COVID-19 update – 22/03/20

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Gosh, crazy times!

At Hope Vets we are committed to caring for your pets and in the midst of this pandemic we are having to change the way we do things. It all feels so unnatural as having you all in and out each day is the reason we do this job. Social distancing isn’t particularly consistent with being a vet to your pets but we are fumbling through and adapting to find a way to continue to look after our patients and maintain the health of our team, and more importantly you. To this end we are trying our best to minimise the number of people coming in and out the building.

If you fall into any of the following categories you will be asked to remain in your car or the carpark for the duration of your visit:

  • High risk for Coronavirus (due to age, concurrent disease, susceptible family members, immunosuppression etc)
  • For patients and appointments where taking your animal in and leaving you waiting in your car won’t compromise the care we give, we may request that you stay out of the building as well.
  • If you are currently self isolating we will still treat your animal for urgent conditions but if you let us know we can discuss how this is best achieved.

We will continue to bring low risk people into the building if:

  • Your pet has a serious or complicated condition that requires prolonged discussion
  • Your pet is easier to handle with you present or if separating you from your pet will cause either one of you excessive distress or anxiety.

If you do come in with your pet we will try to minimise the time you are inside for by asking you to wait for us to call you in your car then ask you to return to your car and wait for medications.

So here is how it will work…

  1. Give us a phone and we will book you an appointment slot as usual.
  2. Below there are some questions designed to give us insight into what is going on with your pet. Please answer them as completely as possible as sometimes it is the smallest details that are the most important and send your answers to info@hopevets.com by email as early as possible and at least 2 hours prior to your appointment.
  3. When you arrive the door will be locked (again please forgive us, we don’t mean to be unfriendly). Please ring the doorbell or give us a wave so we know you have arrived. If you can let us know on arrival or by email prior to your appointment if you have any Corona risk factors, that would be helpful. Then please wait in your car or in the car park. When the vet or nurse is ready we will either take your animal from you and give you a walkie talkie or invite you in depending on what is most appropriate.

If you are staying in your car:

  1. We will take your animal into the practice and leave you to wait in the car. We will then examine your animal and do whatever needs doing. If we need to ask you anything or explain what is going on we can talk using the walkie talkie (over).
  2. Once we are done with your pet and have your medications organised we will ask you to come up to the front door to collect your pet and organise payment. Please if possible use cards to pay, avoiding the necessity for us to handle cash.
  3. Then we will return your animal with any medication and get you to wipe over the walkie talkie with the disinfectant spray provided (over and out).

If you are invited into the building, we will perform the consultation as normal but then ask you to return to your car for us to sort any medications or tests for your pet. We will then ask you to return to the front door to collect your pet and any medication and arrange payment.

As I am writing I am well aware how ridiculous this all sounds but I guess the bottom line is that nobody knows what the right thing to do is and anything that may enable us to reduce risk to you and to our team has got to be worth it.

If you are coming in for a routine appointment (vaccination/medicine check/anti-parasite treatment) Please answer the following questions as completely as possible by email to info@hopevets.com:
• 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?

If you are coming in for any other reason (ie other than vaccination/medicine check/anti-parasite treatment) Please answer the following questions as completely as possible by email to info@hopevets.com:

• 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?

As above, there may be a need to rearrange your appointment if our staffing level changes – what number are we best calling you on?

Things to remember:

  • Let us know if you are high Corona risk or currently self isolating
  • Please answer the questions by email to info@hopevets.com prior to your appointment
  • Don’t forget a jacket as it is bad enough leaving you out in the cold but if you are shivering I’ll feel double bad
  • If possible please pay by card

Thanks so much for your cooperation and good humour.

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