Category Archives: 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.

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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.

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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 |

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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The B word….

The B word….by Penny Clarke

While we’re waiting for our politicians to wrap up their frustratingly long version of the ‘Hokey Cokey’, we thought an update on pet travel within the EU would be useful. It’s pretty certain Britain will be ‘out’ and therefore the current pet travel scheme will be ‘shaken about’. (Brexit is taking only slightly longer to complete than the time spent thinking of that pun!)

The current system

If you’ve already travelled to an EU country with your pet you’ll be familiar with the current passport system. A passport is issued by a vet once your pet has been micro-chipped and vaccinated against rabies. At each border crossing this passport and your pet’s microchip details are checked by an official. Your pet needs to be given an approved tapeworm treatment by a vet between 1 and 5 days before re-entry to the UK.

After Brexit

Once Britain has left the EU it will be classed as a third country. There are three categories of third countries within the EU pet travel scheme:

  • Unlisted
  • Part one listed
  • Part two listed

 

Unlisted (the very complicated option)

If Britain leaves the EU and no deal is in place then it will be classed as unlisted according to the EU pet travel scheme. Current pet passports would be invalid.

In order for your dogs, cats or ferrets to travel to an EU country they would need:

  • a micro-chip
  • a vaccination against rabies
  • a blood test proving immunity to rabies taken 30 days after vaccination
  • a certificate showing this positive blood test result issued by an EU approved laboratory
  • to wait 3 months from the date of the blood test
  • an Animal Health Certificate (AHC) to be issued by your vet 10 days prior to travel
  • a new AHC each time you travelled with your pet

 

If your pet was up-to-date with their rabies vaccinations then a repeat blood test would not be necessary each time an AHC was issued.

Part one listed (the least complicated option)

Part one listed status allows the UK to be included in the EU pet travel scheme under similar rules to EU member states. This is how the current pet passport system operates. Your pet would still need a microchip and vaccination against rabies. Current EU pet passports would be invalid and a new, replacement UK document would need to be issued by your vet.

Part two listed (‘somewhere in the middle’ level of complication)

If the UK becomes a part two listed country, your pet would need to be micro-chipped and vaccinated against rabies. Proof of this vaccination along with your pet’s details would be needed by your vet who could then issue an AHC. As for unlisted countries, an AHC would be needed each time your pet travelled abroad. A blood test proving your pet’s immunity to rabies would not be required.

What should you do now?

While Britain is still part of the EU your pet’s current passport is valid. Your pet can travel to EU countries with an up-to-date passport. A vet must give an approved preventative tapeworm treatment between 1-5 days before returning to the UK.

If your pet doesn’t have a pet passport your vet will need to check their microchip (or insert one) and give a vaccination against rabies. We advise a blood test is carried out 30 days after this vaccination. The reason for this is to ensure your pet will be allowed to travel whichever category of country Britain is included in after Brexit. It’s a good idea to delay travel for 3 months from the date the blood sample was taken. If Britain becomes unlisted then your pet would already satisfy the criteria for travel.

And finally….

As soon as it’s been decided which category of country Britain will be included in post-Brexit, we’ll issue exact instructions about how to travel with your pet.

Please speak to us if you would like individual advice for your pet. If you don’t fancy taking your pet abroad until after Brexit then we wouldn’t blame you one bit….Britain has some great beaches!  

 

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Leading Warwickshire vets giving a behind-the-scenes look during open day

If you have ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of a leading vets practice, now is your chance to find out.

Avonvale Veterinary Centres, in Warwickshire, is holding an open day at its Heathcote branch on Saturday, November 9, giving guests a unique insight into the work which is carried out to take care of people’s pets.

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Clinical director Gemma Lawton and senior vet Steph Hughes with Dolly the spaniel

As well as tours of the branch there will also be a tombola and cake stall, and Avonvale’s chosen charity for the year, Cats Protection, will have a stand at the event to promote the amazing work it does.

The event will also be a perfect chance for people to ask questions of Avonvale’s team members, including young people who may be interested in getting into veterinary care as a career.

Clinical director Gemma Lawton said: “It promises to be a great event, with people being given a unique insight into how a busy vets practice operates.

“We are delighted that Cats Protection are bringing a stand to the event so visitors can find out more about this wonderful charity, which helps approximately 200,000 cats and kittens in need every year.

“Our team will be on hand to answer people’s pet care questions, and we’d also love to give advice to anyone who is considering a future veterinary career.

“Visitors can also try their luck with our tombola and indulge in a sweet treat from our cake sale, with proceeds going to Cats Protection.”

The event takes from 1pm until 3pm.

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