Riverside vets Corona update


      “As you will all be aware, as of Monday 23rd March both the UK and Scottish Governments announced nationwide travel restrictions and essentially put the country into a ‘lockdown’ situation. We want to let you know what this means for you, your pets and veterinary services for the time being.

Guidance from our governing body is that all veterinary practices should move to an emergency only service until these restrictions are lifted. Given this advice, we have had to make the very difficult decision to temporarily close both our Bathgate and Armadale branches and run an emergency only clinic from our main site in Livingston. Here we have all of the facilities we need to cope with emergency and life threatening conditions. We continue to have two teams of vets, nurses and support staff available on site during our normal hours to take your calls, give advice and treat your pet if needed. If you have a sick or injured animal then please contact us and follow the instructions to speak to the on-call vet. Livingston – 01506 437096

What does this mean for you and your pets? For the next 3 weeks until the Prime Minister reviews the situation:

  • Any non-emergency appointments which are currently planned will be cancelled, reception staff are trying to contact people by phone, text and email if we have contact details. Please DO NOT attend for any of these appointments.
  • Booster vaccinations for adult dogs and cats are cancelled. Most vaccines have some leeway of between 2-3 months and your pets immunity is highly unlikely to drop in this time. If your pet does need to restart the vaccination course at the end of this period then it will require two vaccinations again. For pets on our pet health plan we want you to be reassured that there will be no penalties financially for restarting and the cost of the extra vaccination will be covered under your plan. Kitten vaccinations – appointments cancelled. Most people keep their kittens indoors anyway until they are neutered at 5-6 months so they should have no additional exposure to infectious disease.
  • Puppy vaccinations – appointments cancelled. Following government advice you should not be leaving the house to exercise more than once a day and we would apply the same rule to dog walking. There are many things that you can do in the house to keep your puppy amused and tire them mentally which is more important than physically. Look online for ideas and get inventive! Here are some videos from DogsTrust to get you started DogsTrust Training Videos. With regards immunity – your puppy should not be coming into contact with any dogs that are not within your household so risk of contracting an infectious disease is also limited. The adult dog population in the UK currently has enough vaccinated dogs to give us ‘herd immunity’ and prevent an outbreak of these infectious diseases. It will however be very important that once we are on the other side of this situation that all of these puppies receive their vaccinations to continue this immunity and protect them. Repeat prescriptions – we are allowed under the current scheme to provide you with and you may collect ‘essential prescriptions’. Please contact one of the practices or order online through our website HERE . We are currenly asking that you give us an extended notice of 48-72 hours notice as we are no longer receiving daily deliveries as normal.You may find that some prescriptions are limited to a one month supply – this is to allow us to monitor stock levels and ensure that everyone has access for their pets.
  • Food – we are still able to supply pet food, please order as above for repeat prescriptions and give us extra notice.
  • Worm and flea treatment – we have been inundated with requests for these so we are asking that people are patient as we work through the backlog whilst still seeing sick pets and dispensing essential prescriptions. This does not fall under the essential prescriptions advice and we must insist that you do not travel to the practice to collect these. For clients on our health plan we will post these to you at no additional charge.

Online Consultations We are very pleased to now have the facility to offer online consultations which are essentially a video call between you and your vet. This service is mainly used to triage cases where you are unsure if your pet falls under the emergency category but can also be used to monitor ongoing cases. Please note that the vet is unlikely to be able to prescribe medication on this alone and you may still be asked to attend the practice. These will be free of charge to all clients on our Complete Care Plan and Healthy Pet Club for the next 12 weeks at least. There will be a reduced consultation fee of £20 for all other clients but this amount will be deducted from your consultation fee if you do need to attend the practice. The service does require registration through the link below and which will also be sent by email to you by one of our reception teams. Any chargeable consultations must be paid online prior to it taking place Click here the video consultation page . What if I do need to visit the practice? In order to follow advice to reduce ‘face to face’ contact things will look and feel very different to how they normally do when you visit the vet. This is essential for us to protect our staff, their families and you. This is the only way that we can continue to provide the service we are and we thank you in advance for your cooperation. Please follow staff instructions. We must insist that you DO NOT attend the practice if you have symptoms or are self-isolating with sick family members. We have alternative options such as video consults and collection/drop off of pets by local companies (this service is chargeable by the individual companies). The sort of things that are different include:

  • On arrival the door will be locked, please telephone reception to book in then wait in your car or outside (if outside please follow social distancing rule of leaving 2 metres from anyone else)
  • Clients will be called in one at a time by the vet and no more than one person will be allowed in the waiting room at any time.
  • Please use alcohol gel which is provided to clean hands on arrival
  • Strictly only ONE person per pet will be allowed into the consultation room
  • Please respect our staff and leave 2 metres
  • Your pet is likely to be held by one of our veterinary nurses and may even be taken to another area for their exam. Please rest assured that they are in safe hands and do not be offended by this. You will be consulted afterwards on their health and symptoms.
  • We are not currently accepting cash as a payment method, this can be made by card or bank transfer

We appreciate that this is a lot of information to digest and is a huge change to the way that we are all used to living our lives however it is essential that we follow this advice strictly and pull together as a nation to get through it as quickly and as safely as we can. The health and welfare of our staff is paramount to the continuation of this service and we ask that you respect this and do not put them into any situation where this is compromised.

We know that we have the full support of our amazing clients and want you to know that we will continue to be available for you and your pets throughout. We very much look forward to working with you all and continuing to be part of your communities in the future, we really appreciate that you entrust us to look after your beloved pets as though they were our own. Wishing all of our clients good health in this difficult time.
Graeme, Mandy and the Riverside Team

Simply give us a call for more information or to make an appointment.

You can reach us at

Livingston on 01506 437096 – Bathgate on 01506 634176

Armadale on 01501 640492