News Blog 

Colne Valley News – Spring 2020


 Welcome! - Part 2 

We were delighted to welcome Fiona Clements who joined our team of veterinary surgeons at the end of March. Fiona is an experienced small animal vet and is joining us full-time as a very welcome addition to our veterinary team.  It was not, however, the most opportune time for Fiona to learn the way we work at the practice and the timing of her first day could not have been more unfortunate.  She started on Monday 23rd March on a day when we already had significant restrictions in place and it was that very evening that the Prime Minister announced the ‘Lockdown.’

For now, Fiona is part of the reduced team of vets that we have working at the practice and we very much look forward to her settling into our more normal working environment as soon as the current difficulties come to an end.


We need to talk about Coronavirus

In the days prior to the lockdown, we were already busy instituting changes to the way that we work.  Our reception team and Antony were kept busy cancelling routine appointments and all non-essential procedures. Social distancing was in place, and face-to-face consultations within the building for patients needing attention were becoming increasingly rare.

We have now fully implemented our lockdown plans.  The practice is currently being manned by a skeleton team of staff members and we are seeing all urgent and emergency cases. You can ring us on 01206-794695 if you have any worries or questions at all. One of our reception team (which includes our nurse, Antony) will help you.  If necessary they can arrange for one of our vets to call you back for a telephone consultation.  If we feel that you need to come to the practice, then you just need to ring us again from the car park once you have arrived. We can then come out to see you and take your pet into the building to be assessed and treated as necessary.  Any payments can be taken over the telephone.

The Wivenhoe branch surgery closed at 1pm on Wednesday 25th March and will remain closed until further notice. All dispensing including prescription food that had not been collected was taken back to the main surgery and can be collected from there.  Again, if you are coming to collect something from us at The Hythe surgery then just call our reception team when you arrive and they can take payment and bring your items out to you.  We can also post most of our drug orders to you if you would prefer.

With only a small number of staff at any one time and no pet owners coming into our building, the practice is extremely quiet at the moment.  It is hard to say just how much we miss the hustle and bustle of our waiting room and the conversations that we get to have with you all.  But then, this is a difficult and in some instances, a devastating time for every single one of us.  We just wish all of you well and hope that you can stay safe.  We are really looking forward to welcoming you and your pets back into the building as soon as we can.  It will be good to see you all.


Welfare of your pets 

On the subject of all things COVID-19, during the current restrictions, we are obviously allowed out each day to take exercise (unless we are in a high risk category). This should mean that our dogs are kept active and do not gain weight excessively. Some of you will have been bringing your dogs in to the practice regularly for weight checks and obviously at the present time, this is not possible.  You can however still monitor their weight at home by regularly assessing their body condition score.  Put simply, the aim is to be able to answer ‘Yes’ to each of the following questions:

  • Can you feel your dog’s ribs?
  • Can you feel your pet’s backbone in the chest area?
  • Does your pet have a waistline, narrowing behind the ribcage?
  • When viewed from the side, does your pet’s belly slant upwards with a ‘tucked up tummy’ behind the ribcage?

A recent social media recommendation for those of us now working from home was to put away the biscuit barrel! The same applies to all the family and this includes our pets. As we all get used to spending most of our time indoors over the next few weeks, we need to be mindful of our pets’ health and wellbeing just as we should be mindful of our own.  Please remember that our team are on the end of the phone if you need any help or advice.


Bank Holidays

Early warning was given in last month’s newsletter of the forthcoming Bank Holidays for Good Friday on 10th April, and Easter Monday on 13th April. We will still be closed on those Bank Holidays, with Vets Now handling emergencies for us. Please therefore ensure in the weeks leading up to Easter that you have sufficient of your pets’ prescription medication and food.


A lake near Holkham beach on the evening of 13th March 2020


Please all take care and stay safe – from all of us in the Colne Valley Team xx


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