News

COVID-19 & Pets

COVID-19 is much in the news, and some reports are based on fact, others speculation. We don’t have all the answers, but we do have some advice for you as a pet owner – or someone who spends a lot of time around pets – here’s what you should know:

Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that animals infected by humans are playing a role in the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Human outbreaks are driven by person to person contact. – OIE (World Organization for Animal Health – https://www.oie.int/).

While COVID-19 is still very much a predominantly human disease, the evolving scientific information around this new disease and the virus that causes it reinforces the need to treat pets as we do our family members; separating them from other infected individuals when possible and practise good hygiene when handling them, including proper hand-washing.

Specifically about cats, infectious disease experts and multiple international and domestic human and animal health organisations continue to agree there is no evidence at this point to indicate that, in natural settings, pets spread COVID-19 to people. At this point we know that the virus that causes COVID-19 is most efficiently spread via human-human contact. We understand that there may occasionally be human-to-animal transmission of the virus (albeit without significant illness), so it’s important to treat pets as we would any family member and help keep them virus-free.

Additionally, there is currently no guidance to keep cats indoors. Only when cats are from infected households or where their owners are self-isolating, and the cat is happy to be kept indoors, should this be considered.  Further information is available at https://www.bva.co.uk/news-and-blog/news-article/bva-statement-on-cats-and-covid-19/

Posted in General News |

COVID-19 FAQ

In light of the current COVID-19 situation, we have pulled together a list of the frequently asked questions – which provide further information about the precautions all veterinary practices are taking to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

Q: Are all existing appointments cancelled?

A: Following advice from the UK government, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and the British Veterinary Association (BVA), we are currently only seeing urgent and emergency cases as face-to-face consultations, so routine and non-urgent appointments need to be postponed.  Rest assured that these appointments are those that can be delayed safely so please call us to discuss any queries you may have.  We will regularly review these appointment recommendations in line with government advice.

Q: What is classed as urgent or an emergency?

A: An emergency is when there is immediate threat to life or where there is likely to be a significant impact on an animal’s health and welfare if left unmanaged. Urgent cases are usually more stable, but still with significant health and welfare implications and a risk of deterioration.

If your pet is showing signs of being unwell or you have any concerns over their health, please contact the practice to discuss their signs and next steps, so we can guide you as to what type of care is required and when.

Q: Can I still get a repeat prescription?

A: Of course. We are here to ensure the continued health and well being of your pet and are still dispensing their current medications used to treat ongoing medical conditions. Please bear with us as we may need more notice for repeat prescriptions than you are used to, and the process may be different in terms of collection or delivery. We may also require a telephone or video consultation in order to proceed with the repeat prescription. Please call us if you require further information.

Q: Can I still get worming tablets and flea treatments?

A: Absolutely. It is important that these treatments are administered regularly for the health of your pet and we will work with you to get your order prepared and ready. As with prescriptions, please bear with us in terms of changes to collection or delivery.

Q: My pet’s vaccinations are due. What shall I do?

A: In support of the government’s instructions for people to stay at home, we are postponing vaccinations during the current lockdown period. This is in accordance with instructions from our governing body, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, as well as other professional organisations and major charities. For adult dogs, there is some leeway on vaccination dates. It is advisable to limit dog-to-dog contact and their range of outdoor walks during this period. Keeping dogs away from areas which might harbour disease such as water courses or areas with a high rodent population such as farms and stables is also recommended. Puppies and kittens should, as far as possible, be kept indoors and away from other animals until we are able to start or complete their vaccinations. More information from the British Veterinary Association on vaccine postponement can be found here.

Q: My cat or dog needs neutering, what shall I do?

A: As planned neutering procedures are not classed as urgent or emergency, we are unable to offer these in the short-term. In the meantime, it is important to separate males and females entirely and to keep cats indoors if possible. Please call us if you need more advice on the practicalities of this until we are able to neuter your pet.

The information and advice contained here will be reviewed and updated in line with future government advice and guidance from the BVA and RCVS. Therefore, please visit regularly for the most up-to-date information.

Posted in General News |

Avonvale Vets COVID-19 (coronavirus) 01 April update

Corona-virus

Branch Update: Our Cubbington surgery will be closed from Wednesday 25th March until further notice.

We realise you may be feeling anxious at this time about your pet’s well being. However, we wanted to reassure you that we’ll do all we can to support you and your pet – should the need arise.

We’ve received lots of support and words of encouragement from our clients over the last few days – and we just wanted to say thank you.

As the COVID-19 situation evolves, we are continually reviewing the resources we have available and the provision of services which are of most need to our clients and their pets.

Based on the government advice and professional guidance from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), our governing body, we are currently physically open for urgent and emergency cases. If your pet requires urgent veterinary attention, please call us.  We will be able to advise you on how your pets can still receive the care they need and the steps you need to take. We are keeping the number of cases seen face-to-face to a minimum, and all adult boosters and most primary vaccinations in puppies and kittens will be postponed to protect human health and help curb the spread of COVID-19. All other assistance will be provided via telephone advice or video consultation, where available.

Medicines, prescriptions and food can also be supplied.

Please call us to find out more about any of these services and how to access them

At this time, we would ask that you please bear with us as it may take us a little longer to answer the phone or deal with your request.

We have made this decision as the health and well being of our patients, clients and staff is our number-one priority.

Thank you for your understanding during this time. We remain committed to delivering the best care for your pet and for now, stay safe, we are here for you if you need us.

Guidance for visiting a practice:

If you are visiting a practice for an urgent or emergency appointment, the following precautions are in place to protect everyone who works in and visits our practice:

  • If you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, had close contact with someone who has, or you’re experiencing symptoms (new persistent cough and/or fever), and your pet needs veterinary care, please call us. We will be able to advise you on how your pets can receive the care they need.
  • If you have been self-isolated with COVID-19 and have recently visited one of our practices, please let us know as soon as possible. This is so we can implement measures to protect our staff and other clients.
  • When you arrive, please wait outside and call our reception team to notify them of your arrival.
  • We will advise you of how we can safely take your pet into the practice to be examined.
  • We request that you remain in your car or outside of the practice, where possible, to protect the health and well being of our staff. We will call you during the consultation to discuss any appropriate treatment options.
  • When possible, schedule appointments in advance to not only reduce your wait time but also enable us to better prepare for your pet’s health needs prior to their arrival.
  • If your pet is hospitalised at our facility, we are asking clients not to visit their pet at this time.
  • If you need to change any appointments because you are in isolation, please call us and we will rearrange these for you.

We are following the government’s most recent advice regarding the measures we need to take to help control the spread of COVID-19.

Posted in General News |

Avonvale Vets COVID-19 (Coronavirus) 31 March Update

As you’re probably aware, from our last update, we continue to monitor the situation and respond quickly to government advice and the professional guidance from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and British Veterinary Association. As a result, we are focusing our efforts on the pets in urgent need of our care and are only physically open for urgent and emergency cases.

However, you can always contact us for any assistance and we will advise you on how your pets can still receive the care they need.

Prescriptions
If you need a prescription for your pet we are asking that you please call us at least 24 hours in advance so that we can ensure we are able to get it ready for you and can discuss arrangements.

New Video Consultation Service
We recognise that many of our clients are anxious about supporting their pet’s health while movement is restricted and we’re in isolation. In light of this situation, we’ve recently launched a Video Consultation Service – which uses technology to provide general advice, help monitor and update treatment for pets already in our care. In the first instance we ask that you contact the practice and we will advise you of the best way to manage your request – which could be via a video consultation. Our usual consultation fee would apply – you can find out more by visiting our Video Consultation Service page.

Other useful information and guidance
We’ve also written hints and tips and things to consider while you’re at home with your pet. These include exercise techniques for your pet, how to manage their weight and the importance of mental stimulation during this period of isolation. See our advice here.

The health and well being of our patients, clients and staff is our number-one priority. The situation is changing daily and we’re reacting to this to minimise the impact from spreading this virus to more people while supporting your pet’s health needs. If you have any concerns or require any advice, please do contact us.

Thank you for your understanding and patience at this time. We appreciate the words of support and encouragement we have received and look forward to welcoming you and your pet back into our practices when we are able.

Posted in General News |

International day of happiness – how pets contribute to our Mental Wellbeing

Happiness day-dog and ownerThe ongoing uncertainty surrounding the recent Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak will no doubt cause disruption to our usual routine and reduce the amount of social contact we have – preventing us from doing some of the things we enjoy which helps protect and maintain our mental wellbeing.

With today, March 20, being International Day of Happiness, we thought we’d highlight the importance that our furry friends play in our lives as well as share some tips on how to keep them happy and stimulated during these uncertain times.

You can’t beat that fuzzy feeling of returning home after a long stressful day to be welcomed by a loving, attentive furry friend. Having a pet is great for our mental health, wellbeing and happiness.

Whether it’s the extra exercise we get from a long walk with the dog, the anti-stress chemicals released by stroking a cat or the entertainment provided by our rabbits – animals help to reduce anxiety, relax and generally just feel good.

However, it’s not just a feeling, it’s supported by scientific evidence. For a long time, researchers have explored how and why our mental wellbeing is improved by having an animal – considering the impact our pets can have during bereavement, for the elderly and even for people who are homeless.

A study carried out by the Mental Health Foundation with Cats Protection is 2011 found that 87% of people who owned a cat felt it had a positive impact on their wellbeing (https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/p/pets-and-mental-health).

Due to recent events and the possibility that many of us will be in self-isolation, this will no doubt be affecting our mental health as well as that of our pets.  So, how can you provide additional stimulation to four-legged friend at a time when outside access is restricted:

You can exercise with your pet at home.

Why not try setting up agility activities or teaching your dog something new.

Play games with your pet.

Interacting with your dog or cat will help stimulate their mind and also help to strengthen your bond.  Consider something you could throw, drag or swing to get their attention.

Buy new toys and rotate with their existing ones

There are lots of interactive toys available for both cats and dogs which you could buy ahead of isolation – or even order online and have delivered. By rotating the new and old toys you will keep your pet interested in what they’re playing with.

Play hide and seek

Hiding treats and toys around your home will not only provide mental stimulation but also important exercise at a time when outside access is restricted.

Provide access to light and a window

If you have access to a garden, your pet can continue to get fresh air, light and exposure to different sounds and smells. Set-up a space for them by a window so they can watch the world go by.

Play Pup Fiction
Spotify have launched a ‘My Dog’s Favourite Podcast’ – which has up to 5 hours of ‘soothing sounds and friendly chat’ which is an ‘aural treat’ for your dog. Check it out.

Posted in Pet health care advice |

Avonvale Vets COVID-19 (coronavirus) update

At Avonvale Vets, the health, safety and wellbeing of our patients, our staff and our community is our number-one priority.

We remain committed to delivering exceptional care to your pet, while doing our part to reduce the spread of respiratory illness (in particular, COVID-19 coronavirus), including careful monitoring of the health and wellbeing of our staff.

Over the past few weeks, we have taken a series of precautionary steps at our practices in response to this outbreak, including increased cleaning, disinfection and access to hand sanitiser for our staff and clients.

Doing our part to keep pets, clients and our staff healthy during COVID-19 (coronavirus)

In addition to the steps we’re taking as a practice to protect everyone who works in and visits our practice, we kindly ask that you take the following precautions:

  • If you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, had close contact with someone who has, or you’re experiencing symptoms (new persistent cough and/or fever), and your pet needs veterinary care, please call us. We will be able to advise you on how your pets can receive the care they need.
  • If you have been self-isolated with COVID-19 and have recently visited one of our practices, please let us know as soon as possible. This is so we can implement measures to protect our staff and other clients, some of whom are elderly or could be more susceptible to illness.
  • If your pet requires urgent veterinary attention, please call us.  We will be able to advise you on how your pets can still receive the care they need.
  • When you arrive, please call our reception team and they will advise when you can enter the practice. If you are told to wait, if you can please wait outside the practice or in your car and the reception team will call you as soon as you can enter.
  • Only 1 client should enter the practice whenever possible.
  • Please limit your time in the waiting area, and maintain at least 6 feet / 2 metres of space between you and other pet owners in common spaces.
  • When possible, schedule appointments in advance to not only reduce your wait time but also enable us to better prepare for your pet’s health needs prior to their arrival.
  • If your pet is hospitalised at our facility, we are asking clients to avoid visiting their pet.
  • If you need to change any appointments because you are in isolation, please call us and we will rearrange these for you.
  • We are following the government’s most recent advice regarding the measures we need to take to help control the spread of COVID-19. There’s provision at all of our practices for you to wash your hands when you arrive and before you leave.

Please contact us if you’d like further advice about caring for your pet over the coming months.

Download our poster

Posted in General News |

Joining forces with Cats Protection for FREE Neutering Month

Cat owners will be able to get their pets neutered for free thanks to a month-long initiative between us and Mid-Warwickshire Cats Protection.

Sandy Soinne, neutering officer from Mid-Warwickshire Cats Protection, said: “Getting your cat neutered is unbelievably important.

vet-andrea-davis-and-cat-avonvale

Vet Andrea Davies and a feline patient.

“An unneutered female cat can have two, sometimes even three, litters a year. This is bad for their health, weakening them and opening them up to all sorts of infections.

“Unneutered males will go out looking for a female to mate with and will end up fighting, which results in abscesses and wounds and all manner of things which are hugely damaging to their health and wellbeing.

“For anyone concerned that neutering will mean no kittens are born, we at Cats Protection know from the work we do day in, day out that there will always be many unwanted, unloved kittens out there who will need homes.”

Kieran O’Halloran, our clinical director, said: “We have always been delighted to support Cats Protection during Free Neutering Month.

“If you live in the catchment area and you have a cat which is over four months old and has not been neutered, then I urge you to take advantage of this wonderful initiative.

“Not only does neutering reduce the number of strays organisations such as Cats Protection take in and care for, it is also far better for the health of your pet.”

The Mid-Warwickshire Cats Protection scheme runs throughout February for pet owners in the following postcode areas: B49, B50, CV31, CV32, CV33, CV34, CV35, CV36, CV37 and CV47.

The offer is limited and is on a first come, first served basis. Pet owners should call their nearest branch to book an appointment.

For more details, visit http://bit.ly/freeneutering.

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Boxing Clever For Animal Rescue Centres

Pawprints – Zeppelin the dog with Leonie MacDonald from Pawprints Dog Rescue and Liz Baldwin-Martin.

We proved we can really box clever after a hugely successful Christmas and new year appeal to help needy animals.

We launched our Christmas Shoe Box Appeal in November to support Avon Cat Rescue, in Welford, Pawprints Dog Rescue, in Rugby, and Evesham Greyhound and Lurcher Rescue.

We asked people to donate items such as tins of food, bags of biscuits, pet treats, collars and toys, or they could purchase items directly from us which were then put into Christmas boxes to present to the rescue centres on their behalf.

Generous members of the public answered our call for support and donated enough items to fill at least five car boots.

Our group practice manager, Kate Webb, said: “We were blown away by how generous people were when we asked them to show their support for our Christmas and new year appeal.

“It gave us all such huge pleasure to be able to present the boxes filled with treats to so many animals in need at these amazing rescue centres.

“Thank you to all Avonvale’s clients and friends who have showed such kindness.”

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Beautiful Bronte is blossoming

A leading Warwickshire vets is keeping close tabs on a beautiful dog who is being trained as an assistance animal by Dogs for Good thanks to its fundraising.

dog-avonvale-vets

Beautiful Bronte is now nearly a year old

Last year, Avonvale Veterinary Centre employees raised more than £2,000 for the life-transforming charity, which creates partnerships between people living with disability and specially trained assistance dogs.

Money was raised through several different ways, including a cake sale, dog walks and staff taking part in Wolf Runs.

That money has now gone towards training Bronte, who was born last December, to be an assistance dog for the charity.

Avonvale’s group practice manager Kate Webb said: “We were thrilled to have been able to help Dogs for Good and are delighted that Bronte is our ‘Puppy Partner’.dog-avonvets-warwickshire

“After everyone’s hard work fundraising it is great that the charity keeps us informed of how well Bronte is doing. She is now nearly a year old and progressing well with her training.

“Dogs for Good tell us she is a very loving girl who enjoys human company, is always very sociable and friendly when she’s out and about and loves her puppy classes.”

warwiskshire-vets-dgosTina Williams, regional fundraiser for Dogs for Good, said: “Since 1988, Dogs for Good has been making life-changing differences to people with disabilities.

“We support people with a wide range of needs including physical disabilities, autism, dementia and learning disabilities enabling them to lead more independent lives through the help of trained dogs.

“The gift of independence is priceless but the cost of training and supporting an assistance dog is not. It costs more than £22,000 to train and support an assistance dog and last year we received more dogs-warwickshire-vetsthan 5,000 enquiries from people who are desperate to feel the life-changing benefit of a partnership with a dog.

“This is far more than we can currently help, which is why we were delighted to have been supported by Avonvale as their charity of the year in 2018.

“With Avonvale’s support in partnering with Bronte, we can continue to make a difference to people who could benefit from the support, love and companionship of a trained dog.”

CAPTIONS: Bronte 1-4. Beautiful Bronte is now nearly a year old.

Posted in General News |

Helping to make Christmas special for pets in need

A leading Warwickshire vets is again appealing to generous people to help make Christmas special for animals in need.

Avonvale Veterinary Centres has launched its annual Christmas Shoe Box Appeal which this year will support Evesham Greyhound and Lurcher Rescue, Avon Cat Rescue, in Welford and Pawprints Dog Rescue, in Rugby.

christmas-appeal-avonvets

Tricia Shaw, a trustee of Pawprints Dog Rescue, with Bella.

There are three ways people can show their support for the appeal. They can purchase items from Avonvale which will be put into a box for them, they can donate items to go into a box, such as unopened bags or tins of food, pet treats, collars or toys, or they can fill a box themselves with suitable items.

All boxes and donations can be dropped off at any of Avonvale’s surgeries and will be delivered to the charities in plenty of time for them to be opened and their contents enjoyed on Christmas Day.

Avonvale’s group practice manager Kate Webb said: “Most of us spoil our pets but the animals we want to help through our appeal have very little, if anything at all, so we really want to do what we can to brighten up their Christmases.

“Last year we were truly overwhelmed by how generous people were and we hope that this year is even better.

“We have surgeries in Warwick, Kenilworth, Stratford, Heathcote, Southam, Wellsbourne and Cubbington and they’re all taking part in this Christmas appeal, so you can just choose which is the most convenient for you to make your donation.”

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