COVID-19 update at 24 March 2020

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Seems like every day we have to produce an update on our service due to the fast evolving COVID-19 situation.


The position as from Tuesday March 24 2020 is that – per government and RCVS guidelines – all veterinary practices are restricted to ‘providing emergency care only, fulfilment of urgent prescriptions and maintaining the food supply chain.’ We will of course be complying with that.

What it means for you:

We are still open.

So if you have a pet who is suffering or in pain, we are still here to help. What we can’t do is all the very important preventative or advisable stuff which isn’t classed as an emergency. We fully understand that you may not know whether a particular problem is an emergency or whether a prescription is urgent. So if in any doubt we urge you to contact us on 01442 833 198 or by email to and we will advise.

The world is accepting the necessity of contact by video call and we will try and use technology to help us continue to help you. In normal circumstances our ability to prescribe is very strictly limited by the RCVS but we anticipate that there will be a partial and temporary relaxation of these rules. That being the case we will offer a video consultation service for any consultation which is not classed as an emergency – where we will still continue to have your animal into the clinic – or preventative medicine such as vaccinations and parasite treatment which will have to be postponed until restrictions are eased. Video consultations cannot replicate the service we can provide in person, but if it can enable us to provide some assistance then it is better than nothing. Again, please contact us and we will let you know whether there is a benefit to booking a video consultation in your case.

If we have told you that you should come to the practice then we believe your animal is in need of emergency care, an urgent prescription or to supply necessary food. If you are coming for emergency care then in order to give us the best chance of providing this care while maintaining required physical distance we need you to please email us to with the answers to the following questions as completely as possible and with as much notice as you can give us so we can follow up in advance of your appointment. It really is important to do this as it will save a massive amount of time and enable us to reduce physical contact:

  • 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.

Even though you need to come to us, we still need to practise physical distancing when you get here. This is how it works:

  1. When you arrive the door will be locked (please forgive us, we don’t mean to be unfriendly). Call us from the car park, or if no-one else is at the door, leave your animal in the car and ring the doorbell to let us know that you have arrived.
  2. Return to your car or wait in the car park keeping at least 2 metres and as far away from other people as possible. Please keep an eye on the practice as we will gesture to you when we are ready.
  3. When we are ready we will either come out to you or ask you to come to the door. We will take your animal from you and give you a walkie-talkie.
  4. We will take your animal into the practice and leave you to wait in the car, or the car park if you can stay a safe distance from other people. 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).
  5. Once we are done with your pet and have your medications organised we will ask you to come and collect your animal from the front door. You can either give a card number to reception over the walkie talkie or you can give your card to reception when you come to collect your animal.
  6. 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 collecting medications or food from us then please either give us a call from the carpark to let us know you are here and what you need to collect or ring the bell and wait outside (a safe distance from anyone else). We will hand supplies out of the window (but no ice creams).

I’m really sorry that things have come to this. We really hope for all our sakes that we will be able to return to normal in a few weeks.

With best wishes,

Steph and the Hope Vets team