Equine client advice on what to do during the Corona Crisis

In response to the latest government guidelines we are now only open for patients for that need essential care to avoid unnecessary suffering or maintain animal welfare. In order to help you understand the best way to look after your pet please review the below Q&A

What conditions constitutes an emergency needing immediate care?

If your horse is suffering from any condition detailed below, contact us IMMEDIATELY so we can direct you to your nearest open practice.

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Open wound, laceration or puncture injuries
  • Trauma (e.g. car accidents)
  • Acute lameness. A sudden lameness that is obvious at the walk.
  • Laminitis
  • Eye problems/ trauma
  • Colic
  • Foaling difficulties
  • Foal emergencies (e.g. collapse or diarrhoea)
  • Recumbency or collapse
  • Severe depression
  • Choke lasting more than 15 minutes.
  • Diarrhoea.
  • Difficulty eating or drooling .
  • Sudden onset ataxia (wobbliness)

If the advice is to come into practice please follow the advice on the EMERGENCY VISITS

What happens if my horse is ill, but I do not think it’s an emergency?

To respect social distancing rules we are replacing our standard consultation service with video and telephone consultations. Please contact the practice to arrange an appointment. We also have a page giving advice on Video and telephone consultations here

If following this it is deemed appropriate your horse will receive veterinary attention if it is sick, injured or not attending is/or would lead to a welfare situation.

Can my horse receive it’s flu vaccination?

No. All flu vaccines including 6 monthly boosters are currently halted until further notice. If your horse needs vaccinating against a particular disease in a high risk area (e.g. Tetanus or Herpes), your vets will risk assess on as case by case basis to decide to whether to vaccinate. Please note discussions are being held with equine sport regulatory bodies to try and relax the 365 day rule on annual vaccinations.

Can my horse’s routine dental care be carried out?

No. Routine rasping/floating will be postponed. If however your horse suddenly stops eating, starts quidding or has a painful head/jaw your horse will be seen under emergency and welfare guidance. Any work done will be done under sedation to allow social distancing to be maintained.

Can mares be scanned to see if she is in foal?

Routine stud/reproductive work raises particular questions. The main question being is this essential for animal welfare. Foalings and sick foals will be attended to as per normal, but there is no guidance from the RCVS, BEVA, BVA or any of our regulatory bodies on routine reproductive work. Implications for stopping breeding totally have consequence far beyond the veterinary industry and discussions with regulatory bodies are ongoing.  Please contact us directly for the most up to date information on this.

Can my horse get COVID-19?

There is currently no evidence that a horse or pony, can suffer from or transmit COVID-19. The World Health Organisation continues to monitor the latest research on this and other COVID-19 topics. Please note this position is subject to change.

Can I get my horse’s feet trimmed or shoed?

The Farriers Registration Council confirmed on Tuesday 24 March that its farriers can continue to provide essential services to equines, using their judgement as to matters of priority and/or urgency, with appropriate social distancing, hand washing and equipment cleaning. Many are using a traffic light system for assessing essential care. Routine shoeing should be delayed for three weeks. Please check with your vet if special remedial shoes are fitted, as it may be necessary to reshoe within the current period. Please note this position is subject to change.

Can I get repeat prescriptions?

Yes. It would be required normally that an animal is seen every six months to allow us to dispense prescription medication for you. As this would not be deemed essential contact, the prescription is likely to be issued subsequent to a video or a phone call. It is essential you order any medication in advance as we are not allowing walk-ins at any of our practices. You can place your order online using our new Click & Collect service and then collect the medication the following working day from your chosen practice. To reduce contact, we ask that you call us to make payment over the phone before collecting.

Can I be there to say goodbye, if my horse needs to be put to sleep?

Yes. You can be close to your horse whilst adhering to government advice on social distancing and hand washing to keep our vets safe.

Will my horse insurance be affected if my horse can’t get its routine care?

Insurance companies are reviewing their policies regarding routine care to reflect the current period and reasonable adjustments. Please check directly with your insurance company for specifics.

The above still hasn’t answered my question?

Please contact us directly.