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Posted: 25th March 2020

Essential care guidance for veterinary practices
Every veterinary practice needs to form its own opinion of what it considers essential.
What constitutes an essential veterinary service?

The UK government has updated its list of premises that can remain open during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak to include veterinary surgeries. In light of this move, this article aims to provide guidance on what constitutes emergency and essential care.

It is important to stress that veterinary practices provide a number of essential services, and can only run emergency services for a few days before the essential services start to build up.

Emergency services
These are services that must be done urgently. Examples of veterinary emergencies requiring immediate attention include difficulty breathing, severe bleeding, collapse, some seizures, road traffic accidents and difficult calvings.

Essential services
These are services that must be done but not necessarily urgently. These services include the provision of non-routine operations and essential medicines, the nursing care of wounds, some immunisations and ongoing medical treatments.

Every veterinary practice needs to form its own opinion of what it considers essential and to make a decision based on this.

Social distancing and face-to-face contact
It is vital that all veterinary practices take steps to introduce social distancing measures to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 between people. These measures should be carried out in addition to increased handwashing and good respiratory hygiene. More information about social distancing can be found here.

It is also advised that the number of clients seen face-to-face should be kept to an absolute minimum. Please click here for advice in how to reduce face-to-face contact in veterinary practices.

MRCVSOnline will endeavour to keep the profession updated on COVID-19 coronavirus as the situation unfolds. Please don't hesitate to contact us with any ideas or suggestions as to how we can help with measures to control the spread of the virus.

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