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Impact of COVID-19 on companion animal veterinary practice

The COVID-19 pandemic has had wide ranging impacts on every aspect of our lives, including the veterinary sector, whereby we are all attempting to balance our dual responsibility to preserve animal welfare whilst also ensuring the continued health of the public, our colleagues and our families.

The Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network (SAVSNET) collects voluntarily contributed electronic health record (EHR) data from approximately 250 veterinary practices (500 sites) and 10 veterinary diagnostic laboratories in the United Kingdom, representing approximately 15% and 50% of available data, respectively. These data are used for health surveillance and research, with the aim of improving clinical evidence and quality, and hence the welfare of animals under the care of veterinary surgeons in hopefully not just the UK but other countries too.

We are aware that some of the data we collect might be of value for veterinary professionals attempting to use evidence to walk this most difficult of tightropes during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to that aim we have presented some of our initial analyses below. This is the first of what we anticipate to be regular surveillance reports.

We are particularly keen to hear from you about how such analyses can be improved to support your decision making, and have plans to further develop reports over the coming weeks. However if you have any particular suggestions, please feel free to contact us at

In the meantime, we hope you continue to stay safe and well at this difficult time, and as always, thank you for your participation in SAVSNET.

The SAVSNET team


Second report (5th May 2020) now available

Impact of COVID-19 on companion animal veterinary practice report 2 05may20

Impact of COVID-19 on companion animal veterinary practice report 1 20apr20

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We hope that this report will form an evidence base to support practitioners when making challenging decisions about the necessity for providing veterinary care at this difficult time.

Dr David Singleton, SAVSNET Epidemiologist

Back to: Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network (SAVSNET)