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Posted By: Josh - Vet

Looking after your pets during lockdown

In the last few months everyone here at Shepton and Wells Vets has been adapting to life under lockdown. There has been a huge change in our daily way of life but there is one cohort who is probably enjoying the change – your pets! Well, the dogs at least… Many of us are spending more time with our animals than ever before and I wanted to take the time to give you some updates on what we are doing here at the Vets to adapt our way of working, and also give you some tips on some common issues we deal with which may be managed from home for the time being.

We are currently working solely from the Shepton practice although we hope to get the Wells branch back up and running as soon as possible. One of our biggest changes is that we are having to restrict access to the practice and currently are seeing patients in the car park from which we take a history and then take the animal inside for an examination. Phone consultations and video consultations have been introduced for clients who are in high risk groups and so do not want to visit the practice, or where it may be difficult to bring the animal in. There are however limitations to such consultations and so they are only suitable for certain complaints. For example, video consultations are useful for conditions which can be visualised directly such as skin issues, minor wounds, warts/small lumps, some eye conditions and to assess the general demeanour of the animal. Video consultations are however less useful when the issue can’t clearly be seen – in these cases it is best to still book in for a physical examination at the practice.  In addition to restricting access to the practice we also offer a home delivery service for repeat medications. Callum (one of our nurses) goes out in the afternoons to delivery medications to clients whose pets need them, free of charge. If you would like this service you need only ask when calling to request your repeat medication and it can be arranged.

There are also some routine conditions and treatments that may be carried out at home during the lockdown. It is now the time of year where the prevalence of ticks is on the increase and it is important to check your pet regularly to ensure none are present. Routine flea and worm treatments will often have tick coverage as well but for those that don’t it is worth having a tick remover at home to use if required. Nail clipping may also be done at home with appropriate veterinary nail clippers as we have limited these appointments unless there is growth into the fat pad. It is still important for any puppies and kittens to undergo socialisation to prevent behavioural/anxiety problems in later life. This is especially hard given the current restrictions. Recommendations would be to still try to expose them to many unfamiliar sights and sounds from home and allow interaction with other animals during their daily walk but from a safe 2m distance. Diarrhoea is another very common complaint we see which may sometimes be managed at home. As a general rule of thumb, if the animal is otherwise well, young fit and healthy, then most diarrhoea conditions are transient as will clear of their own accord. You can ring up and purchase some kaolin to aid in treatment.

As with everyday of the year we still offer an out of hours emergency service line. Now even more so than ever we are trying to limit this to genuine emergencies given the difficult circumstances we face in trying to reduce leaving home. If you feel you have a genuine emergency please do not hesitate to call and we can advise as appropriate.

From everyone here at Shepton and Wells Vets, we hope you are all staying safe and look forward to seeing you and your pets once life returns to somewhere near normality.

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Shepton Veterinary Group Limited
Allyn Saxon Drive
Shepton Mallet BA4 5QH

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