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NewsThe latest news from WM Vets


Monday, 20 April 2020 09:49

Equine Client Advice during the Coronavirus crisis

Please be assured that our staff are still on hand for you and your horses during this difficult time, we will not allow sick or injured horses to be left uncared for. 

We have taken measures to ensure we can still treat for essential care to avoid unnecessary suffering or maintain equine welfare, whilst keeping you and us safe. As part of this all clients are being offered video or telephone consults, enabling you to get the advice you need and us to make remote assessments as to whether it is essential for us to see your horse in person to provide further care.

We are also still able to provide products such as worming products, as well as ongoing medications. Simply call us to arrange for payment and safe collection/delivery of these items.

The below Q&A provides further details on how we are caring for pets at present. 

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 {LINK} page of our website. 

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 on our Facebook page.

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 vaccinations?

Flu & tetanus initial or part courses - Yes. Please contact the practice to arrange an appointment and instructions on how we will keep you and our staff safe to enable us to carry out this treatment.

Third injection of Primary course - In these exceptional times we need to delay these injections to the full timescale in which we have to do these, wherever possible. Please contact us for an assessment to be made on this.

Annual boosters – Whilst currently the risk from equine flu is minimal as there are no horse movements or competitions (the main reasons flu spreads) we recognise that many regulatory bodies require annual boosters to be given within 365 days. If your horse falls into this category please discuss this with your vet - they may be able to put in place a safe, appropriately social distanced, means of administering the required vaccines.

6 or 9 month boosters – No. These are currently halted until further notice.

Herpes – Yes. Pregnant and currently active breeding mares only.

EVA – Yes. Please contact the practice to arrange an appointment and instructions on how we will keep you and our staff safe to enable us to carry out this treatment.

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. Please note scanning for potential twins is essential and MUST NOT be postponed beyond the 14 -16 day window.

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. 

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 careRoutine 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 write the prescription 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.

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 advise 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. Leading equine insurers have assured the British Equine Veterinary Association that policies will continue to be honoured in circumstances such as delays in annual boosters being administered or treatment plans not being completed prior to 12 months cover ending, directly resulting from COVID-19 restrictions. Please check directly with your insurance company for specifics.

The above still hasn’t answered my question?


Please contact us directly.