Coronavirus COVID-19 Advice For Equine Clients

Please read our latest guidance for Equine clients regarding visits and appointments following the Governments most recent announcement on Monday 23rd March.

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This information is correct at the time of publishing. Please be aware things may be subject to change at very short notice.

Latest update: 14-April-2020

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 23 March, and in line with the guidance we have received from our governing bodies, Scarsdale Equine Vets will now be providing essential and emergency care only, until these restrictions are lifted.

Please note that we have updated the equine vaccinations text

This is in line with all other equine veterinary practices. This emergency and essential treatment will, as normal be available 24 hours a day should you have an emergency.

Our vets, nurses and support staff are completely committed to equine health and welfare but in this extreme situation we are obliged to do everything we can do protect human health and that of our clients, staff and vulnerable people in society. As such we must do everything we can to comply with these guidelines.

We understand that you will have many concerns and queries regarding this so have compiled a few of the most commonly asked ones below.

What is Emergency & Essential Care?

This is treatment of horses that are sick or injured. Any conditions that you would call a vet out to normally as an emergency then we are here for you and we will be on hand to treat the condition.

If you are unsure whether you require an emergency call, please do not hesitate to call the practice and we can advise you of whether a visit is necessary or whether we can advise you by phone. When a visit is needed we will require you to observe social distancing as much as is possible and to have the minimal number of people (ideally one person) present at the visit.

Essential and emergency care does not cover conditions such as vaccinations, prescription checks, vettings, routine dentistry, mild lameness and poor performance.

If you are uncertain about any health issue with your horse, please ring the practice and our vets will be happy to discuss the case with you including whether it requires examination as an urgent case or whether we can advise treatment/management over the phone.


We have had many queries regarding whether we will attend for euthanasia. Euthanasia does qualify as essential care.

We will need to make some arrangements minimising those present to one person and liase with you regarding other factors, however we will work with you to make this as easy as possible in the circumstances.

**Update on Equine Vaccinations**

As you are all aware the situation with dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic is a fluid situation and we are constantly reviewing our working practices to enable us to carry on delivering service to your horses whilst protecting both our teams and you.

Further guidance has been released from RCVS (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons), BVA (British Veterinary Association) and BEVA (British Equine Veterinary Association) which offer ways that we will be able to offer some vaccinations providing social distancing is able to be adhered to and the vaccination deadline is imminently due.

It is essential that this is not viewed as ‘a return to normal’ as there are many things we will still not be able to do, such as routine dental work, poor performance investigations, most fertility work and vetting’s, and we continue to use telemedicine to assess cases where possible, especially for non-emergency situations. This vaccination service is only available to our current registered clients and to horses that are imminently due for a vaccination (unless we are on the yard already for another vaccine) and only if booked in advance so we can be sure our guidelines are adhered to. We will not be restarting lapsed vaccinations at the current time – we will deal with them later as the situation improves. Our phones are very busy at the minute so please email if you wish to book a vaccination.

To allow us to undertake the vaccinations we would ask that the following is adhered to:

  • If you or a member of your household is showing symptoms, then we will not be able to attend the call unless you can ensure a non-affected person is available
  • Please where possible have the gate open or ready to be opened for the vet
  • The horse should be tied up in a safe place either in the stable or on the yard.
  • The passport should be available near the horse for the vet to look at with a pen
  • Horse feed or a hay net should be available within easy reach for the vet should they need it
  • We will only be doing the vaccination rather than a clinical examination – anything else will need to be followed up with a telemedicine consultation.
  • You or the person dealing with the horse must stay at a minimum of 2 metres away from the vet at all times. We can communicate with you by phone easily over longer distances.
  • If multiple horses are being seen please allocate only one person to be the contact for the vet
  • Payment should be made by phone as we are not accepting cash at the current time

If your horse is difficult to handle, then we may not be able to vaccinate it safely at this time and it essential that we minimise both the risk of injury and COVID-19 transmission to our team. If you think this may be the case, then please discuss with a member of our team before booking the visit. If our vets are not comfortable with a situation then they may discontinue and leave the premises at any point.

We are working with a reduced work force at the minute and seeing emergencies and sick horses is our priority. We cannot offer our zone visit scheme at the present time however yard visits are allowed.

Things are changing rapidly in this situation so if things deteriorate locally then human health must be prioritised and we may withdraw the service if advised to do so. Our NHS colleagues, carers and many others are fighting a difficult battle at this time and we are committed to supporting them in reducing the risks of COVID-19 spread and injury to people that would cause inappropriate use of resources. We thank you for your cooperation in advance and your support of our team in these difficult times.

Medication Reviews & Routine Medications

Many horses are coming up for their routine medical reviews. At this period of lockdown we have been allowed by our governing bodies the ability to discuss the progress and review by telephone as we have extenuating circumstances and therefore authorise some further supply of the medication.

Horses With Ongoing Health, Lameness Or Dental Issues

If your horse has ongoing health, lameness or dental issues, please ring or email to discuss how best to manage this in the short term.

Ordering Medication

For medication ordering, please contact the practice as normal but try to allow as much notice as possible to allow these to be processed.

We can often post medication out to you, if you come to the practice to collect, please call us when you arrive and follow the receptionist’s advice in order to pick up the medications safely.

Horse Owners That Are Self Isolating Or Vulnerable

If you require an emergency visit then we do require certain procedures to be put in place to safeguard both yourselves and our staff before we can attend. Please advise the practice when you ring to place the call of the situation so we can try to put arrangements in place for the visit to be carried out safely.


Please pay by card, ideally by phone or contactless, or online to minimise compromising social distancing measures.

Moving Forwards

We will continue to monitor and review the advice received from the government and our governing bodies and will let you know if anything changes.

This is a very difficult time for all of us, both clients and the practice, with everyone working in challenging times. We are grateful for you support and patience.

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