As many of you will have seen in the equine press, there is currently an outbreak of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) in continental Europe. The outbreak was first identified at a large show jumping competition in Valencia and has since spread to other sites in Belgium and France amongst other countries.
Many horses which contract EHV infections will have mild respiratory disease characterised by pyrexia, nasal discharge and ill thrift. A very small percentage of horses can go on to develop neurological disease (EHM), and it is this development that poses a significant risk to life. The virus currently circulating in Europe has shown the ability to cause neurological disease (EHM).
The FEI have moved to cancel all competition in mainland Europe until the 28th March to bring the outbreak under control. We expect this move will mean that many of the UK based horses currently competing in Europe will begin to return home. Returning horses should be strictly quarantined for 14 days upon their return, even if they have shown no clinical signs of disease. Herpes viruses have the ability to become latent and re-activate in times of stress such as long-distance transport. Whilst being maintained in isolation the easiest surveillance to undertake is monitoring of rectal temperatures and this should be done twice daily.
We do not advocate the practice of vaccinating in the face of an outbreak of EHM. Based on some data from a previous EHV-1 outbreak, there is evidence that recently vaccinated horses were more likely to go on to develop neurological disease. Vaccination does, however, play a major part in the control of EHV infections but should be instigated at the herd level and pre-emptive of an outbreak of disease to reduce the overall prevalence of the virus in the equine population. If you think your premises would benefit from ongoing EHV vaccination (the risk factors being similar to other respiratory viruses) then please give us a call to discuss with one of the veterinary team.
As we confirmed earlier this week our full range of routine and emergency services will be available throughout the second lockdown. However, as part of our efforts to restrict the spread of the coronavirus we would like to take this opportunity to reacquaint our clients with our telemedicine consults that were launched at the end of March during the early stages of the pandemic. This service offers a face to face consultation with one of our veterinary surgeons without the need to leave your home/yard.
Circumstances under which a telemedicine consult may be appropriate are:-
- For a live video assessment by a vet in order to determine whether a physical assessment is required. This could apply to wounds/skin issues etc.
- In order to assess a horse before prescribing repeat medication . In these exceptional circumstances, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons have made clear that prescribing medicines following a video consult can be appropriate and in the best interests of animal welfare.
- Before commencing return to work protocols/ turn out
During lockdown these appointments are being offered at a reduced rate of £25. This fee will be charged at the time of booking however if the vet decides that a visit/hospital consult and a physical examination are required the £25 will be deducted from our standard consult fee.
The appointment is very easy to set up - we use a program called Whereby which works either via an app or the web browser on your mobile phone. All you need is good 3G/4G reception or a WIFI connection.For further details please contact our reception team.
Following the recent government announcement regarding a second lockdown that will come into force on Thursday 5th November, and further guidance from our veterinary governing bodies we would like to confirm that we will continue to serve our clients as normal. As vets we play a crucial role in maintaining equine welfare and supporting the wider equine industry throughout the East Midlands and our clients can rely on all our usual services.
We have strict protocols in place both for clients visiting the hospital and for yard visits and we ask for your continued cooperation in following these protocols. Please see the equine page for full details around hospital appointments. For yard visits we ask that you read the following PDF produced by BEVA which details what you should expect when the vet arrives. Yard visit protocol
If you would prefer to delay your appointment/visit until the end of lockdown please contact our reception team to rearrange. Thank you for your cooperation.
As you will be aware from Friday 24th July facemasks become mandatory in shops and supermarkets in England. As much of our COVID-19 secure guidance has been taken from the Governments Working safely during COVID-19 documents, we will also require clients to wear face coverings when visiting our practice.
A one way system is now in place for clients entering both SA and Equine reception and clients will be asked to make use of the hand sanitisers available upon entry. Once admitted to the equine lorry park you will NOT be asked to continue wearing a face covering. The fact that we mitigate risk using other methods such as social distancing and that we can interact with clients in an outdoor space means coverings are unnecessary in this environment. If you have any questions please ask our reception team. We thank you in advance for your cooperation.
We have implemented strict protocols for clients bringing horses to the hospital for appointments. We ask that clients please observe the following for the safety of both yourselves and our staff.
1. Our reception team will complete a risk assessment for every hospital appointment. This process is vital to keep everyone safe and will take some extra time to complete so please bear with us.
2. All clients must REMAIN IN THE LORRY PARK. You will not be allowed into any hospital buildings at any time. On arrival please drop your ramp and wait for one our team to greet you. Our staff will discuss the most appropriate way to unload your horse and this must be done whilst observing social distancing.
3. Clients will be given gloves to complete paperwork.
4. Visiting is not allowed except where euthanasia is imminent. In these cases a clear plan will be given as to where the visitor should go and how social distancing will be maintained.
5. For discussing cases post examination/ treatment our vets will do this outside whenever possible, as evidence suggests this greatly reduces the risk of contracting Covid 19.
6. For image viewing we will use computer terminals/ mobile phone technology.
7. You will see our staff wearing gloves and /or masks.
8. Please help by observing signage and maintaining SOCIAL AND PHYSICAL DISTANCING AT ALL TIMES.
We thank you for your patience and understanding. Lets all ''Stay alert, keep our distance, wash our hands think of others and play our part''
We are in the midst of a global pandemic. The British governments position since the introduction of ‘lockdown’ has been very clear and has not changed at the 3-week review. ‘’Stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives”.
At OVH Equine we have taken every measure we can to adhere to this advice, whilst maintaining our commitment to equine health and welfare. But we must respect that Covid 19 can infect anyone and every effort must be taken to limit the spread of the infection.
The RCVS, BVA and BEVA updated their position on Friday 10th April and vaccinations are now deemed acceptable in accordance with governing body rules. This means we are able to perform primary vaccination courses and booster vaccinations approaching the end of the vaccination window. We would ask all our clients to carefully consider the timing of their vaccinations. Could it wait another week or two and still fall within the vaccination window? By which time, hopefully we will be in a position where some social restrictions have been eased.
Six month boosters for competition horses or racehorses in training do not necessitate vaccinations at this time. The FEI and BHA rules are such that there is leeway in the vaccine requirements, provided they are vaccinated at least annually.
We will be following the social distancing rules that we have had in place for the last 3 weeks as closely as possible. The rules include:
•Our reception team will clarify your Covid 19 status before booking a visit by asking you a series of questions.
•Please ensure your horse is tied up ready for the vet. We will liaise by phone to let you know when we are a few minutes away.
•Passport must be ready near the horse
•If the client must be present there should be one person only and strictly no pets or children
•We will not arrange a visit until we can ensure the safety of all involved including vets, clients and members of the general public.
We are committed to providing our services in the most socially responsible way possible. This means we will always be mindful of the following:
•to balance the need to maintain animal health and welfare
•to work in ways that prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus
•to protect ourselves, our colleagues and our clients
•to protect the NHS
•to keep veterinary and allied businesses working and viable
We are respectful and enormously grateful for the work of all NHS and healthcare professionals and we will do everything we can to continue to follow the directions of the government in order to help control the spread of coronavirus.
We thank for your loyalty to the practice and for assisting us in following these rules.
In accordance with current government guidelines, we are currently only able to provide emergency veterinary care.
Given the unpredictable nature of the situation over the coming weeks we have set up a telemedicine consultation service to try and provide support for some of the more routine questions you may have about your horse. This will enable us to perform routine consults, re-examine's and prescription checks remotely.
Our telemedicine service is very easy to set up - we will be using a program called Whereby which works either via an app or the web browser on your mobile phone. All you need is good 3G/4G reception or a WIFI connection.
The telemedicine service will be available from Monday 30 March and appointments can be booked by our reception team. Once you book the appointment we will send you a link via email to get started!
In light of the government recommendations and in the best interest of our staff and clients, we will now operate on an emergency only basis with immediate effect. This will apply until further notice. All routine visits and appointments are hereby cancelled with the exception of annual vaccinations.
Our reception team are currently contacting clients who have appointments booked but please bear with us.
If you require repeat prescriptions please phone the office well ahead of times so that we can process the request.
In light of government recommendations and in the best interest of our staff and clients we will be tightening our social distancing policies from Monday morning.
All doors to client areas will be locked and pets/horses must be handed over on arrival to our nurses for assessment/treatment unless it is an exceptional emergency. All clients will be asked to wait outside for the duration. Clients wishing to enter reception will be instructed to phone in from outside the building. This is for the protection of all our staff.
For equine ambulatory work, vets will be practising social distancing as strictly as possible where practical.
We ask for your understanding and cooperation to help us continue to care for your pets/horses whilst protecting the safety of our staff.
***OVH Equine Coronavirus policy as of March 17***
With government advice changing on an almost daily basis, OVH Equine would like to update our clients on our current policies regarding the coronavirus outbreak.
We are doing everything we can to limit the spread of the disease, but we do require your assistance and we ask that you read and adhere to the following guidelines.
1. When booking visits reception staff will ask some general questions about the client's Covid 19 status. Are you or any staff on your premises self-isolating? Do you have a persistent cough? Do you have a fever of above 37.8F ? Have you travelled to a high risk Country (as published on GOV.UK recently - in particular Italy, France, Switzerland, Spain. If the answer is YES to any of these questions then can someone else (of lower potential risk) present the animal(s) for examination? Someone who has answered YES to any of the above questions and cannot provide an alternative person to handle the animal will NOT be allowed to enter veterinary premises at this time.
2. We will ask the client to confirm immediately before the appointment their health status in relation to Covid-19 has not changed.
3. There will be no physical contact with clients i.e. hand shaking will be discontinued. We will wear disposable examination gloves at all times.
4. Any horse that requires involved procedures requiring more than a single vet will be asked to come in the hospital if it is fit to travel.
5. We will continue to run appointments at the hospital but we would prefer if your horse can be accompanied by only ONE person for the initial consult. If further evaluation/ diagnostics/ treatment is required we will ask you to leave your horse with us and wait in your horsebox/car. A nurse will return your horse to you upon completion of the appointment.
6. We have hand sanitiser available in reception and in our consult areas and we ask that you make use of this.
7. As recommended by WHO we would appreciate if you could pay with card rather than cash.
8. During your visit you may see staff members cleaning and disinfecting areas of the practice. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause but we believe these preventative measures will help to reduce the risk to both our clients and staff.
9. Please rest assured that we will continue to be open to emergencies AT ALL TIMES and we will deal with these in the same way as we do currently.
Eventing pre-season evaluations
Managing the modern day sport horse involves working in close conjunction with riders, owners, trainers and para-professionals to optimise fitness and performance to enable the horse to perform at a high level. Our vets understand the demands of competition and the desire to peak for specific events.
A pre-season check gives us an opportunity to discuss your horse and your plans for the season without the pressure of impending competitions. A thorough orthopaedic exam enables us to flag up any potential issues that may manifest as injuries later in the year. This will include flexion tests and lunging on a hard and soft surface. We can assess body condition, discuss fitness training and manage the timing of maintenance treatments. The aim of this is to optimise performance to peak for the most important events in your competition schedule whilst conforming to FEI clean sport regulations.
This exam will cost £50 (plus VAT), can be arranged with any of our vets and includes a written report. Any X-rays, scans or blood profile will be charged separately.
Postgraduate Certificate Studentships (Clinical Internship) in Equine Studies
The School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham and Oakham Veterinary Hospital has developed an exciting 12 month postgraduate certificate (PG Cert) programme for early career veterinary surgeons interested in developing their clinical skills in equine studies combining clinical training with a formal qualification. Two scholarships are available beginning in September 2020 and February 2021. Both positions will be suitable for recent graduates or students currently in their final year.
The internships will be based at Oakham Veterinary Hospital, a clinical associate practice of the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, where students have an opportunity to experience both first opinion and referral cases during their final year rotations. A team of nine practice veterinary surgeons is assisted by University staff specialising in equine medicine and equine surgery. The hospital provides a diverse case load to support clinical training supported by excellent clinical facilities. Clinical training will be provided in areas such as in-patient care, poor performance examination, diagnostic imaging and anaesthesia. The scholar will be expected to complement the teaching of University of Nottingham veterinary undergraduates.
Each position is offered for twelve months subject to satisfactory progress. Accommodation is provided consisting of a large two-bedroom flat situated on-site shared with the second intern, together with a generous stipend.
Eligibility Applicants from outside the UK/EU/EAA will not normally be considered. Applicants whose first language is not English must present evidence of having achieved an IELTS score of at least 7.5 (with a minimum of 7.0 in each component) alongside initial expression of interest. Graduates must have completed at least 26 weeks of clinical training outside their university. This may include clinical EMS, student externships or post graduate employment.
Further details can be found at https://www.oakhamvethospital.co.uk/equine-staff/equine-internship-program
An applicant's day, including an opportunity to meet with both university and practice partners will be held in mid-February.