*Latest Coronavirus Update*
CORONAVIRUS /COVID 19 UPDATE -14/04/2020
Government advice remains that people need to stay at home, except for very limited purposes, to slow the spread of Covid-19
Are we open?
We have been classified as an essential service. Following guidance from our professional bodies, RCVS and BVA, we remain open at our Cassiobury surgery to offer emergency and urgent care, advice and medications which are essential for animal health and welfare or public health, and to relieve pain and suffering.
The Katherine Place Branch surgery has been temporarily closed and regrettably puppy parties have been cancelled.
We have a duty of care for the safety of our clients and our Practice personnel by supporting social distancing, hygiene and biosecurity, as well as reducing where possible any non-essential journeys.
I am concerned about my pet.
Please telephone 01923 223321. Please do not come to the surgery without telephoning first. The telephones can be intermittently very busy, but a member of our staff will endeavour to answer as quickly as possible.
We will initially triage over the telephone as to whether your pet can be effectively treated by advice and medication away from the surgery by way of a telephone or video consultation or it is recommended to attend the surgery.
Although sometimes not ideal, for the present time many cases can be judged remotely.
There is a charge for the telephone/ video consultation to be paid over the telephone at the time. If during this consultation we subsequently advise that your pet needs to be physically assessed at the surgery for an emergency/urgent appointment, there will be an additional charge, but the total cost will be the same as if you had come to the surgery directly.
In the present situation, every case we physically attend in person has to be judged on a risk assessment and also whether it is essential for animal health and welfare or public health, including the relief of pain and suffering.
We have received guidance (14 April 2020) that some preventative procedures may now fall into the category of being essential to animal health and welfare in the longer term. In particular –
- puppies and kittens including a first year booster
- dogs for leptospirosis
- Each case will need to be assessed on an individual basis. Social distancing and the needs of the individual pet and owner will need to be taken into account. In some circumstance medications can be used instead.
- Mixed cat or rabbit pairings may warrant surgical neutering.
For the time being, every case will have to be judged on their merits. The amount of pets we are able to see each day is reduced and getting an appointment for a booster or neutering may take significantly longer than before.
We do hope you understand that this is not our normal way of providing our services, but it is necessary and it is following the guidance of our professional bodies as well as current government advice.
Attending the Surgery.
Please do not enter the building but telephone 01923 223321 (or 01923 229092 if the answerphone is on). Please give your details and car registration number. We will come out to you but please -keep your distance.
Stay in or near your car. Some examinations and procedures can be performed in the car park, but otherwise we will collect your pet, and take them into the surgery for assessment and treatment while you wait in the car park. After the examination, treatment plans will be discussed and agreed with you, while observing social distancing or by phone or video.
If the weather is poor, we will endeavour to erect 1-2 covers in the car park, one kindly provided by a local Watford firm, Aerospares 2000, and the other by Katherine, a member of our staff.
What if I am on self-isolation/stay-at-home/ infected household?
You will be asked about your and your household’s medical status re Covid-19. If you are on self-isolation/stay-at-home, etc., please arrange for someone else to bring your pet to the surgery if it is necessary. We will take appropriate safely precautions to enable us to treat your pet.
What if I am in the vulnerable category and shielding?
Please contact the surgery for advice on 01923 223321. If we cannot help your pet remotely, perhaps someone else can bring your pet to the surgery. Medication can be posted, delivered or collected by a friend or family member. Please contact us to discuss your pet’s needs.
These may be ordered from the Cassiobury surgery or online. We routinely check the requirements and will verify the details with you.
All medications need to be paid for in advance by card over the telephone to minimise personal contact. Please telephone the surgery as above and we will bring the medications out to you.
Medications may also be posted. Hand delivery is available within inner Watford postcodes. There is a charge for this service.
Non-urgent medications, e.g. routine flea and wormer treatments, may be posted or delivered as above.
Please be aware that due to high demand dispensing is taking up to 48 hours.
Pet Health Club members
Along with the other benefits, during the period of Covid-19 restrictions, postage or hand delivery within the Watford postcodes of flea and wormer products will now be available FOC.
We are a phone call away if you need us
Please check our Facebook page and website for periodic updates.
Advice for pet owners with symptoms of Coronavirus
- There is no evidence that pet animals play a role in the spread of the disease or that they become sick themselves.
- Restrict contact with pets as a precautionary animal health measure until more information is known about the virus.
- If your pet requires care, wash your hands before and after any interaction with them.
- 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 do not take it to the vet but call the practice for advice.
- If your pet requires emergency treatment, call the practice for further advice. Do not take your pet to the surgery unless the vet instructs you to. You may need to arrange for someone else to transport your pet for treatment.
Further information can be found on the WSAVA website
Puppy Parties and Behaviour Consultations
It is with regret that we have taken the difficult decision to temporarily cancel Puppy parties at our Katherine Place Clinic and Behaviour Consultations at our Cassio Clinic. We will be contacting clients affected by these cancellations.
We are taking these measures to protect our staff so that we can continue to provide a service for our clients and their pets.
We thank you for your patience during these difficult times and we will inform you when services return to normal.