Veterinary treatment during the pandemic

Overview

  • During the pandemic, most vet practices have had to change the way they work due to reduced staff and social distancing.
  • Consults are mostly happening over the phone or by video, medications are being sent via post, and some practices (such as PDSA) have had to pause their routine and preventive services (such as neutering, vaccinations, microchipping and flea/worm treatments) to keep their staff free for the sickest pets.
  • However, despite these challenging times, vets are still working hard to keep their patients fit and healthy, so don’t hesitate to contact yours if your pet is unwell.
  • Please be patient and remember that your vet practice is working very hard under incredibly difficult circumstances.

Remote consultations

Telephone and video consultations have enabled vets and nurses to continue treating pets throughout the toughest lockdown restrictions. A remote consultation enables you to get help from the comfort of your own home, reduces the risk of spreading Covid-19, and is likely to be much less stressful for your pet. PDSA are currently offering telephone consults with a vet or nurse to all eligible clients with non-urgent problems.

Online advice - Pet Health Hub

PDSA’s Pet Health Hub provides free, reliable, pet health information, written by vets - the place to go if you are looking for quick, easy to digest information about your pet’s health. The Pet Health Hub is free

Flea and worm treatment

If like PDSA, your veterinary practice isn’t able to dispense your dog’s usual prescription flea and worm treatment at this time, try contacting other clinics in your area to see if they can help. If this isn’t possible, you may need to consider using a non-prescription product (from a pet shop, or online) until your vet is operating a full service again. If your pet has a particularly bad flea infestation or a skin condition that requires prescription flea treatment, contact your vet to discuss your options. Read more about treating fleas and worms by using the links above.

Vaccinations

During the pandemic, many vets have needed to prioritise treating sick and injured pets over routine procedures such as vaccinations. However, it’s just as important to keep your pet protected against the deadly diseases that we vaccinate against, so if like PDSA, your vet is currently unable to vaccinate your pet, you may need to contact others in your area to see if they can help. If you are unable to have your pet vaccinated, it’s important to know how to keep them safe - for more information, follow the links above.

Neutering

During the pandemic, many vets have had to delay routine procedures such as neutering. If like PDSA, your vet is unable to neuter your pet at present, you will need to contact other clinics in your area to see if they are able to help. If this isn’t possible, it’s important to keep your pet safe while they are unneutered - for more information, follow the links above.

Microchipping

If you’ve been unable to have your pet microchipped during the pandemic, you may want to try contacting other vet clinics, charities and your local dog warden to see if they are able to help. PDSA have had to stop offering microchips at the moment to help them to focus on sick and injured pets.  

Registering a new pet with your vet

If you are considering getting a new pet, it’s a good idea to make sure you can register them with a vet beforehand - some vets across the country have been overwhelmed with work during the pandemic, and as a result have had to temporarily stop registering new clients.

Published: Dec 2020

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Written by vets and vet nurses. This advice is for UK pets only.

Illustrations by Samantha Elmhurst