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When will my vet start neutering and spaying again?

The COVID lockdown brought ‘emergency-only’ appointments for veterinary practices across the UK. For the first 8 weeks, your pet would only be given an appointment if a delay in being seen would severely affect their health or welfare. Vaccinations were put on hold; neutering appointments were cancelled… But the lockdown is lifting - so can your vets spay your pets?

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The restrictions on Veterinary Practices in the UK are going to be loosened

There has been an announcement. The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons has announced that the restrictions on Veterinary Practices in the UK are going to be loosened.

Let us consider what that might look like and what will it mean for us and our pets.

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Will I be able to visit my vet during the Coronavirus outbreak?

The coronavirus outbreak in the UK is happening - this isn’t something we see on our television screens from far away places. Our neighbours, friends and families are at risk. Many of us know people who are suspected or confirmed cases. And carrying on as normal, while admirable in many circumstances, is unhelpful and dangerous now. All businesses and professions are affected by it, but in this blog we’re going to look at how vet practices are likely to be affected, and what you can do to help them until we all come out the other side.

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My pet needs to see a vet… but is it an emergency?

Obviously, if you have any doubts - give your vet a ring! There’ll always be someone on duty who will be able to give advice over the phone, even if it isn’t an emergency that needs seeing right now. However, there are only thirteen or fourteen conditions that are genuinely life-or-death emergencies, and these need seeing RIGHT NOW. If your pet is suffering from one of the following conditions, they need seeing - as soon as possible. So, don’t delay - call your vet and then get in the car and drive!
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Best UK Vet Awards 2017 – the Results are In!

You may have seen quite a bit about the Best UK Vets Awards recently (especially if you follow our Facebook page!). What are the Best UK Vet Awards? It is vital for people to know which businesses offer the best customer service - and when we’re entrusting the health of our pets to them, it’s doubly important. So, we sponsor these Awards, which are now in their fifth year. The way it works is very simple:
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Vets are now doctors (in a strictly veterinary sense, that is….)

Did you know that your vet is now a doctor? The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons  has just changed the rules. Vets are not obliged to call themselves "Doctor", but we now have the option to do so, if we wish. Traditionally, vets were called "Mr": the logic was that as "veterinary surgeons", we fell into the same (slightly superior) category of medical personnel as medical consultant surgeons, who were also "Mr". Dentists (dental surgeons) were also called "Mr" for the same reason. In the past thirty years, two factors have moved against this traditional nomenclature.

The veterinary profession has been feminised.

In the 1960's, over 80% of veterinary graduates were male. The gender ratio moved to 50:50 in the 1980's, and it's now changed so that a high majority of new graduates are female, 57% of the total profession in practice are female. Why is this relevant to the "doctor" issue? Well, "Mr" may be a handy title for male vets, but there's a dilemma for females: there's an awkward choice between Miss ("young and single?"), Mrs ("married") or Ms ("feminist?"). The term "Dr" is gender neutral, which suits our politically correct era.

Most vets around the world are "doctors"

The second, and probably more significant, reason for change in terminology is to keep the UK within international norms. In nearly every other country in the world, vets are known as "Dr". So when British vets travel overseas, it causes mild consternation if they try to stick to the "Mr" title from home. And when foreign vets visit the UK, they naturally expect to be called "Dr", leading to some confusion for members of the public ("Are they better qualified than British vets?")

Vets, vet nurses and the public voted for vets to be doctors

The decision to change to "Dr" was democratic: the RCVS carried out a consultation process, receiving the opinions of over 11000 people, 74% from vets, vet students and veterinary nurse, and 26% from the public. Overall, 81% were in favour of vets becoming "doctors", 13% were against, and 6% did not mind either way. The RCVS has placed some stipulations about how vets use the term "Dr", to avoid the risk of misleading people about our qualifications. The two possible misapprehensions are first, that we have earned a doctorate (PhD), and second, that we are medical doctors. To avoid the risk of this happening, vets have to do one of two things. First, add the word "Veterinary Surgeon" as a post-script to our names ("Dr Pete Wedderburn, Veterinary Surgeon") or second, add our post-nominal letters our names ("Dr Pete Wedderburn MRCVS"). This is a clear way of defining that we are "vet doctors" rather than "doctorate doctors" or "doctor doctors". I'm sure it seems like trivial stuff to most members of the public, but to those folk who are concerned about these details, it's very important to get it right. And it is important, that when people consult a professional, whether online or in person, that they have a correct understanding of that individual's qualifications. I never thought I'd be a doctor, but all of a sudden, I've become one without even trying. A doctor, veterinary surgeon, or a doctor, MRCVS, that is, of course.  
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