Category: News

New Staff Members

We are very pleased to introduce our two newest team members, both of whom you may have already met as they are not all that new to the clinic!

Sophie

Sophie is our newest vet and joined the practice in August.  However, many of you may recognise her as she has been seeing practice with us for over seven years now, throughout both school and university!  Having graduated from the University of Nottingham earlier this year we were delighted to be able to offer Sophie a position on our team as we already knew she was going to be a fantastic vet!

But what else is there to know about her?  Well, she’s originally from the area and, having graduated from Nottingham, she was keen to move back and is now living in a village just outside Colchester.  However, she has not moved back alone!  During her time at university, she and her housemates adopted a cat called Tiggy.  Tiggy very quickly formed a deep bond with Sophie (most likely because she was in charge of feeding her!)  and now she never leaves her side when she’s home.  Sophie also has a soft spot for rabbits and has had several as pets over the years.

Outside of the world of veterinary medicine and pets, Sophie really enjoys cooking and regularly creates new dishes for family and friends.  Her best lockdown purchase has been a new pizza oven which she has been using as much as possible.  She has always loved to bake and is working on perfecting her sourdough loaf.  In addition to cooking, she also enjoys keeping fit and healthy by playing many sports, including netball, swimming and skiing and she has completed a couple of half marathons.

Rebecca A

So Rebecca A is now the third Rebecca we have in a clinic of 16 staff members!  If in doubt, call for a Rebecca, someone will come!  

Again, she is a not-that-new newbie.  Rebecca first officially joined us back in 2017 when she started the 5-year long journey to become a Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN).  The first 2 years are spent gaining a level three advanced diploma in animal management with a one day per week placement at a veterinary practice.  However, the next step is a three-year course as a Student Veterinary Nurse at the end of which you can apply to the RCVS to become a RVN.  This involves a full-time placement at a veterinary practice with one day a week spent at the college.  Unfortunately, as this training is much more intense, we are only able to offer one student nurse position at the clinic at any one time so Rebecca has been patiently waiting for a year for a position to become available.  We are delighted to announce she has now been able to start her course and you can expect to see her smiling face around the clinic much more

As for pets, her first pet was a Golden Retriever called Benson, so she will always have a soft spot for Golden Retrievers! However, typically vets and nurses end up taking home the waifs and strays from the clinic and Rebecca is no exception.  Her cat, Oscar was brought into the clinic having been rejected by its mother and hand reared by one of our nurses, Ricardo (see “Oscar turns One” for the full story!).  When he was healthy enough to go home, Rebecca couldn’t resist him and so has now added “shy cats” to her list of animals she has a soft spot for.  We suspect that list will only get longer with time!!

We couldn’t be happier to have Sophie and Rebecca join our team and we hope you will join us in welcoming them to our clinic.

Spike – Our Brave Patient

Spike Whitbread, 2yo British blue RTA cat

Spike’s year did not start the way he hoped! On the 1st January, he was found at the side of the road by a member of the public, following a suspected road traffic collision. He was rushed to VetsNow by these good samaritans and received stabilisation treatments for significant head trauma. Fortunately, Spike had a microchip and his owners had their contact details up to date so they could be traced. Unfortunately, he had a fractured jaw and damage to his left eye.  The swelling to his face was so bad it took some time before the full extent of his injuries could be established. 

When he came to Mayne vets, we continued the treatment and investigations. He had multiple jaw fractures and was unable to eat.  One of our vets managed to stabilise the fractures and a feeding tube was placed in the side of his neck.  This allowed us to feed him and give oral medication without him moving his jaw, giving it time to heal. The swelling to his eye was still very significant making it difficult to fully assess, although we were all very concerned at the extent of the damage. Spike was stabilised enough at this point to head home, and his owners did a fantastic job of nursing him! Our nurses taught them how to use his feeding tube, keep the surgical sites clean, monitor for infection, give medication, apply multiple eye drops – the list goes on! We saw him for regular check ups to assess how he was improving.

After a week, Spike decided he had had enough of his feeding tube and decided to remove it. He had been starting to vomit and the decision was made to refer him to Dick White Referrals. There he had further investigations which found he had inflammation of the stomach, intestines and oesophagus. More medications were needed to treat these problems and Spike managed to start eating/lapping up a liquid diet without the need for a feeding tube. Whilst at DWR an ophthalmologist confirmed our fears, that there was nothing that we could do for his damaged eye, and the best option was removal. Spike was sent home to his owners after a couple of days of treatment at DWR to continue healing and prepare for a major surgery. 

6 weeks after the initial accident, was the day of Spike’s enucleation (surgery to remove his damaged eye). This is often a difficult surgery for any owner to come to terms with.  Luckily our patients take it in their stride, and are often much happier once the eye needing removal has gone. They bounce back incredibly quickly and adapt amazingly well to having a decrease in vision. Spike’s surgery went very well.  While he was under anaesthetic we also removed a tooth which had been fractured in the accident, and had a thorough check of his jaw fractures, which were all healing perfectly. 

Throughout his time with us, VetsNow and DWR, Spike was a model patient, tolerating everything we asked of him. Cuddles, purrs and head rubs were in constant supply from Spike, in spite of everything he was going through. This was a story with a happy ending, unfortunately they do not all end this way. Spike’s owners had kept his microchip details up to date.  This meant they could be contacted when he was initially found and Vets Now had full permission to initiate treatment promptly. Spike’s owners also had good insurance for him.  As we are all aware, medical care does cost a lot of money, especially when it involves out of hours and specialist referral centres.  Luckily, Spike’s insurance meant the medical and surgical treatments needed were possible without having to worry about finances.

Since then, Spike has continued to heal well and we hope he manages to keep himself out of any further trouble.  It has been an honour to treat him and the team are so pleased to have been able to help him recover back to his normal self.

Five Top Pet Insurance Tips to Remember in a Recession

As 2020 finally starts to draw to a close and an end to the Covid-19 nightmare suddenly seems to be one step nearer, it might be a good time to take stock and look forward to the challenges that still lie ahead.  While we will all be delighted to (hopefully!!) see some return to normality at some stage in 2021, we must also acknowledge that Covid-19 has left a recession in its wake.  We, as pet owners and veterinary professionals, may have to face some very difficult decisions over the coming months as money remains tight for a lot of us.  Many of those decisions are going to be emotionally heart breaking for both owners and veterinary staff alike but we can prepare for them and hopefully we can avoid having to make too many difficult choices.

The solution?  Insurance.  Unless you are fortunate enough to have several thousand pounds sitting in the bank on the off chance your pet may get sick, it is really important to have good quality Pet Insurance.  We appreciate it does seem like it’s an expensive investment, but at some stage it may well be worth it.  We ask you to consider the cost of insurance for a pet as you would the cost of pet food.  A necessary cost for the health of your pet, in the same way you consider car insurance a necessity for your car.  

However, the world of Pet Insurance can be confusing and there are some key points that owners need to understand about pet insurance to ensure it is there for them and their pet when they need it:

  1. It is really important to have insurance cover that will cover a condition “for life”.  Not just the “pet” for life; but the “condition”.  That way, if your pet develops diabetes at 5 years of age, the costs (up to £100-200 per month) are still covered at 8 years of age and onward.
  1. If you have opted for a “condition covered for a year”, aka an annual policy, make sure you understand the policy fully.  Is the condition covered for 12 months from time of diagnosis, or is it only covered up until the policy re-news?  A typical example of this could be if we find a lump on a dog at its annual health check.  Many owners prefer to hold off on surgical options to see how quickly the lump grows.  However, if the lump grows and you decide to go ahead with surgery following the next year’s health check, you may discover the condition is no longer covered.  It is important to know what you’re covered for and when that cover runs out
  1. Ideally you want your pet to be covered for at least £6000-£8000 per condition per year.  But the more, the better.  If anyone is a fan of Supervet, they know the costs of seeing a specialist will burn through £6000 fairly quickly!
  1. Don’t shop around.  Many of us are used to shopping around every year for the cheapest car or home insurance quote.  However, doing this with pet insurance is risky.  When you switch providers most policies have a clause that prevents them from covering any pre-existing issues.  When we submit an insurance claim, one of the first things the company will do is request a full clinical history (which they are entitled to request).  If they then link the issue we are claiming for to an issue the pet had prior to starting the insurance with them, they will not settle the claim
  1. Don’t cancel.  Yes, the insurance company will increase the premium and/or the excess as your pet gets older.  Yes, you may have had insurance on your last 4 pets and never needed to use it.  Yes, your cat may never go outside.  And yes, we are in a recession and money is getting tight; but please don’t cancel your insurance.  The cost of insurance goes up with older pets because older pets get sick and need treatment.  We often hear of owners opening a policy when they get a puppy or kitten, be lucky enough not to need it for 10 years, just to then cancel it when they’re likely to need it the most.  And regardless of the age of the pet, there’s no harder discussion in the veterinary world than trying to balance up “what can be done” with “what can we afford to do”.

We hope these tips have been helpful.  It’s hard to write an up-beat and cheery article when discussing pet insurance and recessions, but we are always keen to help our clients ensure they have the right protection in place when they need it.  For a happier view on insurance why not have a read of our article about Spike, he had a start to the New Year that nobody would want but is back to loving life after some wonderful care from the team here at Mayne Vets as well as some excellent nursing care at home from a very loving (and relieved) family!

Separation Anxiety – tips and how to tackle it

This is a condition that can affect both dogs and cats. It can be very distressing for both our pets and owners alike. Separation anxiety in pets is triggered by distress from being separated from their owner with whom they have a strong bond. Dogs especially are very social animals so being alone does not come naturally for most of them. This disorder is more commonly seen in younger dogs but can occur at any time in a pets life, especially during a period of change.

During this pandemic our lives have been affected in many ways. This in turn, has affected our pets.  Where a lot of pet owners would normally be away from home due to work and life commitments, they are now at home with their pets much more.

Our pets can react to this change in different ways. Most of our pets will be very happy to have us around more and enjoy all the extra affection and quality time.  However, a few may find the change harder to adjust to. They may find the new routine disruptive and even potentially stressful. In these cases, it is good to try and give your pet a little space every now and again. 

Alternatively, they may have become more dependent on our companionship causing a potential problem when life begins to return to “normal”.  Or you might have purchased or rehomed a pet during lockdown, and their entire experience in their new home has been with family members in the house.  Now that a lot of us have returned to school and work, we are expecting to see more separation anxiety issues developing.  

Our pets are very sensitive to our emotions and sometimes, if we are finding a situation stressful, they can end up feeling more stressed, anxious and unsettled as well. As we (hopefully!) move towards a return to normality, we may find that our pets find this hard to deal with.  They have become used to, and enjoyed, our constant company and attention; but this may lead to signs of separation anxiety as they struggle to adjust to the change.

Signs of separation anxiety show in a range of signs but common behaviours observed are as follows:

Dogs

Destructive or disruptive behaviour, barking, howling, pacing, salivating, panting, drooling, trying to escape, digging, urinating, defecating inappropriately and perhaps even eating their own faeces.

Cats

Urinary spraying, inappetence, destructive behaviour, excessive vocalisation.

If you have noticed any of these signs, then there is a possibility that your pet may be suffering from separation anxiety. However, it is worth noting that some of these signs can also be due to an underlying medical issue that needs addressing. Our vets are always on hand to give your pet a health check if you have any health concerns before presuming the cause is separation anxiety.

If separation anxiety is believed to be the cause, then there are things that can be done to help your pet feel safe and secure when you are not around. The aim is to teach your pet that being alone is a positive experience where they can rest and relax, rather than feeling scared or like they are being punished.  Treating separation anxiety normally involves a multi-layered approach using training and behavioural techniques alongside pheromones, calming supplements and acupressure vests if indicated. This process should be done gradually, and each pet will respond at their own pace, so it is important to give them time and to not rush the process.

Tips to help. 

  • Ensure your pet is getting enough mental and physical stimulation.  A tired and content pet is more likely to settle.
  • Prepare a ‘safe’ place for your pet to be left alone in (bed area, cat hide, dog crate) and line with a piece of clothing that has your scent
  • Provide environmental enrichment (leave a radio on at a low volume, puzzle feeders, food filled toys like kongs etc) 
  • Spray bedding with a pheromone spray, give calming supplements or place acupressure shirt if using 
  • Minimise environmental stressors, such as dogs reacting to passers-by, or cats reacting to other cats in their territory (curtains can be closed etc)
  • Remember to always provide fresh water

When starting to acclimatise your pet to being left alone; initially leave your pet for only a short period of time whilst you are still in the house (go into a separate room for example).  This can then be built up for longer periods of time and progressed to leaving the house from short to longer durations of time.

If you are still in lockdown, pre-empting your return to ‘normal’ could minimise the onset of any signs of separation anxiety. Start introducing your pets to alone time well in advance using the tips above.

Separation anxiety can be quite complex to treat and working out triggers and tailoring treatment to the individual pet will have maximum impact on treating it. Please don’t hesitate to call us at the clinic for further guidance and we can also direct you to local behaviourists who can support both you and your pet during this time if needed.

COVID19 Update and Protocols – Nov/Dec

As a practice we would like to thank you all for your patience and understanding over these past difficult months. We know things have been tricky for everybody as we have all had to learn to adapt to the ‘new normal’ we have been presented with. We don’t know how long this situation will last and we wanted to give you a quick update on how we as a practice are trying to keep up with the changes.

We are keeping up to date with the advice and guidelines issued by the government, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and the British Veterinary Association. Our ultimate aim is to keep our patients, clients and team members as safe as we can in the current climate, whilst still providing the quality of care that we pride ourselves on. If you have come to the practice recently, you will have seen some of the measures in place, including a one-in-one-out policy for clients coming into reception, one way system in the practice, the perspex screen at reception and the masks and visors worn by team members. We are also offering telephone and video consults and posting medications when needed.

Currently we are operating as two separate teams in the practice so that in the event of one team member falling sick and their team having to isolate, we will always have the other team to operate the clinic. As I’m sure you can understand, this means that we cannot offer the normal number of appointment and surgery slots. With that being said, over the past couple of months our team has worked incredibly hard and managed to catch up with the backlog of vaccines and routine surgeries that were delayed due to the lock-down. However, working in teams also means other systems such as repeat prescriptions and reporting results are taking slightly longer than usual.

With repeat prescriptions we are now asking for 3 working days notice to have your repeat medications ready. With results, we are now asking you to allow up to seven working days to receive results. We will do our best to relay your pets results as speedily as we can and we have members of staff working from home to try and aid in this, but would ask you to allow 7 working days before calling the practice to request results. If there are urgent results that need to be relayed quickly, these will be prioritised. If you join ‘PetsApp’ it will allow us to relay routine results more quickly to you, please speak to a member of our team to find out more.

There is a lot of uncertainty over the weeks and months to come with what infection rates will do, whether there will be another lockdown (national or local), what restrictions may be introduced or relaxed. In this fluid situation, it is important that we are quick to adapt to changes. Regarding when owners will be able to accompany their pets to their appointments, we have no current plans to reinstate this.  We know this is an area that many owners find concerning, but there are three reasons why we feel it appropriate at this stage:

  1. To reduce stress to the patient and to help our vets maintain social distancing.  In the consult rooms, with owners present, pets are naturally drawn to their owners for comfort and reassurance.  This makes it impossible for our vets to maintain a safe social distance from owners when trying to perform a clinical exam. If we were to remove the pet from the owner and have the owner stand at a safe distance for the exam, most pets would be frantically trying to get back to the owner while they are within sight.  However, during the last few months, we have almost universally found that, when leaving owners out of the consult room, most pets are very happy to interact with the vet and nurse performing the exam.  Rest assured your pets are well looked after during their visits to us. We have found that many pets, who are usually very shy with us, have actually come out of their shells. This is obviously not always the case, and those who are still a little worried are often comforted and restrained by one of our amazing and highly skilled nurses. 
  1. To protect our team.  We have a duty to minimise contact and enforce social distancing wherever possible. We are following guidelines to carry on providing veterinary services in the safest way possible.  This helps to ensure the health of our team and their continued ability to provide care for your pets
  1. To protect our clients. For many clients, coming in contact with the team at the practice is the most contact they have outside of their own social bubble.  If a team member does get sick, the last thing we want to do is spread that infection to our clients.  A 2-3 minute chat outside with masks and visors on is far safer than a 15-20 minute consultation in an enclosed environment.  

For those who are still very worried (whether it be a pet or owner!), we are also offering telephone or video consults as an alternative to physical consults. This may not always be appropriate but one of our reception staff will be happy to discuss whether this is an option for you. 

We have also introduced PetsApp, which we are very excited about. This app, that you can download to your smart phone, enables you to contact us via messaging to order meds or book an appointment; it helps us to provide video consults; and when your pet is in the hospital with us, we can give you updates and photos through the day!

So, what can you expect during your appointment at the moment? As always, we would ask if you could contact us to arrange an appointment prior to arrival. 

  • When you arrive, you will notice numbered parking bays. Please make a note of the number, come into reception and let the team know that you have arrived and which bay you have parked in. 
  • We have a one-in-one-out policy, so if you can see someone in reception, please wait outside. We would ask that when you come indoors you wear a mask or face covering that covers your mouth and nose in accordance with government guidelines. 
  • You will then be given a pre-consult questionnaire on a clipboard and pen (both of which are disinfected between clients) and asked to complete the form.  
  • Once completed, hand it back to reception and we will give you a bleeper.  
  • At this stage we will ask you to return to the car or wait in the covered waiting area outside.  When the vet or nurse is ready for your appointment, the bleeper will activate (you can turn it off by pressing the button on the side).  Please make your way back to the marquee area with your pet to meet the team member. 
  • The vet or nurse will then take your pet into the practice to perform a clinical exam and any additional investigations that are needed. Please bring a mobile phone with you and keep it free so that the vet can call during your appointment if they need more information or consent for tests/treatment. 
  • Once the consultation is completed, the vet or nurse will return your pet to you, let you know what they have found on exam, and what treatment is needed. 
  • We would then ask that you return to reception to collect your medication and pay. 

If, however, you do not feel comfortable to come into the clinic, just let us know when you’ve arrived and one of our team will meet you in the car park

Finally, one of the biggest concerns we have been faced with at this time is when it is time to say goodbye to our pets. Previously we have always tried to accommodate special requests as much as possible. Due to Covid19 we are currently unable to offer home visits for euthanasia. If you are in the unfortunate position of needing your pet to be put to sleep, please speak to one of our team to discuss what options are currently available. We will still treat this difficult decision with as much sensitivity as possible. 

As the situation evolves, we will keep you up to date with the changes we are making to maintain government guidelines. For up-to-date information, please keep checking our Facebook page. Keep safe everyone and we hope to see you in the clinic soon!

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. 

Coronavirus: What it means for you and your Pet

As it Is becoming increasingly clear, coronavirus in the version COVID-19 is beginning to spread around the UK.  What is also becoming increasingly clear is that there is some useful, and some not so useful information circulating about the disease. 

We thought we would try to help to clarify some of what we do and do not know about COVID-19 as of the 10th of March, and also let people know what we at Mayne Vets are doing to ensure we are able to continue providing veterinary care to our patients

Can my pet catch Covid-19?

There is currently no evidence that companion animals can be infected with or spread COVID-19.  There are many different types of coronavirus that affect different species.  The human version of coronavirus is very different from both the canine version (which can cause mild diarrhea) and the feline version (which can cause feline infectious peritonitis or FIP).  Neither the dog or the cat versions are associated with the current outbreak, which started in Wuhan, China.

Can my pet spread coronavirus?

It is not thought that pets can transfer the disease from person to person.  However, there is currently not enough known about how long or how well the virus survives in the environment to completely answer that question.  In theory, if an infected individual touches or coughs on the collar/lead or coat of your pet, there is a possibility of transmission, in the same way, the virus may be transmitted via contact with other surfaces.

What should you do if you become ill?

If you become sick with the coronavirus, it is best to limit contact with your pets. Where possible get someone else in the household to care for your animals and avoid petting, or being kissed by them. As always, washing hands with soap and water before and after contact with a pet is best, and if possible wear a facemask.

Should you be self-quarantining and your pet needs regular medications or diets, please get in touch. It is possible that we might be able to arrange for them to be posted or delivered by another method.

If your pet becomes ill with an unexplained illness and has been in contact with someone who is infected with COVID-19, please talk to the public health official who is looking after the infected person and if instructed to take the pet in, please call the clinic and explain the situation first.

What steps are we taking to ensure we can continue providing care to your pets?

Obviously, the developing outbreak is an evolving situation with daily changes to the disease risk and situation.  We are reassessing our approach on a daily basis and will continue to do so following advice from the government along with the veterinary bodies such as the British Veterinary Association and the World Small Animal Veterinary Association.  We have a range of steps that we plan to introduce as the situation develops.  Some have been implemented already, such as increasing the regularity in which public contact areas are disinfected; others can be implemented should the need develop, such as operating a one-in-one-out policy in the waiting room or emergency only appointments if conditions deteriorate.  We are also looking at the possibility of introducing telephone or video consults if needed.  We will aim to keep you updated with any changes via our Facebook page or when booking appointments

What steps can you take 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 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 or sterilise 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.

Say hello to our two new members!

Recently you might have seen a couple of new faces at the practice. We are proud to officially introduce Dr. Rebecca Hart and Dr. Ros Doyle as part of our veterinary surgeons team! 

Let’s start by introducing Rebecca Hart.  She has actually been working for us since mid 2018 as a locum veterinary surgeon but has now taken on a permanent position and we couldn’t be happier. Rebecca qualified from the Royal Veterinary College in London in 2014.  Since then she has mainly been working with small companion animals in the Colchester area, although she has ventured in some more exotic work including neutering a sugar glider and performing a dental procedure on a degu, how amazing is that? 

Growing up she always had the dream of working with animals and was also very interested in medicine, so it’s no surprise that she studied veterinary medicine.   Rebecca really enjoys the variety of challenges small animal practice provides. She divides her attention between internal medicine and surgery, and loves both equally. 

Outside of work Rebecca also owns a beautiful 3 year old Cockapoo called Luna which takes a lot of her time.  Apart from taking Luna for walks in the woods, Rebecca also enjoys cooking and experimenting in the kitchen (although she has confessed that not all experiments are successful)!  We also look forward to seeing what leftovers she brings in for lunch at the clinic.

And now to introduce the lovely Dr Ros Doyle.  Ros joined us much more recently, starting work at the Mayne Veterinary Clinic in January 2020 as one of our part-time veterinary surgeons.

Ros qualified from the Royal Veterinary College in 2011 and, just like Rebecca, she has put her focus into working with small companion animals. When we asked why she likes being a vet she also said she enjoys “the variety” that comes with the job as every day is different.  Ultimately, she loves being able to help people and their pets, which is why she fits in so well with the team here at Mayne Vets. Ros is originally from Colchester and she practically grew up in the veterinary industry as her mother is also a veterinary surgeon. Ros enjoys all aspects of small animal medicine, but as well as Rebecca, she has also had a little bit of experience with the more exotic species including amputating a ring tail lemur’s toe!

While not in the clinic Ros enjoys keeping healthy, going to the gym and walking with her little rescue dog called Macy. Ros and her partner now live in Colchester where they have started their family; they are proud parents of two beautiful children aged 3 and 5 years of age and that’s enough to keep anyone busy!

We hope that, for good reasons, you get to meet Ros and Rebecca soon and experience how lovely and knowledgeable they are; we couldn’t be happier that they have chosen to join our  Mayne family.