COVID-19 - Some Frequently Asked Questions
We thought it would be helpful to share a few of the questions we are being asked at the moment. Please note that as the situation changes, these answers may have to change too so please check back regularly!
Will you be open throughout this pandemic?
We are committed to being there for you and your pets. However, in line with the government announcement on the 23rd of March, we are restricting our services to patients that need essential care to avoid unnecessary suffering or maintain animal welfare. Please contact us if your animal is unwell or injured, or for the supply of your medication. For these three weeks, we must pause all routine preventative healthcare. We will be contacting you individually about upcoming operations and appointments. Please do not worry, if your pet needs us we will still be here to help but we are now obliged to reduce our services to only those that are essential to help look after our community.
We are trying to keep our opening hours page updated. Our phone lines are extremely busy with limited staff to answer - please consider whether your call is really urgent. We are contacting clients about upcoming appointments but this may not happen until very close to the time, please bear with us.
Our new video consultation service is now live and the RCVS have temporarily relaxed the guidance on allowing vets to prescribe POM-V medications without always physically examining a pet - this will obviously be on a case-by-case basis and we may still need to see your pet. However, this service will allow you to discuss your concerns with a vet without leaving the safety of your home.
To book a video consultation, please contact us. You will be sent details on how to access your appointment.
My pet’s vaccination booster is due in a few months– will you have vaccines available or should I come now?
We have no reason to believe that there will be a shortage of animal vaccines, we are told the manufacturers have good supply and of course, every effort will be made to keep the supply chain open.
If my pet is due a repeat prescription check, what do I do? Will you give me a repeat prescription without seeing my pet in the current circumstances?
This will depend on your pet’s condition, the medication and how stable they are on the medication. Ordinarily we are required by law to see an animal every three months in order to prescribe medication – these are not ordinary circumstances and we will need to review any exceptions on a case by case basis. If your pet does need a repeat prescription check – we may be able to do this via a video consultation.
Are you still doing home visits?
We are currently unable to send our staff to any home visits. Please liaise with our team where we will discuss your needs on a case by case basis to work out how we can help. If you are in self isolation – we are happy for a neighbour or friend to bring your pet to the practice (as long as transferring your pet to your helper doesn’t risk you or your helper becoming exposed).
Are all your branches open?
No - currently only Cholsey and Didcot are open. Opening hours are available here.
Will you post drugs out to me or can I still collect them?
Usually we can send drugs out using the Royal Mail Signed For service.
However, during the current period of 'lockdown' we will not be able to do this. We are offering a pick-up at the door service only. Order your prescription online and we will contact you once it is available to collect from either Cholsey or Didcot - then call upon arrival and our staff will deliver your package to the door for you to collect whilst maintaining a safe distance. We are currently not allowing people collecting orders to enter the practice. If you need to speak to someone regarding your order, please call the usual numbers.
Can I take 3 months supply of my pet’s medication?
Again, this will depend on your pet’s condition and the medication. Please speak to one of our team who can review your pet’s circumstances. Generally, it is still best practice to prescribe only 30 days of medications at one time (for some medications we are required by law to only provide 30 days). Please remember we will be able to post medications to you if you are unable to collect them from the practice.
Can I still order pet food?
Yes, we currently have a very good supply of pet food on a daily basis. As people do seem to be ordering more to see them through, we would ask that you collect any orders promptly to help with storage space. This will be a collect at the door service only - you will need to ring the number provided on the door on arrival and wait at a safe distance.
Can my pet get Covid-19?
Coronavirus is a term for a collection of virus' that range from the common cold to more serious conditions. They are zoonotic which means that they can sometimes transfer between humans and animals and it is not uncommon to see poorly pets in practice with a form of Coronavirus - for which we have strict quarantine and barrier nursing protocols in place.
There was a recent report of Covid-19 (the new current strain that is all over the media) being found on a dog in Hong Kong following a weak positive test. Public health and veterinary experts in Hong Kong and The World Health Organisation (OIE) have been consulted and agree that the results suggest the dog has a low-level of infection and it is likely to be a case of human-to-animal transmission. The dog has not shown any clinical signs of disease related to the virus. It continues to be monitored and will be further tested whilst remaining in quarantine.
Currently there is no evidence of COVID-19 circulating in the UK pet population, only very limited evidence for transmission from humans to pet dogs, and none to suggest onward transmission from pets to humans. So at the moment there is no information to indicate that pets are involved in the epidemiology of the disease in humans.
This information was taken directly from the British Small Animal Veterinary Association website on the 12th of March.
One of the major laboratory testing facilities (Idexx) which is also used by Larkmead, has issued a statement saying that it has tested thousands of pets without any positive results seen so far.
Please also view our page: https://www.larkmead.co.uk/news/2020/covid-19