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IMPORTANT VACCINATION UPDATE

The British Equestrian Federation (BEF), in conjunction with the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) and the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), has approved a proposal regarding the vaccination schedule for equine influenza. The move has been made in order to help riders, owners and vets tackle the significant logistical challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and provide clarity for all.

All competitive disciplines under the BEF umbrella currently operate a requirement for an annual booster every 12 months after an initial course of two injections and the first booster injection. This will remain the case throughout 2020, which means that any horse who goes beyond their annual renewal date will be required to start again. The initial vaccination intervals for primary and booster vaccinations will also remain in place as normal.

Those member bodies who have rules in place for six monthly booster injections before competing will look to implement a transition period to allow riders to bring vaccinations up to date, once the current suspension of activity is lifted. This will be communicated to the members of each governing body in due course, when it becomes clearer when competition activity is able to resume.

The BHA has moved to a 12 month booster vaccination requirement, from their policy of nine months, to cover horses racing in the United Kingdom for the remainder of 2020.

We appreciate that some of you may have horses that fall outside of this time period and will need to restart, which is unfortunate. So to help with this we will be promoting a vaccination amnesty as soon as we are able to.

All of the Milbourn team would like to thank you again for your understanding and hope you continue to stay safe.

https://www.bef.co.uk/News-Detail.aspx?news=vaccination-update

Frequently Asked Questions

In light of the current COVID-19 situation, we have pulled together a list of the frequently asked questions – which provide further information about the precautions all veterinary practices are taking to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus.    

Q: Are all existing appointments cancelled?

A: Following advice from the UK government, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and the British Veterinary Association (BVA), we are currently only seeing urgent and emergency cases as face-to-face consultations, so routine and non-urgent appointments need to be postponed.  Rest assured that these appointments are those that can be delayed safely so please call us to discuss any queries you may have.  We will regularly review these appointment recommendations in line with government advice.  

Q: What is classed as urgent or an emergency?

A: An emergency is when there is immediate threat to life or where there is likely to be a significant impact on an animal’s health and welfare if left unmanaged. Urgent cases are usually more stable, but still with significant health and welfare implications and a risk of deterioration.

If your horse is showing signs of being unwell or you have any concerns over their health, please contact the practice to discuss their signs and next steps, so we can guide you as to what type of care is required and when.

Q: Can I still get a repeat prescription?

A: Of course. We are here to ensure the continued health and wellbeing of your horse and are still dispensing their current medications used to treat ongoing medical conditions. Please bear with us as we may need more notice for repeat prescriptions than you are used to, and the process may be different in terms of collection or delivery. We may also require a telephone or video consultation in order to proceed with the repeat prescription. Please call us if you require further information.

Q: Can I still get worming treatments?

A: Absolutely. It is important that these treatments are administered regularly for the health of your horse and we will work with you to get your order prepared and ready. As with prescriptions, please bear with us in terms of changes to collection or delivery.

Q: My horse’s vaccinations are due. What shall I do?

A: In support of the government’s instructions for people to stay at home, we are postponing vaccinations during the current lockdown period. This is in accordance with instructions from our governing body, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, as well as other professional organisations and major charities. More information from the British Veterinary Association on vaccine postponement can be found here

The information and advice contained here will be reviewed and updated in line with future government advice and guidance from the BVA and RCVS. So, please visit regularly for the most up-to-date information. 

Milbourn Equine Vets COVID-19 (coronavirus) 1 April update

We realise you may be feeling anxious at this time about your horse’s wellbeing. However, we wanted to reassure you that we’ll do all we can to support you and your horse – should the need arise.

We’ve received lots of support and words of encouragement from our clients over the last few days – and we just wanted to say thank you.

As the COVID-19 situation evolves, we are continually reviewing the resources we have available and the provision of services which are of most need to our clients and their horses.

**Please be assured if you have an emergency requiring our services one of our veterinary surgeons will attend your premises immediately**

Based on the government advice and professional guidance from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), our governing body, we are currently physically open for urgent and emergency cases. If your horse requires urgent veterinary attention, please call us.  We will be able to advise you on how your horses can still receive the care they need and the steps you need to take. We are keeping the number of cases seen face-to-face to a minimum, vaccinations will be postponed to protect human health and help curb the spread of Covid-19. All other assistance will be provided via telephone advice or video consultation, where available.

Medicines, prescriptions and food can also be supplied.

Please call us to find out more about any of these services and how to access them

At this time, we would ask that you please bear with us as it may take us a little longer to answer the phone or deal with your request.

We have made this decision as the health and wellbeing of our patients, clients and staff is our number-one priority.

Thank you for your understanding during this time.

We remain committed to delivering the best care for your horse and for now, stay safe, we are here for you if you need us.

Guidance for visiting a practice:

If you are visiting a practice for an urgent or emergency appointment or we are visiting your premises, the following precautions are in place to protect everyone who works in and visits our practice:

·       If you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, had close contact with someone who has, or you’re experiencing symptoms (new persistent cough and/or fever), and your horse needs veterinary care, please call us. We will be able to advise you on how your horses can receive the care they need.

·       If you have been self-isolated with COVID-19 and have recently visited one of our practices or we have visited your premises, please let us know as soon as possible. This is so we can implement measures to protect our staff and other clients.

·       When you arrive, please wait outside and call our reception team to notify them of your arrival.

·       We will advise you of how we can safely examine your horse.

·       We request that you remain in your car or outside of the practice, where possible, to protect the health and wellbeing of our staff. We will call you during the consultation to discuss any appropriate treatment options.

·       When possible, schedule appointments in advance to not only reduce your wait time but also enable us to better prepare for your horse’s health needs prior to their arrival.

·       If your horse is hospitalised at our facility, we are asking clients not to visit at this time.

·       If you need to change any appointments because you are in isolation, please call us and we will rearrange these for you.

We are following the government’s most recent advice regarding the measures we need to take to help control the spread of COVID-19.

Milbourn Equine COVID-19 (coronavirus) 31 March update

As you’re probably aware, from our last update, we continue to monitor the situation and respond quickly to government advice and the professional guidance from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and British Veterinary Association. As a result, we are focusing our efforts on the horses in urgent need of our care and are only physically open or visiting your premises for urgent and emergency cases.

**Please be assured if you have an emergency requiring our services one of our veterinary surgeons will attend your premises immediately**

However, you can always call us for any assistance and we will advise you on how your horses can still receive the care they need.      

Prescriptions

If you need a prescription for your horse or are collecting a repeat prescription from us, please call us as least 48 hours prior to collection so that we can ensure it is ready for you when you arrive and inform you of the procedure to safely collect the items. 

New video consultation service

We recognise that many of our clients are anxious about supporting their horse’s health while movement is restricted and we’re in isolation. In light of this situation, we’ve recently launched a Video Consultation Service – which uses technology to provide general advice, help monitor and update treatment for horses already in our care. In the first instance we ask that you contact the practice and we will advise you of the best way to manage your request – which could be via a video consultation. Our usual consultation fee would apply – you can find out more by clicking here.

Other useful information and guidance 

The health and wellbeing of our patients, clients and staff is our number-one priority. The situation is changing daily and we’re reacting to this to minimise the impact from spreading this virus to more people while supporting your horse’s health needs. If you have any concerns or require any advice, please do contact us. 

Thank you for your understanding and patience at this time. We appreciate the words of support and encouragement we have received.

Vaccination Policy During Covid-19

In view of the ongoing and accelerating COVID-19 pandemic we are committed to protecting the safety and well-being of our team, their families and our clients.

We made the socially responsible decision to stop undertaking routine non-emergency treatments on Monday 23rd March 2020 and have since been instructed through Government advice that we must not make any unnecessary visits until further notice.

We understand that this will be frustrating in cases where annual influenza vaccinations are due. We vaccinate in order to minimise illness but hope that with horse movement being minimal due to the current crisis your horse should not be at an unacceptably high risk.
If you feel that your horse requires vaccination as a matter of urgency, we will assess these cases individually.

If vaccinations are required to be restarted in the future as a result of the most recent booster being greater than 12 months from the previous, we hope to be able to offer some form of amnesty though we are unable to state this with certainty at this time.

Please be reassured that we are constantly available for non routine urgent and emergency treatment at any time of the day or night and that we are able to offer telephone and video consultations where available.

All of us at Milbourn would like to thank you for your understanding during this difficult time.

Milbourn Equine Vets COVID-19 (coronavirus) update

At Milbourn Equine, the health, safety and wellbeing of our patients, our staff and our community is our number-one priority.

We remain committed to delivering exceptional care to your horse, while doing our part to reduce the spread of respiratory illness (in particular, COVID-19 coronavirus), including careful monitoring of the health and wellbeing of our staff.

Over the past few weeks, we have taken a series of precautionary steps at our practices in response to this outbreak, including increased cleaning, disinfection and access to hand sanitiser for our staff and clients.

Doing our part to keep horses, clients and our staff healthy during COVID-19 (coronavirus)

In addition to the steps we’re taking as a practice to protect everyone who works in and uses our practice, we kindly ask that you take the following precautions:

  • If you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, had close contact with someone who has, or you’re experiencing symptoms (new persistent cough and/or fever), and your horse needs veterinary care, please call us. We will be able to advise you on how your horses can receive the care they need.
  • If you have been self-isolated with COVID-19 and we have recently visited you or you have visited one of our practices, please let us know as soon as possible. This is so we can implement measures to protect our staff and other clients, some of whom are elderly or could be more susceptible to illness.
  • If your horse requires urgent veterinary attention, please call us.  We will be able to advise you on how your horses can still receive the care they need.
  • When booking your appointment, our reception team will be asking if you or anyone at your premises or yard has been experiencing any symptoms. You must inform us if the appointment is booked in advance and this situation changes.
  • Only 1 client should enter the practice whenever possible.
  • On entry and exiting the practice please use the hand sanitiser provided.
  • Please limit your time in the waiting area, and maintain at least 6 feet / 2 metres of space between you and other people in common spaces.
  • When you arrive, if someone is already in our waiting area, please call our reception team and they will advise when you can enter the practice. If you are told to wait, if you can please wait in your car and the reception team will call you as soon as you can enter.
  • If your horse is hospitalised at our facility, we are asking clients to avoid visiting.
  • If you are attending any of our clinic days, appointments for arrival and discharge times will be staggered to allow for only one client arriving and leaving at any one time.
  • If you need to change any appointments because you are in isolation, please call us and we will rearrange these for you.
  • We are following the government’s most recent advice regarding the measures we need to take to help control the spread of COVID-19. There’s provision at all of our practices for you to use hand sanitiser when you arrive and before you leave.

The Importance Of Dental Checks

Dental health is very important for your horse. It is often underestimated how it can have a negative effect on their well-being. Horses’ teeth are hard wearing and continue to erupt in the mouth for most of their life. In nature, the animals would be chewing rough fibre for over 18 hours a day which helps to wear their teeth evenly, but we have modified our horses’ life by keeping them in stables and replacing part of their daily food ration with concentrate, which in turn reduces their normal chewing activity. These factors can result in abnormal wearing of the teeth and sharp edges forming, causing discomfort and eating problems.

Prevention is better than cure! Equine dentistry has historically been undertaken in a reactive manner when there are advanced problems, rather than trying to identify early disease and prevent progression. It is, therefore essential that we guarantee our horses an adequate diet containing enough long fibre, monitor for any signs of dental discomfort and, as for humans, have regular dental checks to prevent disease and make sure they are comfortable when ridden.

How often should dental checks be done?

For youngsters, dental checks should start in the first year and be repeated every year, unless recommended differently due to abnormal dental conformation. Once your horse reaches 12-years of age it is sensible to have routine dental checks every 6 months. If dental disease is diagnosed, it may require more frequent examinations and treatment over a period of time

How to monitor your horse for dental problems?

As the horse’s mouth is inaccessible for owners, this can often mean that sores and ulcers cannot easily be observed. It is important to bear in mind that horses can eat normally and most will tolerate severe dental abnormalities and pain without showing many clinical symptoms. If you notice signs such as bad smelling breath, quidding (dropping partially chewed food), weight loss, swelling on face or mandible, nasal discharge, difficulty eating, food packing in the cheeks or discomfort when ridden, then contact your veterinary surgeon immediately.

The dental examination

The dental examination can be done by your veterinary surgeon or alternatively by a qualified equine dental technician (EDT), but make sure they are professionally regulated to provide adequate dental care for your horse. The owner of the horse will be asked questions about the general health of the animal, their eating habits and if they are manifesting any problems when chewing and riding. The vet or EDT will check for any swelling or asymmetry on the head before starting the examination of the incisors and canine and applying a gag to hold the mouth open. The use of a head torch, dental mirrors and picks will allow a full visualisation and manual examination of the mouth; including teeth, palate, tongue, cheeks, bars and the lips before carrying out a routine rasping to remove sharp edges. This can be done with hand rasps or motorised equipment.

It is also good practice for your vet or EDT to complete a dental chart of your horse’s mouth at each examination. This can then be referred back to in future dental examinations.

Sedation or no sedation?

Although some horses tolerate a dental examination well, the vet or the EDT might recommend sedation. This can be done by the vet administering an injection directly into the vein, or with an oral paste which can be administered by the owner 30-40 minutes beforehand. Only a vet can administer intravenous sedation, so if you chose to use an EDT for your horse’s dental treatment and they require sedation, then the vet will also need to attend. The sedation allows your horse to relax without associating the dental check with a negative experience, as well as ensuring that the procedure can be carried out safely for the animal and the people around them. The dental examination in this condition allows for a better visualisation of the horse’s mouth by reducing movement that could compromise the examination, and allow for the diagnosis of disease in the early stages when it is easier and less traumatic to treat.