Author: Mayne

Update on Covid-19 Vaccinations and Neutering

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: 

Vaccinations 

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. 

Rabbits: 

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 

Cats: 

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). 

Dogs 

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. 

Rabies 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. 

Neutering 

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. 

Best wishes  

From all at Mayne Vets 

Update on Pets and Covid-19, the Current Facts

Hello all, we at Mayne Vets hope you are all keeping well and safe in these very strange times.  We thought it might be helpful, following some quite alarming headlines this morning, to give you an update of what we know about COVID-19 and pet transmission; and what any new information might show in the coming weeks.   

What we DO Know about pets and COVID-19 

  • Pets can carry the virus on their coat and collars for an unknown amount of time after being in contact with an infected human 
  • With over a million humans infected by the virus so far, there have been a few, isolated cases of pets testing positive for the virus.  In all cases it is likely transmission was from human to pet  
  • No dogs have shown symptoms of the disease, some cats (and one tiger!) may have shown some symptoms 
  • No pet has died from Covid illness  
  • THERE IS STILL NO EVIDENCE OF A PET TRANSMITTING DISEASE TO A HUMAN 

What we MIGHT know about pets and COVID-19 

There are some studies in the process of being completed that indicate some new information.  It is important to realise these studies have not been peer reviewed or published yet.  Therefore, it is not clear the information is 100% accurate, however, advice is being updated based on the information as a precaution. 

  • There is some evidence that a small proportion of cats in the Wuhan area have developed antibodies to Covid-19, which would indicate they have carried the virus long enough to form an immune response to the virus 
  • There is some evidence that experimentally infected cats shed some virus in respiratory secretions 
  • There may be different responses in cats and dogs.  Cats seem slightly more prone to carrying the virus than dogs. 

How does that effect our advice? 

To be 100% clear there is still absolutely no evidence that pets can transit the virus to humans.  However, we should accept that, if these studies prove to be correct and repeatable, there is a chance a cat can pose a risk to a human other than just via contact with their coat.  Regardless of whether this turns out to be true or not, it is human-human transmission that has caused this pandemic, not pet cats!!  So, what is the updated advice from the British Veterinary Association: 

Basically, as we all do, to treat your pets as an extension of your family. 

In that way, if you are in an infected household, you should, where possible, be isolating your pets with your family.  If possible and if your cat is happy to stay indoors, keep them indoors.  However, forcing some cats to stay indoors against their will can cause stress related disease, so if your cat is not happy to stay indoors, do not force the issue.   

Otherwise, try to remember pets are our family members, the 2-metre social isolation rule applies to them as much as it does to us.   

  • Try not to stroke dogs and cats that do not belong to your household 
  • Do not feed cats or encourage them to enter your house if they do not belong to your household 
  • Practice good hand hygiene after stroking your own dog or cat, especially if you have a cat that is going outdoors and possibly into other households 

We hope this has helped.  We will continue to try to bring you up to date facts regarding the Covid situation as it develops.  Obviously, this is a new disease and information will carry on emerging as further studies are done but try not to let the over dramatic headlines dominate!  Remember human to human transmission is and will always be the major area of concern. 

Finally, stay safe, stay home and remember we are here for you if you need us.   

Best wishes, 

The Team at Mayne Vets 

Coronavirus: An important message from Charlotte and Keith

The thing we love most about our clinic is that we are a small, independent team that our clients know and trust.  With regards to Coronavirus, our biggest concern is that, if one of our team members becomes infected, the rest of the team may need to self-isolate and this could essentially shut our clinic.  To avoid this, we have decided that from this week, we will be splitting our staff into two separate clinical teams which will consult on different days.  The benefit is that we will have extra protection with regards to running the clinic should one team end up with an infected team member. The downside is that there is a limit to how much a reduced team can do on their own so as a result we are reducing the number of daily consults and surgeries.  Please bear with us whilst we adjust to this new phase. 

Other things we are doing to help protect our clients and staff: 

  • Appointments will now be staggered to reduce overlap of clients in the waiting room.  Plus, as of Friday, we will be operating a one in: one out policy in the waiting room to reduce potential contact areas. 
  • If you are particularly vulnerable and would feel more comfortable waiting in your car, we can come out to collect your pet and assess it in the clinic without you needing to leave your vehicle 
  • We will continue to regularly disinfect client contact areas to reduce potential spread of virus 
  • We are very happy to post out repeat medications if needed to reduce the need to visit the clinic 
  • The RCVS has temporarily softened their approach to the rules governing dispensing some medications, as such: 
  1. Phone consults and video consults are a more viable option, we will be looking to launch these in the next 7-10 days 
  2. We may be able to extend repeat medication visits till later in the year if a patient on long term medication is stable and well controlled.  This will be assessed on a case by case basis 

What to do if your pet’s vaccination is due over the next couple of months 

  • There has been a large increase in requests for vaccination appointments over the last 48 hours.  We are hoping to be able to continue to provide routine vaccine appointments moving forward however, during this transition phase, we obviously need to prioritise the sick and emergency cases.  Please bear with us during this period 
  • If your pet is due for a vaccination and you are self-isolating or vulnerable please remember: 
  1. There is a degree of overlap with regards to vaccination dates, we have always said that, if the revaccination date is a couple of weeks late, the protection should be acceptable.  Please don’t put yourself or others at risk by rushing down to the clinic for a vaccine if there is time and space to have it done later 
  2. Also remember if you are self-isolating, technically your pet should be too!  As discussed in our last update, although pets cannot contract coronavirus, they may carry the infection on their coats, collar and leads.  If your pet is not mixing with other pets or people then there is a reduced chance of infection 
  3. This is also where herd immunity is always important within a community.  If your pet’s vaccination has lapsed and they are mixing with other pets, ensure that the other pets are fully up to date with their vaccinations 
  4. During this period priority will need to be given to those pets most at risk of vaccine lapse issues such as puppies and kittens 
  5. Finally, if your pet’s vaccination lapses during your isolation period, we will restart their vaccinations at the same cost as a booster, so there will be no additional expense. 

What you can do to help us? 

There are some simple steps you can take that can help us continue to provide essential healthcare to our patients. 

Please do not panic, we will support all those in need as best as we possibly can. 

  • Please do not come to the clinic if you are unwell or have potentially been in contact with an individual that has tested positive to COVID-19 
  • If you are unwell or under self-quarantine and have concerns over your pet’s health, please phone the clinic for advice on what we can do to help 
  • Please wash your hands before coming into the clinic 
  • Please plan ahead.  If you have a pet on long term medication, it would be a good idea to order your next set of medications sooner rather than later.  We are not anticipating supply issues at this stage but please try not to leave orders to less than a week before medications run out in case there are any delays. 
  • Remember we can post some repeat medications if required, simply let us know when ordering and remember to order early enough to allow for the post to be delivered 

And remember:   

Wash your hands regularly with hot water and soap for at least 20 seconds.   

Try to limit physical contact with others and try to avoid touching your face. 

We hope this has helped to clarify any concerns, but if you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us at the clinic.