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‘Don’t give your vet the virus’: video series aims to help horses, owners and vets

A series of videos produced by the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) aims to protect horses, owners and vets during the coronavirus lockdown.

BEVA put out a statement last month saying vets should concentrate on maintaining a 24-hour emergency service but stop all routine work. The videos help give owners guidance while vets are not able to attend in person.

“BEVA’s view is that we should be doing everything possible to protect human health and follow the recommendations and advice from the UK government, which is based on efforts to reduce the spread of the Covid-19 virus and to protect the NHS,” said the March BEVA statement. “At the same time we need to maintain the provision of 24-hour emergency care.”

“We recommend that routine procedures, including pre-purchase examinations, routine dentistry, routine health checks, poor performance/mild lameness examinations, etc. should be stopped immediately.”

The statement said phone and video consultations should be used where possible, and the advice now released helps owners obtain key information they may need to share with the vet during such a consultation.

The series also includes guidance on checking horses’ vital signs, and spotting early warnings of serious issues.

“We need to do our utmost for equine health and welfare while protecting veterinary practitioners, horse owners and handlers” said BEVA chief executive David Mountford.

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“Lockdown restrictions mean that horse owners will have telephone-based consultations with their vet to help minimise face-to-face contact.

“These short, informative videos, made by equine vets, should help owners be able to answer some of the questions their vet may ask over the phone and enable the horse to be triaged promptly and efficiently during this challenging time.”

The videos cover: helping a vet triage a case, checking a horse’s temperature, pulse and respiration rate and checking gums. Laminitis, wounds and lameness, colic and eye and breathing issues are also covered.

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