Author Archives: Steven Sieff


Coronavirus latest – 09 July 2020

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After a crazy few months Hope Vets are finally starting to return to normal. We are now able to invite you to wait in the waiting room and come into the consultation room with your pet. This may not sound like much, but for us, after months of running back and forth from the carpark and separating you from your pets – it is what dreams are made of.

As you’d expect, like everywhere else we are using distancing measures to make sure everyone feels safe. We adapt these to fit the latest guidance so the exact rules may change but here is the gist so you know what to expect:

  1. When you arrive please go to our reception window and check in. You will be directed to wait in the waiting room with your pet. To achieve distancing we have a limit to how many people we can have in the waiting room at once, so if for any reason there is a delay, we will let you know to wait in your car and when to come in. Wherever possible we ask that you try to only have one person per animal. If for any reason you are uncomfortable coming into the building, please let us know and we will do our best to treat your animal without you being present. It would be helpful if you could let us know in advance if you do have any issue with coming into the building.
  2. The actual consult process will depend on what is required for us to give your pet the best care. In many cases it will be possible to maintain a social distance throughout but there may be instances where the vet/nurse and yourself agree that it would be helpful to be closer together. In those situations we will employ whatever mitigation measures are appropriate in line with government guidance to keep you and our staff at a risk level everyone is comfortable with. We are unable to provide face coverings to every client, so you may want to bring your own face covering so that this measure is available if desired.
  3. When the consult is finished we will ask you to go back outside to the reception window to collect any medications, book any follow-ups and to pay for the consult.

In order to speed up the process and not leave you hanging about too long, it is really helpful if you can answer the following questions and return the answers by email prior to your appointment.

For routine appointments (eg vaccinations/medicine checks):

  • What is your pet coming to the vets for? Is there anything else you would like us to do?
  • Do you have any concerns about your pet?
  • Is your pet as active as usual?
  • Is your pet eating normally? Drinking normally?
  • Any vomiting/diarrhoea/coughs/sneezes?
  • Any behaviour changes?
  • Do you have any questions/concerns about the treatment your pet is coming into the vets for?
  • All animals are different and if your pet has particular handling requirements or is anxious then please give details so we can try to minimise any stress to him/her.
  • Would it be ok if we rewarded your pet with a treat?
  • In these crazy times there may be a need to rearrange your appointment if our staffing level changes – what number are we best calling you on?

For non-routine appointments (eg new conditions or concerns) :

  • What are you most concerned about?
  • Do you have any other concerns about your pet?
  • When did your problem start? Did it start suddenly or gradually come on? When do you last remember your pet being normal?
  • Is it getting worse/better or staying the same?
  • Have you administered any treatment for this issue? Is your pet on any medications?
  • Have you ever had a similar issue before?
  • Are any other animals in the household effected?
  • Is your pet as active as usual?
  • What do you feed your pet?
  • Is your pet eating normally?
  • Have you noticed any change to your pets weight?
  • Drinking normally? Any change to urination?
  • Any vomiting? If so how many times and what did it look like?
  • Any diarrhoea? If so how many times and what did it look like? Is your pet straining to pass the diarrhoea? Have you seen any mucus or blood in the diarrhoea?
  • Is your pet coughing? If so how often and what does the cough sound like? Has your pet coughed up anything?
  • Is your pet sneezing? Have you seen any snotty nasal discharge or blood?
  • Any changes to your pets behaviour or routine?
  • Do you feel like your pet is in pain or uncomfortable?
  • Do you have any specific questions about your animals condition?
  • Do you have any difficulties administering treatments to your pet?
  • Do you or any of your family have an allergy to any drugs (eg penicillin)? Is anyone in your household immunosuppressed?
  • All animals are different and if your pet has particular handling requirements or is anxious then please give details so we can try to minimise any stress to him/her.
  • If appropriate (depending on what is wrong with your pet) would it be ok if we rewarded your pet with a treat?
  • In these crazy times there may be a need to rearrange your appointment if our staffing level changes – what number are we best calling you on?

We also need to know if you are confirmed positive for COVID-19, displaying COVID-19 symptoms, classed as vulnerable, or in self-isolation for any reason.

We have been involved in a project to increase communication between people regarding each individual’s risk from Coronavirus. The details can be found at If you want to take a look at the site and let us know whether you would classify yourself as red or green then it will give us a better ability to adapt our mitigation measures to each client as things develop. This is entirely optional and whichever colour you nominate, we will continue to apply the law and guidance as it stands at the time.

Thanks so much for your cooperation and good humour.

With best wishes from Steph and all the Hope Vets team.


Getting a new puppy during lockdown

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What a fantastic opportunity! While everyone is at home it is a wonderful time to introduce a new puppy whilst you have plenty of time to bond. But what about when life returns to normal and everyone is back at work and school? Puppies are very open to new experiences when they are young but as they get older they don’t adapt to change very well. This could mean that puppies who have their early socialisation during lockdown never get used to being alone. This can lead to something called separation anxiety, which can be incredibly stressful for both dogs and owners. A dog with separation anxiety will be very distressed when they are left alone, they cry bark and howl, show destructive behaviours such as chewing or digging and messing in the house.

It is crucial that your puppy gets used to being left alone during the day now, even if during lockdown no one is leaving the house. It is best to start with small periods every day. This can be when you leave the house or even with you upstairs or in a different room. Start with 5 minutes at a time, and gradually increase the time you are away so that he or she gets used to it. You can leave a safe toy or treat with your puppy so they are distracted and have a positive association with you leaving. We often find kongs good, you can stuff a small treat in the end or smear something sticky on the inside which will keep your pup busy for ages. It is important that you come back while your pup is calm to build the positive association. If you return when your pup is stressed and crying it could encourage the pup to cry more and more, expecting you to come back.

Then before you know it, you’ll be back at work and your puppy will be at home, calm and content in the knowledge that you haven’t left them behind forever!

For more information on preventing separation anxiety see this link:

Enjoy this lovely time with your new puppy to have some fun! We looking forward to seeing you all with your new furry friends in the coming months!


Hasta la Vista!

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Sacha is a well known face around the practice, with her distinct rainbow (or pink or blue) hair and her love for giant breed dogs. She has been one of the longest standing members of the practice, and the longest surviving receptionist!

She is sadly leaving us after six whole years! We will all miss her terribly and hope she enjoys whatever her next chapter will be.

Due to this change in staff, Sam (our very experienced nurse) will be moving to the reception team, while another newbie joins the nurses.

Pam will be joining the nursing team part time, so be sure to say hello when you see her.


Rescuing from abroad – things to think about

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There are many charities dedicated to rescuing and re-homing stray dogs, whether it be here in the UK, or abroad from countries such as Romania or Serbia.

Re-homing a rescue dog is a big undertaking, and as the amount of dogs being brought over from abroad for re-homing rises, there are few things to consider as you might be going through the process.

Some dogs will not have been very well socialised or trained, so may need extra work with a trainer or behaviourist and will take a while to adjust.
There is a risk of exotic parasites or illnesses that will need to be addressed quickly with a vet in the UK as well as general health checks.
And some pets may be brought into the UK without proper checks or documents, so it is often best to find a rescue pet through a reputable source or charity, or look to adopt more locally.

If you have any questions or need help with what to do next, or just a bit of friendly advice, feel free to give us a call and speak to one of our staff – 01442 833198.

Click here for the full advice.

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