We are all experiencing unprecedented changes to our way of life. The restrictions currently in place mean that our ways of working have fundamentally altered.
Please remember, we provide an emergency service and this will not change. If your animal is severely unwell and requires emergency care you should call our usual number (01497 820863) and one of our team will help.
Until restrictions are lifted, routine preventative health care, food orders, prescriptions and management of chronic cases will need to be done remotely.
This is to ensure adequate social distancing and help control the spread of Coronavirus. We are always happy to answer queries but at present our workforce is split into small teams who are working hard to provide the best care for clients’ animals.
This may mean we are slower than usual to answer queries.
On April 14th 2020, new guidance from our regulator (the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons), becomes applicable. While the guidance offers some relaxation in the restrictions placed on the cases we can see, it does not signify a return to ‘business as usual’.
Our practice remains committed to doing all we can to work safely to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, while also protecting animal health and welfare. We are also aware that judicious use of certain medicines and PPE is vital, to conserve supplies for use in human healthcare.
How do I contact Hay Vets?
In an emergency, use the phone. You can call 01497 820863, this number is answered 24/7 by a member of the practice team. IF you get through to an answerphone it is because we are helping another client. Leave your name and number clearly, we will call you back. In the unlikely event that you have not received a call back within 5-minutes, call us again.
Non-emergency enquiries can be made via email at any time using the address firstname.lastname@example.org . We check this mailbox at least twice daily. Email enquiries are welcome where possible, they help keep our team free to treat patients. Non-urgent ‘phone enquiries are welcome between 9 and 4pm, Monday to Friday.
How have Hay Vets changed their working patterns?
During lockdown, we continue to work to protect animal health and welfare. However, the health of our team and the wider community are also everyone’s priority. As a result, our practice staff have been split into small teams. This means fewer people are in contact at any one time, and that it is easier to achieve adequate social distancing while working together. We have colleagues based at home, from where they can offer services to clients as needed. Our teams will be wearing PPE where deemed appropriate, so please don’t be offended if we don gloves, gowns, masks, etc.
Are both branches open?
We are working from our Hay surgery. The practice is open for shorter hours than usual, and we ask that all clients telephone or email before visiting. We are staggering client arrivals to permit social distancing – part of our effort to help control the spread of Coronavirus.
For the time being Talgarth surgery is closed. However it may be possible to arrange to see patients or dispense medication from there, if that is more accessible for you.
Are you visiting animals (horses, farm animals or pets?)
Yes. However we will need to ensure that the attending vet is able to work safely, while being 2-metres away from you. It is essential that adequate, safe handling equipment is available for livestock. Please put livestock into an individual small pen in time for the vet’s visit, and have well-maintained a cattle crush ready for use. As always, provision of clean water and wash-down facilities is essential so that our vets can wash-up before leaving the premises.
Please do not request a visit if you or your family have symptoms of COVID-19, or are self-isolating due to recent/risk of infection. In exceptional circumstances and dire emergencies, it may be that a vet can attend with an assistant to provide care. Please do not request visits to small animals, we currently have a small staff working and cannot offer home visits.
What if I need repeat prescriptions, pet food or farm/equine medicines?
We can continue to supply repeat prescriptions. It may be appropriate to supply longer courses of medication to last over the coming few months.
Our suppliers have reduced the frequency of deliveries and some drugs are subject to delays. Therefore we request that clients give as much notice as reasonable (at least 3 working days) when ordering medication. Some controlled drugs and specially formulated foods, and those from specialist suppliers, may take longer to arrive so please give us at least one week’s notice when ordering these.
My animal is poorly, but it isn’t an emergency. Can you help?
Yes. We are not offering routine appointments. All enquiries relating to appointments will be triaged by a vet. You may be offered a chargeable video/telephone consultation, if appropriate. If that consultation results directly in a physical appointment, this will not be charged in addition. If a physical appointment is needed, you will be asked to bring your animal to the practice and we will ask you to wait in your vehicle while your animal is assessed and treated.
Video or telephone appointments may be appropriate to address non-emergency problems which need attention in days, rather than weeks (the anticipated duration of the lockdown). Phone and video consultations are offered to registered clients only.
What if I have run out of flea and worm treatments?
Flea and worm treatments are not emergency medicines. If you notice that your pet has fleas or worms, email (email@example.com) or call us on 01497 820863/01874 713111 (between 9 a.m. and 4p.m.) and we will do our best to help. However you will have to bear with us while we work out a safe way to supply treatment. Prescription only products will only be supplied to registered clients, and if we have not seen your pet recently we will ask that you bring them in to us as soon as restrictions are lifted.
Is Pet Club still running?
Yes! If your pet is due their Pet Club medication we ask that you email us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help. The automated treatment reminders for Pet Club goods will continue (unless you have opted out), so please check your stocks at home before you contact us. It may be that you have supplies at home already. We will be sending treatments out via the post, by prior agreement. We will contact you via phone or email when treatment is ready, and we can agree the best way to get supplies to you (we will post these out to you at no-cost, if you prefer).
What about my pet’s booster vaccinations?
We are confident that adult dogs and cats who have received a full puppy or kitten course (at 8 +12 weeks, then ~15 months) can go up to 3 months overdue for boosters without significantly increasing their risk of contracting disease. Therefore for the time being we will not be giving booster vaccinations to adult pets. If you are uncertain of your pet’s vaccine status, please email us on email@example.com. We will check our records and can advise on the best course of action.
I have a new puppy. Aren’t vaccines crucial for young animals?
We ask our clients to consider seriously whether it is wise to purchase a new pet, from a different household, during the lockdown period. While there is no evidence that pets can infect humans with Coronavirus, there is a risk of virus surviving for short periods on the coat of animals. Should you be ‘mixing’ with another household in this way? What if you were to become seriously unwell – who would care for the puppy or kitten in those circumstances?
Puppies are at significant risk of contracting infectious disease. With their indoor/outdoor lifestyle it is very difficult to prevent access to the bugs which can make them unwell. Therefore we are, following a risk assessment, giving puppy primary courses. This includes completing primary courses started in recent weeks.
I have kitten. What about neutering and vaccinations?
Kittens can be kept indoors, in fact this is advisable until they have been neutered. As the lockdown period is likely to last for several more weeks, it may be that your kitten reaches puberty and that their behaviour becomes problematic. If this is the case please contact us, we can combine neutering with vaccinations and microchipping. This will mean as few trips to the practice as necessary. We are keen to do all we can to avoid unwanted litters of kittens.
My pet receives monthly treatments from a vet/nurse. What should I do?
In order to maximise social distancing, we will stop administration of on-going treatments wherever possible. It may be that you can administer the treatment yourself, with advice provided by us on the phone. We may agree that it’s appropriate to prescribe alternative medication to alleviate symptoms until normal service can be resumed. If your pet is due on-going treatment, please email or call (during office hours) to discuss this with one of our vets.
What if my animal needs an operation?
While animal health and welfare is our priority, we also have a responsibility to conserve precious resources (e.g. oxygen, PPE) needed by the NHS. However, we will carry out emergency surgery required to prevent pain and suffering. Where non-emergency surgery is appropriate (e.g. some neutering), we will ensure best practice which minimises use of resources while maintaining patient safety.
How do I pay for treatment?
We can also take card payments over the ‘phone, or contactless payments (limit £45). Alternatively, you can pay by BACS if we agree to invoice you. Our bank details are clearly displayed on the bottom of our printed invoices. Please use your surname and client reference number as the payment reference.
The practice still has significant costs, even while providing an emergency only service. Therefore prompt payment will be very much appreciated. If you are experiencing financial difficulty which will make settlement of fees difficult, please discuss this with a partner at the earliest opportunity.
My usual vets are closed or have said my animal does not need to be seen – can you help?
During the lockdown period, all veterinary practices have changed their ways of working. These changes can be unsettling and frustrating – no one likes to work in ways that are less convenient for their clients and their animals. However, all non-urgent procedures must be postponed to help protect the country against a worsening of the pandemic.
We believe that continuity of care is important and that this is best achieved by seeing your regular practice wherever possible. If (for instance) you are living with family away from your usual practice then we can provide care. We will need to inform your regular practice and obtain a clinical history for your pet to enable us to provide the best care possible.
We understand that these are difficult times. The measures we have put in place do not reflect our preferred way of working, and we all hope that they will be necessary for only a short period of time. We thank you for your understanding and support. We are doing all we can to ensure the welfare of the animals entrusted to our care, while also helping to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.
If you are worried about your animal, please call us.