COVID-19 FAQ:

Updated on the 21st of July.


In this difficult and unprecedented situation, we are trying our best to keep supporting you and your pet.
Please find below a list of FAQs to help answer the concerns you might have.

We politely ask you to leave our phone lines as free as possible so emergencies can reach us.

Does the Covid-19 pandemic affect your services?

While we have a duty of care for our patients and an obligation to provide emergency treatment and analgesia, we also must play our part in the fight against COVID-19 for the safety of our staff, our community and our nhs.

We are a regulated profession and follow updates and guidance from the RCVS (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, our regulating body), BSAVA (British Small Animal Veterinary Association), the BVA (British Veterinary Association) and other veterinary organisations working closely with the government.

Practically, this means we must follow social distancing rules and other measures to keep our staff and clients safe. We ask for your compliance with this as keeping our staff healthy will allow us to keep looking after your pets.

Our services might look and feel different currently and for the foreseeable future as we have reorganise things to ensure we can help as many pets as possible.

Are you going to remain open?

Like every business, we have had to take drastic measures to survive in the current crisis, retain jobs and still be there to help you when things settle.

We have remained open during the whole pandemic while following clear restrictive guidelines from the government and the RCVS.

We are of course also facing significant staffing issues through our staff being vulnerable individuals, in self-isolation or poorly and via financial obligations to operate on reduced staff. We are trying our best to still offer you and your pets the standard of care we strive for in a situation changing on a daily basis.

Many of our fellow vet practices have had to close.

We are grateful for your understanding and your patience during this time. Our focus is on delivering the best care to our emergency patients and ensuring continuity of care remotely for the non-urgent cases.

You might experience difficulties getting through to us on the phone as our lines are very busy. Waiting times, when needing to be seen might also be increased due to the unpredictable nature of emergency work. Finally you might be faced with delays to receive posted medications. Please take this into consideration when requesting services.

We are also faced with medicines shortages and delayed deliveries. Please increased the notice you give us for repeat medication order to avoid running out of medications.

For enquiries such as insurance claim processing and complaints, our teams are working as hard as they can to answer you. Again, you might see delays in our usual turn-over times. Remember all processes have dramatically changed as we operate with a reduced staffing level and introduced home working where possible. As a result people might not be contactable as easily or different team members might be involved in dealing with you.

Some of our staff are furloughed and you might not be able to communicate or see the person you are used to. We would ask you not to make request to a specific member of the team as our staffing is changing daily. Instead, send enquiries to reception@wylievets.com and it will be dispatched to the best person currently available to reply.

Finally, the nature of our work makes social distancing very difficult, even with a skeleton team. Despite the risks, our staff are just as committed to care for their patients and be as professional as ever. We are immensely proud of the work they are doing every day. We ask you respect the social distancing measures we have put in place for the safety of our staff and our clients.

Are pets affected by COVID-19?

There is no evidence that domestic pets are affected by Covid-19.

They might carry the virus on their coat from being stroked by affected people. Pets therefore work as fomites. We advise you do follow usual hygiene procedures and wash your hands in the recommended fashion before and after handling your pet or someone else's. We also recommend to avoid been licked by your pet.

Cats do not need to be kept indoors to avoid transmission of the virus unless they belong to an affected household. Please find the statement from the BVA regarding this here: https://www.bva.co.uk/news-and-blog/news-article/bva-statement-on-cats-and-covid-19/?fbclid=IwAR2Kr5qvCxfGp6ddq0_kLcfUvJ0pj3hkFKD80K5dqPQoDJvdFhRi5JgAt7A

I need to book an appointment. What should I do?

We are only seeing emergency and urgent appointments at Upminster. We will offer you a video consultation for non-urgent problems. The vet might be able to prescribe medication or use the video as triage and book your pet to be examined if it is deemed necessary.

Find below a list of genuine emergencies for which you can come in straight away. Please always call us first so we can prepare:

. Collapse

. Seizures

. Difficulties to breathe

. trauma such as road traffic accident, dog attacks causing significant wounds

. Inability to walk

. Persistent frequent vomiting > 6-8 times in a day

. inability to pass urine

. Repeated unproductive attempts to be sick

. Haemorrhages

Any other appointment, we will endeavour to book as soon as we can but it might not always be on the same day.

Vaccinations and routine checks have been diverted to our Wellness Centre to allow us to see more of them and keep up with the demand.

I need to book my pet for a surgery/procedure. What should I do?

We have had to cancel or delay non urgent surgeries and procedures during lockdown and are now working our way through a waiting list for routine procedure.

Please contact us for any routine operation and our Head of Theatre will be in touch with a date as soon as possible.

Following new guidelines from the RCVS & BVA from the 14th of April, we have adjusted our service to offer vaccination and neutering again.

Covid-19 restrictions will be in place for a long time: weeks, possibly months. However, our duty to animal welfare also remains and our governing body acknowledged that some procedures could not be delayed for too long without impacting animal welfare.

This includes vaccinations to avoid outbreaks of deadly diseases in our pet population. It also might apply to neutering in certain circumstances.

Please read the BSAVA advice for pet owners on these two services:

https://www.bsava.com/Portals/0/resources/documents/vaccination-guide-pf.pdf?ver=2020-04-23-163829-607

https://www.bsava.com/Portals/0/resources/documents/neutering-guide-pf.pdf?ver=2020-04-23-163821-027

Our focus, when reintroducing vaccinations, will be to ensure social distancing and maximum safety for our staff and our clients.

We will offer vaccination service from our Brentwood Wellness Centre only.

We will ask for your patience with the process as we are still working our way through the backlog caused by the lockdown and trying to keep up with the demand for all the new lockdown puppies & kitten!

We will prioritise primo-vaccination (first and second puppy injection as well as first year booster) as these are the most vulnerable individuals. For other group, we will operate a risk assessment to identify animals at particular risk.

The veterinary associations have worked closely with vaccine manufacturers and recommended that in the current situation, booster could be delayed up to 3 months (15months since the last injection).

We will send reminders to clients accordingly. Please wait for your reminder to book your appointment, following the link in the text.

Why do you offer vaccinations only from your Brentwood Wellness Centre at the moment?

First of all our Wellness Centre was open precisely to look after healthy animals.

We do not operate, nor hospitalise there. The centre is dedicated to Wellness, prevention and nutrition.

Practically, social distancing rule is making everything we do slower and we have had to focus on how to redesign our waiting room in Upminster to allow social distancing. We all know how crowded it can get in "normal times"!

The emergency and urgent appointments we see at Upminster (our A&E centre) are extremely unpredictable in length and complexity. We are currently using our consultation rooms as "waiting pods" to ensure the waiting room does not fill up and the vets rotate between the rooms. The level of staffing and the space needed has been modified by the process put in place for Covid.

On the other hand, vaccinations and routine checks are timely appointments for which we can have a reasonably steady workflow.

Separating these two very different flows is what has allowed us to increase our capacity and be able to respond to the current demand for emergencies. Currently, routine appointments in Upminster would suffer extreme waiting time because emergencies would understandably and systematically take priority.

In order to also answer the demand for routine appointments, we have allocated a full team of vets and nurses to our Wellness Centre, who have the space and are solely dedicated to seeing timely appointments. This has allowed us to already clear half of our backlog, keep up with the new puppies and kitten vaccinations and ensure we can offer 6months checks again.

We realise this might seems inconvenient to some of you but our wonderful team at Brentwood will ensure we can alleviate your concerns when necessary.

For example, you are welcome to stop on the loading bay in front of the Wellness Centre door and pass your nervous dog or heavy cat carrier to a member of staff while you park your car. We can help you with litter of puppies in the same way.

Many if you have already commented on how nice their experience was following a faster and smoother process without the drama of the hospital around.

Just like GP practices have had to split certain services to ensure better workflow and deliver care to more patients, we have organised this to help as many pets as possible.

We are convinced we can offer you a better service without long waiting time at the Wellness Centre with the current limitations.

We are constantly reviewing our systems and processes, adjusting for new regulations and trying our best to give all of our patients the care they need.

I am a breeder. I have puppies ready to go to new owners who have not been vaccinated yet. What should I do?

You can call our Brentwood Wellness Centre on 01277 584470 to book an appointment. The process will be explained to you.

Please remember that we will not issues vaccine certificates to non-identified pups.

It is a legal requirement that all pups are microchipped at 8 weeks.

Should you need us to microchip the pups at the time, please let us know.

Why have you changed the price of the puppy vaccinations for breeders and neutering operations?

In our current financial situation, we are unable to give the full discount we usually apply to certain procedures (neutering, puppy/kitten vaccines for breeders). At a time we are using furlough scheme to protect jobs for our employees, we are not in a position to subsidise any of our work.

My puppy/kitten was/is due his first or second vaccination. Can I bring him/her?

You can book puppy/kitten primo-vaccination here : https://www.wylievets.com/book-a-video-consultation

Alternatively you can call our Brentwood Wellness Centre on 01277 584470 to book an appointment. The process will be explained to you.

My rabbit is due its vaccination. Can I bring him/her in?

Due to the seasonal nature of the deadly viruses affecting rabbits, their vaccination is deemed essential at this time of the year.

You can call our Brentwood Wellness Centre on 01277 584470 to book an appointment. The process will be explained to you.

My pet is due his/her yearly booster soon. Can I bring him/her for this? If not will he/she still be protected?

The veterinary associations have worked closely with vaccine manufacturers and recommended that in the current situation, booster could be delayed up to 3 months (15months after the last injection) without concerns for their protection. Please find the BSAVA advice for pet owners below:

https://www.bsava.com/Portals/0/resources/documents/vaccination-guide-pf.pdf?ver=2020-04-23-163829-607

We will send reminders accordingly. If your pet has been vaccinated 15 months or more ago and you have not received a reminder, please contact us on 01277 584470.

Some individuals are more at risk of being exposed to certain diseases. We will perform a risk assessment in order to identify them and book them at the appropriate time.

We ask your patience with this process as we will focus on the most vulnerable cases first.

Depending on your pet's circumstances, the vet will decide what is the best vaccination protocol for him/her.

You might incur extra cost if a second injection was necessary.

If you are a WHC/TCP member, cost of all necessary injections will be included in the plans.


Can I book a nurse appointment?

Yes

Nurse appointment are currently taking place at our Wellness Centre, away from the chaotic emergency care.

You can book, calling 01277 584470.

If you need behavioural advice, please book an appointment with our qualified behaviourist / veterinary nurse, Nicky. The cost for this service is £30. It might be particularly useful for advice on how to manage puppies in their socialisation period following lockdown and with the current limitations.

My dog is on TCP/WHC. Will I still get my 6month check and flea/worming treatments?

We are organising 6 month health checks at our Wellness Centre at the moment and are sending reminders appropriately.

You can collect all your flea/worming treatments at the same time.

Should you be isolating, you can order your treatment at dispensary@wylievets.com and for a small posting charge, we can send them to you.

My animal needs a check for repeat prescription. What should I do?

Our prescribing obligations to monitor animals under our care remain. We are offering video consultation to fulfil them as best as we can and be able to prescribe you the drugs your pet needs.

While we won't be able to examine your pet, we can discuss effects, side-effects and make the best decision for your pet's treatment with you.

The RCVS has temporarily relaxed its prescribing rules to allow veterinary surgeon to exceptionally prescribe medications remotely (without complete physical examination) following remote mean of consultation.

Please book a video consultation here: https://www.wylievets.com/book-a-video-consultation

For more complex diseases, if for example your pet needs a follow up blood test, please book an appintment at our Upminster hospital.

I need to collect medications for my pet. What should I do?

Call the surgery to order your medications as usual. You can also email your request to dispensary@wylievets.com.

We are experiencing drug shortages and delayed deliveries. Like all businesses, our suppliers are short-staffed, particularly when it comes to drivers.

Please give us a bit more notice than usual to avoid your pet running out of medications.

My pet is poorly but it's not an emergency. What should I do?

Please call our hospital on 01708 251200 and we will book an appointment for your pet. It might not be on the same day but as soon as we have availability.

Alternatively, you can book a video consultation and we will try our best to help, potentially prescribe medication that would be safe in the situation.

https://www.wylievets.com/book-a-video-consultation

This could apply to:

- skin issues
- recurring problems
- lumps and bumps

- mild condition which might require medications but no investigation (uncomplicated vomiting or diarrhoea, mild lameness, small wound, eye disease..)
- follow up of treatments instated recently

- Repeat medication 6months check to ensure we can keep prescribing your pet's medication.

- Any discussion regarding change of medication & doses

During the video consultation, should the vet deemed a physical examination of your pet necessary to establish the best course of action for his/her condition, you will be invited to visit our Upminster hospital at a specific time. You will not be charged a consultation again but just a top up fee of £10 to cover our usual consultation fee.

How does the video consultation service work? How do I book a video consultation?

In order to ensure continuity of treatment and be able to support you and your pets with non-emergency concerns, we have organised a video consultation service. This has required some IT resources as well as research into a safe, GDPR compliant system. The time slot allocated has been doubled compare to our usual 15min consultation to allow for technical issues and liaising with staff onsite to take payment, prepare drugs and organise what might be needed following the consultation.

We of course recognise this service can't match a real consultation with complete physical examination and are offering it at a reduce price compare to our usual consultation (£49.50).

You can book from our website or by phone (our lines are rather overwhelmed at the moment).

The fee for video consultations is £39.50 and we ask for prepayment to secure the slot. Number of slots are limited by our current staff level and we want to discourage the number of missed appointments we normally see.

One of our receptionists will call you for payment and verify your current email.

You will then receive a link by email. At the time of the consultation, use the link to connect to the video stream with the vet or nurse.

If you want to show us something on your animal, make sure you are in a well lit environment. Familiarise yourself with your camera and its bidirectional option. Should you want to email us a picture prior to the appointment for the vet to look at, please use reception@wylievets.com.

Do follow instructions regarding browser type and browser update for your device as well as settings to allow your device to use the microphone and the camera. These will be sent to you with the link.

During the video consultation, should the vet deemed a physical examination of your pet necessary to establish the best course of action for his/her condition, you will be invited to visit our Upminster hospital at a specific time. You will not be charged a consultation again but just a top up fee of £10 to cover our usual consultation fee in full.

What service can nurses offer by video consultation?

- post op checks
- nutrition advice
- behaviour advice from our qualified behaviourist / nurse (£30 consultation fee)
- bereavement support

I need some food for my pet. Can I come and collect it?

We have organised a safe and non-contact order & collect service from our Wellness Centre.

We are stocking more brands, including Natural instinct and have much bigger stock at our Wellness centre to cater for all our patients.

Please click here for details: food collection

My pet is on TCP/WHC. Can I come and get my raw food?

Yes. You are welcome to browse through our Wellness Centre huge choice of food.

We have also organised a convenient "order and collect" system.

Please visit our food order page for details: food collection

You can of course still collect from Upminster but the selection and quantities are smaller.

I need a written prescription, can I come in?

Yes

Pharmacies (online or not) will only accept original prescription from you or emailed certified version from us.

Pharmacies will not accept prescription by email from you. This is part of fraud prevention procedures. We will therefore not email prescriptions to you.

Let us know which pharmacy you intent to use as well as their email address when you order your drugs and we will email the prescription directly to the pharmacy.

You can ask for a repeat of a written prescription by email dispensary@wylievets.com.

Are you offering visits?

For the safety of our staff and our clients, we can not offer visits.

Can I have my pet groomed at the Wylie Style Salon?

Our Grooming salon has reopened fully and will be delighted to see all of your pets.

Suzy, our grooming consultant is offering brilliant advice and videos on facebook to help you to keep your pet coat and nails in the best shape if you are still isolating or shielding.

Please follow the salon's facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/wyliestyled/?ref=br_rs

To book your appointment, please call the Wellness centre on 01277 584470.

Following lockdown, certain breed might be very matted and need a more drastic cut or clip. Kirsty and Dean, our brilliant groomers will explain to you what special measures might be necessary to get back to their usual beauty routine.

My pet is insured. In current financial strains, can I organise a direct claim?

We have a team of administrators processing insurance claims for our clients. They are working remotely currently and still trying their best to ensure quick turn-around for you to be refunded as quickly as possible.

Direct claims can be organised providing we obtain pre-authorisation from your insurer. We are always happy to do this if the timing of the treatment allows it.

Some insurance companies might not offer a direct claim option in the current times. This is out of our control.

My pet needs to be euthanised. Can I come in with him/her?

Yes you can.

We would ask for only one person to come with the pet. We can accommodate more people outside if the circumstances and pet's character allow.

Performing euthanasia in the usual way is not compatible with the current social distancing rules.

We will take your pet for a few minutes to place a catheter in his/her front limb, just like when they come for a procedure/operation.

We will bring him/her back with a long line to administer the product. This way you can hold your companion in your arm while we respect social distancing rules.

The injection is an anaesthetic and your pet will fall asleep within a few seconds, just like when they are anaesthetised for an operation or a procedure.

If your pet is hospitalise and the circumstances allow it, we will organise for you to visit your pet on the grass area to give you time to say goodbye.

We have a team of bereavement counsellors you can contact for a chat.