COVID-19 FAQ:

Updated on the 3rd of November 2020


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.

We have developed online services to support you during lockdown and strongly encourage you to use them as a first option to help us with call volume.

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?

With a national lockdown from the 5th of November to the 2nd of December, we have once again to adjust our services but we are always open for your pets 24/7 all year round. 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 or significantly limit their services.

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 sometime even 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 sometimes faced with medicines shortages and delayed deliveries. Please increase 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 might be isolating 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. 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. 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 and sanitary measures we have put in place for the safety of our staff and our clients.

We realise these are testing times for everyone. Remember we are all doing our best and wish to operate in a kind and respectful manner.

https://www.bva.co.uk/news-and-blog/news-article/respect-your-vet-team-during-covid-19-says-bva/

What safety measures have you put in place relating to Covid-19?

. We ask you not visit us if you are showing symptoms such as fever, cough, loss of smell or taste. Do let us know if you or someone in your household is isolating or tested positive. You might need to find alternative ways to bring your pet to us such as asking a friend or a neighbour to transport your pet to us.

. We are limiting the number of people inside our premises at any one time.

. We are therefore asking for one person only to come inside with the pet. If several members of the family are present (for example children who can not be left alone), we will ask you to wait outside and we will take your pet inside to examine him/her, like we did during lockdown.

. We ask our clients to wear face covering inside our premises. Should you not have any face covering or be exempt of wearing one, we will take history from you outside of the building or on the phone and take your pet inside for examination, like we did during lockdown.

. We ask you sanitise your hands when entering and exiting the premises

. In order to keep to social distancing as much as possible, we will take your pet at the back for any close examination.

. We have a one way system at our Wellness Centre and separate queuing systems at our Upminster hospital

. In our Upminster hospital, we use our consulting rooms as "waiting pods" to keep our clients safe. We know consultation times for emergency, urgent and complex cases can be very variable and this enables us to manage number of people in the waiting room. You might be asked to wait outside until a "waiting pod" is free.

. We will avoid as much as possible to handle cash and will ask you to pay by card. Card machines are sanitised regularly.

. Should you be isolating or shielding, we still offer remote video consultations.

. At this stage, for the safety of our staff, we do not offer home visit service.

. Cleaning and disinfecting of our premises are always to hospital standard as we do fight infectious diseases all year round.

We have a large team which represents a large working bubble. On a daily basis, hundred of people enter and exit our buildings. We are trying our best to reduce close contact between our staff and pet owners. Any transmission could significantly reduce our staff level and potentially force us to close and not be able to care for your pets. We are really grateful for our client's support and understanding in ensuring we all stay safe while caring for our companions.

Are pets affected by COVID-19?

There is no evidence that domestic pets are significantly 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

Call us to book an appointment on the day or book online at https://www.wylievets.com/book

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?

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 5th of November, we have adjusted our service to offer essential vaccination and neutering.

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 and create unmanageable backlogs.

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 booking 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 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) in adult dos and cats.

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

If you had a non urgent booster booked, we will send you a text to postpone it with a link to rebook you appointment in 4 weeks time.

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

First of all our Wellness Centre was opened 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. With the colder weather, we are currently ensuring 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 processes 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 our backlog, keep up with the "lockdown 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.

Some of you are understandably worried about parking in Brentwood but feedback is that it is usually much easier than expected. Sainsbury's carpark is just opposite. Some families take the opportunity to split the chores and go shopping! The William Hunter way carpark is 2min walk away with safe wide crossings.

Many of 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 or book online at https://www.wylievets.com/book. (please book one appointment per 2 puppies)

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 when our processes are much longer and more costly to us, 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

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.

If your rabbit vaccine is overdue, you can book online at https://www.wylievets.com/book or 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

If you pet is due now, we will send you a reminder with a special link to book in 4 weeks time when lockdown ends.

We will send reminders accordingly. Please do not call unless your pet has been vaccinated 15 months or more ago and you have not received a reminder yet, then 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 for post-operative check, bandage change, anal glands emptying and other necessary or painful reasons.

We do not book routine nurse appointments such as clip nails, weight clinic or nutrition chat during lockdown.

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. This might be performed over the phone or by video during lockdown.

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.

However during lockdown, we will postpone these. Follow the special booking link in your reminder which will give you access to the adequate calendar.

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 appointment at our Upminster hospital.

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

Please use our online service to book a slot (like an appointment) https://www.wylievets.com/book 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 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

Alternatively, you can 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.

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

-Any discussions prior to surgery

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 (£52.50).

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

The fee for video consultations is £42.50 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

Book your slot to pick up your order (like an appointment) on https://www.wylievets.com/book

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

Yes. Getting your food from us is a requirement for our TCP members and we have put everything in place to facilitate this in our Wellness Centre with a great choice, large stock and click and collect service.

WHC members also get 10% discount on food.

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

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

Book your slot to pick up your order (like an appointment) on https://www.wylievets.com/book

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 or online https://www.wylievets.com/book choosing "repeat prescription and entering in the text box the name of the drugs you need and the quantity and frequency you administer it to you pet at the moment.

Prescription are written for 3months maximum and are valid 6 months.

Some controlled drugs can only be prescribed for 28 days and can no carry repeats.

Should you wish our full prescription protocol in line with the VMD, please contact us.

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 been allowed to stay open for the essential grooming during lockdown.

These will include matted, curly and long-haired breeds who need grooming for welfare reasons.

During lockdown, we won't be offering short-haired cut, bath only and spa packages.

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 with us 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.