Over the Easter weekend the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and the British Veterinary Association have updated their advice and guidance towards vaccination and neutering of domestic pets. Over the first three weeks of the lockdown their advice has been to stop all vaccination and neutering in domestic pets to minimise any unnecessary human contact. However, as it is becoming clear that the need to maintain social distancing may be here for several months to come, the advice has been updated in a way to better help us balance pet health with social distancing. They have been very clear that we are not yet in a situation that we should be resuming vaccinations and neutering as normal. But we can resume vaccinations of those most at risk.
We have tried to clarify those we feel fit that category below:
We are currently working through the list of vaccine appointments that we have had to postpone over the last three weeks to prioritise which pets need vaccination most urgently. If you have had a vaccine booked with us, we will call you over the next month to organise if or when it should be done. We will be prioritising via the criteria below. If you have not had a vaccination booked with us, but after reading the criteria below you feel your pet requires a vaccination, please contact the clinic. Should you have a vaccination appointment booked, please let us know if anyone has shown any symptoms of coronavirus in your household before attending the clinic, and follow all instructions with regards to social distancing given to you when the appointment is booked. We are not currently allowing clients into the building with their pets, clients need to remain in their car while their pets receive treatment at the clinic.
We are entering the season that myxymatosis and viral haemorrhagic disease reach their peak. As these are both deadly diseases in rabbits we would recommend all rabbits resume vaccinations as normal to help protect against these diseases
We will resume vaccinations for kittens and first year boosters. Adult cats should be vaccinated on a risk basis only. If it has been over 15 months since their last vaccination AND they regularly go outdoors where they might be mixing with other cats, we would consider boosting their vaccination (provided they are of the temperament that the vaccination can be given with minimal restraint).
We will be resuming vaccinations for puppies and first year boosters. Again, adult dogs should only be vaccinated on a risk basis. The “Core” vaccinations for dogs (parvovirus/distemper/hepatitis) last for at least 3 years in most dogs. It is leptospirosis that the immunity is thought to drop off after 13 months. Sources of leptospirosis include exposure to rat urine, and so dogs with access to areas with higher concentrations of rats are more at risk. If your dogs vaccine has lapsed by more than 13 months AND your dog is unavoidably in areas such as stables and farms or regularly swims in rivers; we will consider updating your booster vaccination (provided your dog is of the temperament that we can do so with minimal restraint). If you are able to avoid these areas, it might be better to help us maintain social distancing and restart your dogs vaccination later in the year. We will do this at the same price as a normal vaccination.
The RCVS and the BVA recognise it might be important to carry on rabies vaccinations for those owners that have pets that might need to travel to repatriate to their own country. It would be better to maintain those vaccines than to have to restart and possibly blood sample those pets at a later date. To clarify this issue, this is for pets that would need a rabies vaccination to travel home, not to maintain a rabies vaccination for pets that might holiday in the EU at some stage.
Again, neutering will only be considered if not doing so will put a pet at risk. So, for example, we will consider neutering a male and female kitten in the same household; rabbits if they are in a multi-rabbit household; or a female dog before it approaches its second season. However, we would most likely not neuter an entire male dog currently living in a house on its own. If you would like us to consider whether your pet needs to be neutered please contact the clinic.
Finally, we would like to thank you all for your understanding and patience. We are all very aware at the clinic that these are uncertain times and a lot of people are stuck in difficult circumstances. However, we are very grateful that the majority of our clients have been incredibly patient and understanding with us. We will continue to keep you updated as best as we can through these next few months. In the meantime stay home and stay safe.
From all at Mayne Vets