Small Animal Services update 20th April 2020
As the lockdown continues for at least the next 3 weeks (until 7th May at the earliest) we have looked at how we can offer further services to our patients, whilst maintaining safety for both yourselves, our team and our patients.
We know that many of you will have been watching your pets during the initial period of lockdown, and feel that now you may need to seek advice for an ongoing or deteriorating problem.
We are constantly taking advice from our professional bodies, and the government, as to what we can and should do at this stage, but we are now at such a critical stage with COVID19 only just really reaching Pembrokeshire that it is vital that people only make essential journeys, and we are not ‘business as usual’.
To maintain safety for our team, we are still working on a reduced staff, so that 2 metres distancing can be kept where possible. The social distancing measures in place for everyone’s protection mean that we are working behind closed doors, as we have been throughout the lockdown. We are lucky to have a big car park, and the weather has been kind, so we are able to come out to the car park to discuss cases (or have a phone consultation first), then we bring your pet into the building for our nursing team to hold them whilst we perform our full examination. We will then discuss any diagnosis, treatment or tests required with you by phone, or at a distance in the car park. This process, however can take over 45 minutes, so we are unable to see the volume of cases which we usually would, and there may be restrictions on what time we can see you, and with which vet.
As such, we are only able to see urgent or emergency cases. Other problems may be dealt with by a phone / remote consultation, sometimes through the use of photographs or video which can be sent via our Facebook messenger or to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are also able to consider prescribing via phone consultation too. Phone consultations do incur a consultation fee.
Your continued patience in this is greatly appreciated.
Most importantly please realise that our front door is locked, so phone us on arrival in the car park to let us know you are here. It is helpful if you tell us which car you are in and where you are parked.
Prescriptions can be pre-ordered for collection at Haverfordwest (Prendergast Place Farm SA61 2PL) or Fishguard (10 Feidr Castell SA65 9BB). All prescriptions MUST be pre-ordered, to allow 48-72 hours for them to be put up. We are extremely busy with prescriptions, and all prescription only medications must be authorised by a vet, as usual, hence the delay.
And importantly again, please realise that our front door is locked, and phone us on arrival in the car park to let us know you are here.
A prescription delivery service is available, with areas being covered on an ad hoc basis. You will be contacted if we are delivering in your area and have a prescription for you. We are also signed up to Vetpost – a monthly postal scheme for flea and worm preventatives, as well as some other medications.
There are many factors to consider in whether we can provide vaccinations at the moment, including the risk to the animal itself, the current disease status in the area, and the risk to the community if unnecessary journeys are being made.
For puppies and kittens completion of a vaccination course is important, which includes their first year booster. However adult booster vaccinations can be postponed, especially where there is minimal risk of disease in that animal. Once lockdown is over, we will be holding a vaccination amnesty, so any lapsed vaccines can be restarted for the same price as a booster.
For dogs, for example, leptospirosis will be at higher risk if your dog is still being walked in areas of farmland, dirty water courses, or where there are known rats / vermin. To reduce risk, avoid these areas.
For most cats, leaving the booster for up to 15 months from the last vaccination will still give acceptable immunity in most cases. If you are in an area of high risk of cat flu, or have a multicat household, there may be increased risk.
Keeping your cats and dogs indoors and socially distanced will reduce the risk of them contracting disease.
In all cases our vets will need to do a risk assessment of each case, using your area, household details and the pet’s history, to help you decide if your journey to the surgery would be classed as essential. Every case is different, so what is appropriate for one animal and it’s lifestyle may not be appropriate for another, and we do ask that you realise our team of professionals are trying their very best to protect you during this COVID19 outbreak.
Where possible we will be doing any necessary vaccinations at our Fishguard (Feidr Castell) surgery, in the mornings.
Surgery opening times:
Haverfordwest continues to be open Mon-Sat, from 8.30am-5pm (Mon-Fri) and 8.30am-1pm (Sat). After 5pm phone calls go through to our emergency answering service. If telephoning for a repeat prescription or non-urgent enquiry, we ask that you phone after 10.30am, as our phones are extremely busy until this time.
From today (20th April) Fishguard will be open again for some vaccinations (see above), some consultations and the collection of prescriptions. The door will be locked, so please wait near your car where our team will come out and find you. It may be helpful to tell us what type of car you will be arriving in when making the appointment, so we can keep an eye out.
St Davids will remain closed until further notice, as the building and it’s approach make it impossible to maintain safe social distancing.
Unfortunately clients are unable to come into any of the surgeries until lockdown has been relaxed, it just isn’t safe as it increases potential contacts. We realise how difficult it must be for you to not be with your pet whilst it is being treated, and we are so careful to minimise any stress to them during this time. Our team really appreciates your cooperation, which allows us to maintain our essential service to you.
Surgeries, procedures and neutering:
Although we are now able to offer further procedures, these must be those classed as essential, or where a welfare issue may arise if they are not carried out in the next 2 months. Our vets will discuss individual cases with you and decide on the best plan of action. In addition, with our limited staff, it is necessary that we prioritise which cases need to be seen, and when. As always, we endeavour to treat all patients as quickly as possible.
Thank you for reading our update. We will continue to work closely together to maintain our urgent and essential services, but for now we cannot resume ‘business as usual’. Keep an eye out for any future updates. We look forward to the day we can welcome you all back in to the surgeries………………but bear with us, we’re not quite there yet.
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We care for your pets and farm animals providing the best quality service possible. At The Oak Vets, we deal with emergencies, preventative healthcare, and everything in-between.