How to care for your pets during coronavirus
PUBLISHED: 14:25 14 May 2020 | UPDATED: 15:31 14 May 2020
Pete Bennett Photography
For many of us, caring for our pet is just as important as caring for loved ones, which is why it’s important to know where you can get the vital veterinary care they need if they’re unwell.
We spoke to Peter Martin of Jurassic Vets on Woolbrook Road, Sidmouth to find out how his practice is managing to care for local pets during the lockdown.
Q: Are vets still open and can I get the care I need for my pet during lockdown?
Yes, absolutely – we’ve been seeing urgent cases throughout the lockdown, and are now starting to re-open for routine appointments including vaccinations.
We’ve stayed busy during lockdown, treating cases ranging from itchy pets with skin conditions right up to major surgical emergencies. We’ve also seen plenty of cases outside of normal hours – our 24-hour emergency service has been running as normal despite the restrictions.
Q: Can I get repeat medicines and special food for my pet?
We’re still able to provide any regular medicine or special food that your pet may need - call, email or Facebook us, and we’ll arrange a time to meet you at the practice to dispense your essential pet supplies.
If you’re currently in self-isolation or have no way of getting to the surgery, just let us know and we’ll arrange to drop your medicine or food at the door. There’s no delivery charge for vulnerable or self-isolating people during lockdown.
Q: How can I get in touch?
We’ve been using phone calls, photos or video consultations to diagnose some simple conditions remotely and offer you the advice you need to take care of them at home or arrange appointments if you need one.
For pets who need hands-on attention, our vets and nurses are able to see appointments at the practice as usual.
Q: Are vets able to make house calls?
Where we can we’re following government advice and minimising contact with clients, offering remote services and delivering supplies.
Our new home-visiting van has proven invaluable – we’ve been able to carry out home visits for people who are unable to travel, and to deliver medicines and food to pets whose owners are stuck at home.
We’re also launching a new service to allow certain flea, worm and tick treatments to be posted directly to members of the Pet Health Club. Anyone who’d like to know more about the service can visit our website.
Of course, there are still cases where serious medical attention is needed. We’re blessed with very experienced and dedicated nurses who have stayed on to help me and the other vets, even when patients have needed attention over weekends or during the middle of the night. You can call our emergency number to get in touch.
Q: Are you still able to operate and perform surgeries?
We’ve performed many operations and procedures under lockdown. For instance, Harry the cat, whose bladder blocked suddenly, and inflated to such a high pressure that it damaged his kidneys. He was in the hospital for a few days but thanks to our nursing team, he made a full recovery.
Being under lockdown doesn’t mean that pets stop getting ill and we’re doing all we can to help owners care for them at this time.
Q: Is there anything I can do to prevent my pets from getting ill?
The biggest problem right now is ticks. Any pet going outdoors is vulnerable to them, especially on the commons around East Devon and on fields used for livestock.
Check your pet after every walk or trip outside. Run your fingers through their coat, especially the face, neck, ears, armpits and belly. Consider using a flea and tick treatment such as Bravecto to kill any that do bite and have a tick hook ready – remember that it’s vital to “unscrew” them, rather than pluck them.
If you’re worried about your pet call Jurassic Vets on 01395 208620.
Visit jurassicvets.com for more tips on how to care for your pet during COVID-19.
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