

We are concerned for our most vulnerable clients, and want to be certain they are receiving the help they need, and to ensure their pets are receiving the care that they need. For anyone who is house-bound, please do not be afraid to contact us if you are worried or need help with your pet. We want to help you. 01980 – 621999

A final word of advice — PLEASE DO NOT BREED FROM YOUR PET DURING THIS PANDEMIC!!

We are all doing our best to avoid unnecessary danger to public health and maintain social distancing, as well as avoid using precious emergency supplies. Complications from breeding dogs and cats can be potentially present an unnecessary burden on everyone’s efforts to prevent the spread of COVID 19.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation and your patience.

Please continue to stay safe, stay well, and be kind. We miss you, and look forward to being able to see you in person, later on this year.

We’re thinking of you.
From Enid and the Team at Elston Vets

 


25 MARCH 2020 – UPDATED CORONAVIRUS ADVICE FOR OUR CLIENTS AND SUPPORT FOR THE COMMUNITY

Like everyone else, here at Elston Vets we have been constantly reviewing the latest government advice, and have the following update.

FIRSTLY – WE ARE OPEN!

We want to reassure you that providing care for our clients and their pets remains our top priority.

At the same time, human safety and health is paramount now more than ever, and this is impacting how we work.

We are happy to report that currently we are not experiencing any staff shortages, although we have reduced the number of team members present in the practice at any one time.

We fully support the lockdown in the UK, which we are all hoping will help reduce the spread of COVID19 and save lives. As a result of the lockdown,

WE ARE RESTRICTED TO URGENT AND EMERGENCY CARE ONLY.

The service we are able to provide is completely different than anything we have experienced before. This situation requires patience from all of us, and we appreciate your understanding in these unprecedented times.

We are unable to do routine procedures such as neutering or most vaccinations (**waiting for RCVS advice on puppy vaccinations), that are not deemed emergency care. We are rebooking vaccinations for 2-3 months from now, and will monitor the situation which of course is very uncertain at present.

We still believe in preventative care for your pets – and strongly recommend continuing all deworming and flea prevention, which is even more important this time of year.

PLEASE PHONE BEFORE COMING IN. For your protection and ours, we must reduce or eliminate face-to-face contact.

If you believe your pet requires urgent care, we are here to help, the difference now is that we will need to triage and plan ahead as much as possible.

WE CAN OFFER A REMOTE CONSULTATION using our new service of video consultations, using the fantastic tool Petsapp. There will be a charge for video consultations, and hope to go live with them by Friday 27th March or Monday 30th March. Please see more information on this here: 

PetsApp Website-                   https://petsapp.com/   

Elston Vets App Link for clients –https://petsapp.com/elston-veterinary-clinic

IF YOUR PET REQUIRES ATTENDANCE AT OUR PRACTICE, we will ask you to remain outside the practice building for the duration of your visit. We are hugely sympathetic to any concerns you might have about this policy. Please keep in mind the gravity of the current pandemic; we are doing this for your protection as well as our team’s.

  • Do not drive to the practice if you are self-isolating, or are in any way ill. Phone us to discuss, and see further advice in following sections of this document.
  • Please keep your phone on and with you at all times.
  • When you arrive, a vet will phone you to discuss your concerns about your pet’s condition, and take the history from you while avoiding face to face contact.
  • At that point, one of our team will come out to your car and collect your pet; cats in your carrier, or your dog will be taken with one of our leads into the practice.
  • After your pet has been examined, the vet will phone you to discuss the findings and discuss them with you.

For those of our clients confined to their house, we are available for collection (and return!) of your pet should it need to be seen by us. (To local addresses in Shrewton and Orcheston.)

And  – arrangements for dog walking – a chat on the phone….

IF YOU REQUIRE REPEAT MEDICATION, PET FOOD, OR OTHER SUPPLIES, PLEASE PHONE AHEAD.

Deworming medication and flea prevention treatments, which are key this time of year, can be posted to you, which will incur a small fee. HEALTHY PET CLUB MEMBERS WILL NOT INCUR A DELIVERY FEE FOR THOSE ITEMS.

Currently we can deliver items to local addresses in Shrewton and Orcheston if that is helpful to you. This is subject to our team availability; so far we have been able to do this.

We are due to enlist a delivery service soon, please check our Facebook page and website for updates on this.

Alternatively and for larger items, once you have phoned and placed your order with us, and we have notified you that your order is ready for collection, we can continue the system we have had in place, which is – Phone us to let us know when you are arriving, on that phonecall you can pay for your order, then we will leave your order outside for you to collect, weather permitting. Medication will be placed in the green box, and pet food will be placed outside our door just before you arrive.

We are not experiencing any shortages of medication, petfood or supplies, so there is no need to stockpile! So long as everyone refrains from stockpiling, there should be no interruption in our supplies.

We are also concerned to maintain our services for our most vulnerable clients. While we are expecting all of our dear clients to stay healthy, we also think having a plan in place gives great peace of mind. If you are in the category of “vulnerable” (and we appreciate the official guidelines are changing rapidly) please consider taking the following steps.

  • Please make a plan for your pet’s everyday care in the event that you are taken into hospital. This way you can be reassured that you will have nothing to worry about for your pet’s wellbeing.
  • If you live alone, please ensure that there is a friend or family member who has a key to your house, in the event that your pet needs care in your absence.
  • Please share any concerns about your plans with us, we are here to help.
  • Please consult the NHS and government websites for your personal health advice.

In the unlikely event that you are diagnosed positive for the coronavirus:

  • If your pet requires care, wash your hands before and after any interaction with them and wear a face mask if possible.
  • Keep cats indoors if possible and try to arrange for someone else to exercise dogs, taking care to restrict any contact with the person walking your dog and making sure they practice good hygiene. This is to reduce the likelihood of your pet spreading the disease through environmental contamination on their fur – there is no evidence that pet animals play a role in the spread of the disease or that they become sick themselves.
  • If your pet shows clinical signs, please call us for advice.
  • If your pet requires emergency treatment, call us for further advice. Do not take your pet to the surgery yourself. You will need to arrange for someone else to transport your pet for emergency treatment.

Please share this information with others that have pets who may not have access to technology.

Thank you for your patience and taking the time to read this. We will endeavour to provide you and your pet the best possible care during this difficult time. We are thinking of you and your families, and send our love.

Thank you

from the Elston Vets Team