Vets may be facing prospect of medicine rationing

ISSUES with the flow of supply in veterinary medicine has left local vets facing up to rationing during what is one of the busiest seasons of the farming calendar.
Local vet Innes Redmond of Lakeland Veterinary Services, with practices in Derrygonnelly and Belleek outlined challenges in getting essential products such as surgical scrubs and local anaesthetic. He adds that he doesn’t believe it is linked to coronavirus.
“We have found a shortage of medicines and that is causing a little bit of undue stress. Wholesalers are rationing essential products like surgical scrub. Suppliers are understandably under pressure.  
“On Tuesday past we had five sections and that requires a lot of surgical scrub. Surgical spirit we cannot get, we need it for surgery and emergencies. We got a supply delivered this afternoon and it was like Christmas, the five vets took turns to see what we could take from the boxes from our cars.”
Mr Redmond referred to these as challenging times for the Lakeland Veterinary Services team who he said are generally a “cheery bunch”.
The practice which straddles the border now has many working from home as staff follow official guidelines. Medicines are ordered over the phone and picked up outside. On farm maintaining social distancing is difficult. Mr Redmond explained vets are still calving cows and lambing ewes.
“If you’re performing a section on a cow or sheep and the farmer is there with you it’s very difficult to have the two metre distance, as often you need someone to hold the animal. We try our best but we also wear masks. There’s also risk assessments carried out on each farm and we follow best practice, but you do need assistance, for example an animal needs shaved to deliver a calf by caesarean.”

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