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What to expect at the clinic and changes to the way we work

– We are no longer able to accommodate home visits unless they are unavoidable, or deemed by us to be in some way detrimental to an animal’s welfare.

– We are still operating a ‘closed door’ policy and sadly will be doing so for the foreseeable future. This means no clients will be entering the practice, except in very exceptional circumstances. You will be asked to call us upon your arrival and if your pet is coming in for an examination then we will give you instructions as to handover procedures, with any handling or restraint aided by our trained staff. We understand you may find this distressing, but we can assure you that your pet will be treated, as always, as if he/she is one of our own.

– Cat baskets are to be left on the bench by the front door and will be collected once you have returned to your car (it is your responsibility to make sure that your cat or kitten is secure in the basket before leaving them). Small puppies are to be placed in the red wire basket on the bench by the front door – please make sure you replace the red wire pin that secures your puppy in the basket before returning to your car. For dogs (or larger puppies), please go to the rear of the building where you will see an outdoor run attached to the building and a bank of kennels numbered 1 to 4. When you call on your arrival, we will let you know which of these to put your dog in, then please remove their lead (take the lead with you) and close the door (making sure it has latched properly when you close it) and we will subsequently collect your dog when we are ready for them.

– If you, or someone in your household has been unwell recently (this includes anyone that is self isolating), we kindly ask that you arrange for someone else to bring your pet to us. If this is not possible, please call us on 01285 861090 to discuss appropriate action.

– We are asking all clients to pay for treatments, food orders and prescriptions over the phone using a debit or credit card or by bank transfer if the former is not an option (please ask us for bank details to be sent to you via e-mail and once cleared funds have been confirmed then we will let you know that medications etc can be collected). Receipts can be emailed to you upon request.

– There is currently no shortage of medications. We ask that you call to arrange repeat prescriptions, and provide at least 24 hours’ notice. As per the ‘closed door’ policy, when you come to collect orders, please call us upon your arrival and we will put your package to collect on top of the plastic box by the front door. Please respect that we are abiding by social-distancing protocols and this involves maintaining a distance of 2 meters between individuals so please wait for us to return back into the practice before you collect your medications and wait for other members of the public to clear the space before you jump in.

– During this time, it will mean the practice is operating on significantly fewer staff than normal so please bear with us as we do our very best to care for your pets.

Work we can do and work we can’t

1) Primary vaccination courses and 1st year annual boosters (pets around 15 months of age) are for the most part ok to be scheduled (subject to not putting us or you at any unnecessary risk). Please see the section below on vaccinations.

2) All other vaccinations will be down to our clinical judgement and we plan to have these discussions with you individually so please respect our risk assessment made as to what’s right for you and your pets (see the section below on vaccinations for more details).

3) Individual circumstances will be considered regarding neutering – this is not business as usual so please understand that if your circumstances are particularly challenging (mixed sex young rabbits, young cats that you cannot keep indoors or again mixed sex pairs etc) then we will consider the merits on an individual basis.

4) Otherwise, it continues to be emergencies only or anything that we feel is likely to cause pain, suffering or welfare concerns over the next 2 months.

Should I have my pet vaccinated?

Cats – If part of their initial kitten vaccines or the first annual vaccinations (when they are approximately 15 months old) then yes for the most part unless you can conceivably keep them indoors for the next couple of months and have no other cats going outside (at which point, their risk of catching anything with the movement restrictions in place is very low). Otherwise, we are delaying all adult vaccinations unless there are extenuating circumstances. We have a 3 month safety net for vaccinations being overdue (suffice the initial course and 1st annual vaccinations have been given in accordance with guidelines) and so a booster vaccination can be given without the course needing to be re-started if it’s given within 15 months’ of the last one. If it is almost 15 months since your cat’s last vaccine then please contact us for further guidance regarding your options.

Dogs – If part of their initial puppy vaccines or the first annual vaccinations (when they are approximately 15 months old) then yes for the most part. We are starting to see adult dogs where their booster is at least a month overdue so do call us if this is the case. We have a 3 month safety net for leptospirosis vaccinations being overdue (suffice the initial course and 1st annual vaccinations have been given in accordance with guidelines) and so a booster vaccination can be given without the course needing to be re-started. All kennel cough vaccinations are being delayed at this time unless there are extenuating circumstances due to the risk of giving a live attenuated vaccine, which could add to any respiratory compromise in the event of you or a family member catching Covid-19. Rabies vaccinations are only being done if by not doing so, you are breaking your period of continuity and it would therefore mean you would have to start the whole process again (vaccination, blood test etc) in order to travel. Clearly travel is not on most people’s minds at this point in time, but we appreciate some clients may need to travel for work later in the year/next year and may have to take their pet with them.

Rabbits – All vaccines going ahead due to the ongoing risks of myxomatosis and RHD/RHD2. Please call us to discuss your individual requirements.

Thank you for your understanding at this difficult time for all of us.

Kindest Regards,
All the team at Cotswold Vets