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For Equine Vets Everywhere

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Guidance for veterinary surgeons undertaking equine work during the COVID-19 pandemic effective from 14th May 2020 for the duration of the lockdown period (to be reviewed in line with government advice). 

BEVA Guidance aims to offer equine vets and equine practices assistance in developing their own systems of work and protocols for the duration of the current restrictions – this guidance will be constantly reviewed and updated as necessary. BEVA guidance is aligned with that of the RCVS, and the RCVS flowchart should be used as the basis for all decisions regarding whether or not individual cases can be seen. At all times the health and safety of the veterinary team and clients must be prioritised and balanced against the welfare needs of the horse.

All RCVS FAQs can be seen on the RCVS COVID-19 webpage.

General FAQs

What types of non-emergency work should I consider doing at the current time?

Should I carry out colt castrations at this time?

What about use of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face masks?

What should I do if an owner / trainer who is not a normal client of my practice asks me to do work because their own practice has refused to do it?

What should I do if I become aware that another or neighbouring practice is doing work that I consider to be inappropriate at this time?

the Ambulatory Practitioner FAQs

Can I continue to administer booster influenza vaccinations in the absence of an immediate risk to the horse’s health?

Can I continue to undertake routine pre-breeding and stud work?

What should I do if I need to attend an emergency case where it will be impossible to maintain 2 metres physical distancing with a client?

Equine Hospital FAQs

How can we reduce the risks for our hospital team?

Can horses spread the virus to people?

Can I admit horses to our hospital?

Can I discharge horses from our hospital?

What about loading the horse – can I go and help?

I like to get clients into an office to take a detailed history of the case.

I have bad news to give. I usually bring the clients into an office where I can do this sensitively and privately.

Can I go into the lorry park and speak to my client while maintaining a 2m social distance?

What about the passport?

A horse has arrived recumbent on the lorry, showing severe signs of colic. We cannot get in there without getting close to each other and possibly the client.

Should I issue all staff with PPE for meeting clients or indeed for normal work in the hospital?

A client was stopped by the police on the journey back from bringing her horse in. They have told the client their journey was not necessary and will fine them.

My nurse is asthmatic. What should I do?

My receptionist is pregnant. What should I do?

One of my veterinary surgeons has developed a cough, but they are a key worker, taking part of the out of hours rota. Can I keep them at work? – their cough isn’t that bad.