EQUINE MULTI-PRACTICE JOINT COVID-19 STATEMENT

Updated 14th April 2020

This statement has been agreed by a majority of practices based in Norfolk
that perform equine work. It is based on advice from the Royal College of
Veterinary Surgeons, the British Veterinary Association and the British Equine
Veterinary Association.

 

COVID-19 remains a serious threat to the UK population.

As vets, we have to balance the needs of our patients with the national interest of reducing person to person contact. Equally, we cannot make unnecessary journeys.

Clearly, when working with horses we need handlers and people in close proximity to us to reduce the dangers of the job itself. This is it at odds with the fundamentals of the Government’s advice. We cannot risk any of our
staff getting hurt so we must work in the safest way possible at all times.


However, we have a duty to the animals under our care and, as such, we all intend to continue to provide a veterinary service. We have to consider what is routine and what is not. That is, do we absolutely need to attend or can wedeal with a case by other means?

Our cases will fall into three groups:

(1) ROUTINE - WE SHOULD NOT ATTEND. This will include prepurchase examinations (“Vettings”), routine dentistry, routine stud work and Artificial Insemination. SEE OVERLEAF FOR CHANGES TO THIS CATEGORY

 

(2) EMERGENCY - WE WILL ATTEND. Colics, wounds, foalings, many eye cases are examples of urgent cases.


(3) POTENTIAL EXAMINATION NEEDED - we will operate a triage system. This will involve a phone call from a vet with the use of photos and videos with further telephone follow up. We will then decide whether it is appropriate to treat remotely or whether we need to see the horse. For example, a low grade “Mud Fever” can probably be dealt with from photos in the first instance. If it becomes more severe then we would likely attend.

We have vets working around the clock. You can always ring us. We will continue to do our absolute best to help you.

The above should be read in conjunction with our individual practice protocols regarding COVID-19.

THE GOVERNING AND PROFESSIONAL BODIES HAVE A CHANGE OF
STANCE ON:
(1) VACCINATION - where this can be done safely We may now carry out:

• 1st Vaccinations (Flu / Tetanus)
• 2nd Vaccinations
• 3rd Vaccinations
• Annual Boosters
We will not give 6 monthly Flu vaccines at this time


(2) CASTRATION – we will castrate colts due to the longer-term benefits


(3) ROUTINE REPRODUCTIVE WORK - for mares already in foal only

All of the above is still subject to our own risk assessment of the situation. Where we can handle horses “safely” on our own we may choose to do so. Equally, we may send a vet and an assistant separately. This will form part of our discussion with you prior to booking the call.

If you have vaccines that are now overdue because they were cancelled in the initial lockdown period we will discuss re-starting procedures and the cost implications with you.

To be clear, this is not “business as usual”. The change of stance is simply because there was always due to be a review of the position at 3 weeks by our professional bodies. It appears likely that the lockdown period could
continue, to at least some degree, for weeks if not months. On that basis, we have to now consider the longer term health implications of not performing certain work.

Anchorage Barn Equine Clinic
Chapelfield Veterinary Partnership
Wensum Valley Veterinary Surgeons
Westover Veterinary Centre / Breckland Veterinary Centre
Wood Farm Vets

We all hope you stay safe and well.

FARM COVID-19 STATEMENT - 26th March 2020

This statement sets out the practice position on working during the Covid-19 lockdown period. It is based on advice from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, the British Veterinary Association and the British Cattle Veterinary Association.


COVID-19 presents an ever increasing threat to the UK population. As vets, we have to balance the needs of our patients with the national interest of reducing person to person contact.

Clearly, when working with farm animals we need handlers and people in close proximity to us to reduce the dangers of the job itself. This is it at odds with the fundamentals of the Government’s advice.


However, we have a duty to the animals under our care and, as such, we all intend to continue to provide a veterinary service. We have to consider what is routine and what is not. That is, do we absolutely need to attend or can we deal with a case by other means.

Our cases will fall into three groups:


(1) ROUTINE - we should not attend. (Although some work is deemed to be necessary for food production, eg fertility visits)


(2) EMERGENCY - WE WILL ATTEND. Calvings, lambing, caesarians, wounds, disease outbreaks are examples of this.


(3) POTENTIAL EXAMINATION NEEDED - we will operate a triage system. This will involve a phone call from a vet with the use of photos and videos with further telephone follow up. We will then decide whether it is appropriate to treat remotely or whether we need to see the animal.

We have vets working around the clock. You can always ring us. We will continue to do our absolute best to help you.

When working on farm, we will insist on “social distancing” and all other measures widely described to reduce the risk to our staff and to farmers. The national situation and advice changes on an almost daily basis. This statement will be revised as necessary in line with future UK government advice and under the direction of our professional bodies.

 

About Us

Wensum Valley Vets is a modern, progressive 5 vet practice offering excellent care for both equine and farm clients. We offer an ambulatory service providing a range of preventative care, diagnostics and treatment options to best suit your needs. We also have a purpose-built clinic, allowing us to provide the best facilities for your horse using modern equipment. We are available for emergencies 24/7 providing you with a familiar face in a time of worry and allowing for continuity of care.

Mare and Foal Horse 2