Coronavirus: What to do if your pet falls ill during lockdown, vet surgery policies and opening times
25 March 2020, 10:10 | Updated: 25 March 2020, 10:13
Pet parents have had an extra worry during the coronavirus crisis, what happens when their furry friends fall ill, or need medication?
Pet owners have been given guidance about what vets are planning during the coronavirus crisis.
Reassuringly, vet practises are being classed as 'essential services' under Boris Johnson's new measures, which instruct Brits to stay at home and only go out to shop for basic necessities, to head to work in key and essential jobs, and for any medical need.
A statement issued via the BVA - British Veterinary Association - said that vet practices will be open, but it's definitely not business as usual.
They will be offering emergency care, and pet food, but there are other restrictions in place, too,
You can take your pet to the vet if they are in desperate need of medical attention, but if they were booked in for a minor operation or check-up, then that will be cancelled until after the crisis is over.
And while in some circumstances you can take your pet to the surgery, you will likely have to wait outside for them while they are treated so that vets and nurses can maintain a strict social distancing space from you to protect themselves and their families.
The BVA said: "In the interests of safety and complying with government advice, vet practices should only be delivering emergency treatment and urgent care and should be cancelling routine and non-urgent appointments.
"Animal owners should contact their veterinary practice for advice.
*Statement* Vet practices are following Government guidance on #COVID19 and remaining open only for emergency care and to maintain the food supply chain. Please call your vet for any questions/advice about your pet's treatment #StayHomeSaveLives ➡️ https://t.co/f8gie0TwSJ— BVA (@BritishVets) March 24, 2020
"Vets are also insisting that animal owners comply with strict social distancing measures in order to keep clients and colleagues safe.
"For animal owners, this will include calling the practice ahead of time for advice and may mean waiting outside while your animal is seen and treated.
"Owners must avoid contact and keep at least two metres apart from other people at all times."