Covid-19 Pandemic veterinary procedures update – Lime Trees Vets (15th April 2020)

The RCVS and BVA have issued updated guidance to help vets decide what types of work are appropriate to carry out at this time.

As always, all decisions have been made in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19, protect the NHS and save lives. Our top priority remains public health, including the safety of our team members and clients, as well as animal health and welfare.

  • In all bar life-threatening emergencies, we will continue to work remotely by providing video consultations in the first instance. This will enable the vet to talk to you safely, see your pet on screen and discuss whether they can prescribe medication or arrange to see your pet at Lime Trees Veterinary Hospital – Meir Park.
  • Lime Trees Veterinary Clinic – Cheadle will remain temporarily closed. All care, medications and diets being available at Meir Park.
  • Where you are asked to attend the hospital, strict rules on social distancing will apply (see below).
  • We will continue to be mindful of prudent use of PPE and oxygen.
  • Vets are not returning to business as usual but we will do our best to look after your pet to our usual high standards while minimising the risk to human health.

At Lime Trees we recognise that there is a real risk to animal welfare if we continue to delay some procedures. As of Tuesday 14th April 2020, we will resume some vaccinations and neutering procedures where there is clinical justification for this to go ahead. This will include kitten and puppy vaccines, rabbit vaccines, some cat and dog boosters. Please see our FAQ’s below.

If you have a further query please contact the practice to discuss your pet’s individual situation. Our Client Care team is working exceptionally hard to ensure everyone can access care as soon as possible. We thank you for your patience and understanding.

What do I need to do if I think my pet needs to see a vet?

Please contact our Client Care team as normal (some are working from home to keep safe). If it is a life-threatening emergency, they will arrange an urgent appointment at Lime Trees Veterinary Hospital – Meir Park. All other appointments will now be via video link on PetsApp. The app is there to reduce unnecessary trips to the practice and to maintain social distancing, whilst continuing to look after patients. It enables the vet to ask you questions in advance of attending the Hospital and also see you pet on screen. In many circumstances, medication may be prescribed following a consultation for you to collect from our Meir Park Hospital.

If the Vet advises you to bring your pet to the hospital for a physical examination or treatment, you will not be charged again for the consultation. 

Our client care team will guide you through setting up for a video consultation – it is really simple and provides far more information than a telephone consultation.

No-one who is in a household that is self-isolating due to symptoms should visit the practice. Please discuss this with the client care team who will advise on a method to transport your pet to the hospital as our team will need to wear additional protective equipment. Please also advise the client care team if you are self-isolating to protect your own health.

If you are advised to come to the practice, we ask all clients to stay in the car and call us when you are in the car park. We have dramatically reduced the number of people entering the building and therefore a vet or nurse will collect your pet from the car, perform an examination or treatment and then update you via phone or safe distance in the car park. In the rare instance you are advised to enter the building, please use the hand gels on entering and leaving and comply with instructions on social distancing.

We are taking all payments via telephone to minimise contact. If absolutely necessary we have protocols in place to handle cash.  Medication will be brought out to the car to you.

It does take significantly longer for us to treat your pet in this way so we will be spacing our appointments out through the day. Please bear with us and some waiting may be unavoidable.

What do I do if I need to collect medication, food, or flea/worming treatments?

We understand that pet’s still need their medication, food and preventative treatment. If your pet does require this, please call and give us at least 72 hours’ notice. When your medication, food or flea/wormers are ready, we will call you and take payment over the phone. 

Upon collection, please call us when you are in the car park. A member of our team will then bring them out and place the medication by the car for you to collect once the team member has moved away.

If you are unable to leave the house, please speak to reception about postal and delivery options.


What do I do if my pet needs their vaccination?

The new guidance issued by the BVA has enabled us to ease some restrictions. Please contact our client care team who will be able to give further guidance if required.

  

  • Puppy and kitten vaccines including their first booster at approximately 15 months of age are our current priority. These patients represent the highest risk for animal welfare protection. Please contact the hospital to schedule a PetsApp appointment to be followed within 24 hours with a trip to the hospital for an examination and injection.
  • Rabbits vaccines are important as there is no evidence that protection lasts longer than 12 months and keeping a rabbit indoors will not prevent infection from these life-threatening conditions.
  • Adult Cat and Dog Boosters – During the lockdown period a delay of 3 months or so for boosters is unlikely to cause a significant risk to your pet.
  • These services are not immediately urgent and enough capacity will be reserved for emergency care of patients. Priority will be given to existing clients.

 

What do I do if my pet needs neutering (spay or castration)?

  • Cats – we will be neutering cats in order to reduce the risk of unwanted pregnancy, infectious disease transmission and undesirable behaviour.
  • Rabbits – we will neuter rabbits where there are risks of unwanted pregnancy or behavioural problems.
  • Dogs – we will be delaying canine neutering except in exceptional circumstances.
  • These services are not immediately urgent and enough capacity will be reserved for emergency care of patients. Priority will be given to existing clients.

What if I have been diagnosed with Covid-19 and have pets?

  • Restrict contact with pets as a precautionary animal health measure, until more is known about the virus.
  • If your pet requires care, wash your hands before and after any interaction with them and wear a face mask if possible.
  • Keep cats indoors if possible, without causing unnecessary stress to them and try to arrange for someone else to exercise dogs, taking care to restrict any contact with the person walking your dog and making sure they practice good hygiene. This is to reduce the likelihood of your pet spreading the disease through environmental contamination on their fur.
  • If your pet shows clinical signs, please do not take him or her to the vet but call the practice for advice.
  • If your pet requires emergency treatment, call the practice for further advice. Do not take your pet to the surgery unless the vet instructs you to. You may need to arrange for someone else to transport your pet for treatment.

Further advice can be obtained by contacting us by email, telephone or PetsApp


We would like to sincerely thank all our clients for working with us in these very
difficult and unprecedented times. We will endeavor to keep you updated as and when anything changes. We would also like to take this opportunity to once again to thank all those involved in human health, social care and other essential services. From one healthcare profession to another we can only begin to imagine what it is like to do what you do. We are truly grateful.

In the meantime, stay well and stay safe.

Hywel Parry (Director) and the Lime Trees Team.