As a vet heading out into the real world of ‘veterinary medicine’ you realise there are many things that they just don’t teach you at vet school. For example that first time you go to express your first set of anal glands in a patient, who knew the speed at which the liquid comes out and not to mention avoiding having your head in the firing line.

How about the first time you have to help your clients say goodbye to their much loved pet, what emotions you have to cope with not only yours but the owners. Having started out as a mixed animal vet we also had the fun of trying to know how to mend a colicking horse in the morning and a puppy who has eaten a sock in the afternoon. I have to admit this is one of the reasons I became a vet having the challenge of not knowing what your day holds.

However they definitely do not provide any course to cope with the current situation. I mean just a few lectures on “Pandemic preparation” would have been useful. There is comfort found in times like this, not only in the fact that everyone in the country is in a similar situation not knowing what the country will be like every morning they wake up. But I feel as vets we are very lucky to be able to continue to carry on our job as relatively normally as possible. We do have a few restrictions including reduced number of staff members in the building at any one time, no clients being allowed into some of the branch surgeries and difficulty knowing when we are going to get the next delivery of medicines for our patients. But the reason why we became vets is to look after the welfare of animals and that is what will continue to do to the best of abilities through this time.

We have had a lot of clients asking about opening times and protocols. We are trying to maintain all our branches for the next few weeks but any changes to normal opening hours will be put on our facebook page. We are asking all clients to phone from their car whether it is to let us know they are here for medication or have brought their pet down for their appointment. Our aim is to reduce footfall into the practice, all branches are only seeing Emergency cases and these must be booked after speaking to one of our vets.

We have been amazed at how supportive all our clients have been and receptive to the very quick changes and challenges we have come up against the last few days. Our requests to pay accounts over the phone have also been received with little complaint, again trying to keep our staff safe and also you as clients. We are hoping to function through this as best we can but we will ask for the continued help from you, our clients.

From all the Swaynes teams across Suffolk as huge thank you to our clients and their pets who continue to put a smile on our face through the days (and nights!). Thank you for letting us continue to do what we love to do.