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COVID - 19 UPDATE

18th March 2020

We will be operating as normal until advised otherwise – here are some guidelines to help both humans and animals stay safe and healthy.

If your pet needs veterinary attention and:

  • You have been overseas within the last 14 days
  • You’re experiencing respiratory symptoms or fever
  • Need to self-isolate

Please phone us for advice and we can make a plan to assist.

In line with social distancing recommendations, we are keeping waiting times to a minimum. We ask you to:

  • Limit the number of people presenting your pet to just one owner
  • If possible - wait in your car or outside the clinic on arrival and phone us to alert reception that you have arrived. We will then return the phone call when we are ready to welcome you into the clinic to see you and your pet. This will aid in keeping the number of people waiting in reception to a minimum.

Please use hand sanitisers located at reception in the clinic.

Please phone ahead to order required prescription medicine repeats or food, worming and flea control in advance so we can arrange to have them ready for you without the need to wait.

If at all possible, please consider using "tap and go", PayWave or PayPass rather than cash to minimise contact.

We are working hard to ensure we can continue to provide complete veterinary care. This may include consultations performed by phone or video conference in the near future.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. This situation is rapidly evolving, and we will provide updates as required.


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Advice from the Australian Veterinary Association to pet owners
Client information sheet
COVID-19 and companion animals

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What is a coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that infect birds and mammals, including humans. They are often associated with the common cold, bronchitis and pneumonia, and can also affect the gut. The virus that causes COVID-19 is also a coronavirus and likely originated from a wildlife reservoir.

Canine coronavirus, which can cause diarrhoea, and feline coronavirus, which can cause feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), have been seen by veterinarians for many years. They do not cause infections in humans. These coronaviruses are not associated with the current COVID-19 pandemic. 

Can COVID-19 infect pets?

There have been reports from Hong Kong that a dog owned by a patient with COVID-19 has tested positive to the presence of the virus in its nose and mouth. This is may be a case of human to animal transmission, however the dog’s first blood tests have been negative. At this stage there is no evidence that pet dogs or cats are a source of infection to other animals or humans. We are continuing to monitor this situation and will provide updated information as it becomes available. 

Should I avoid contact with pets or other animals if I am sick with COVID-19?

As the outbreak continues, a number of pet owners will be placed in quarantine, either with confirmed COVID-19 infection or due to exposure. We know that your pet is part of your family and you will want them to have the same level of protection and care as any other family member. Current information suggests there is no apparent risk to you or your pet from being in quarantine with you. However, we do advise all pet owners continue to practice appropriate hand hygiene before and after handling their pet, their food and washing food/water bowls. At no stage should pet owners do anything that may compromise the welfare of their pets. We suggest minimising close contact with your pet during this time, such as hugging, face to face contact or sleeping on your bed.

What do I do if I am in quarantine or self-isolation and my pet is unwell?

If you are in quarantine, do not break quarantine to take your pet to the veterinarian even if your pet is unwell. By doing this you will put your veterinarian and staff at risk of infection. Ring your veterinary surgery first and ask for advice. If your pet needs to be seen, your veterinarian will be able to work with you to ensure your pet will receive the care they need, while keeping themselves and their staff safe from COVID-19 infection. If your vet provides house calls, please let them know you are under quarantine before they arrive.

If you have any other concerns about your pet, please ask your veterinarian.

 Note that this is a rapidly evolving situation and advice provided here is reflective of the evidence at hand (16-03-20). For up to date information on the COVID-19 situation in Australia go to health.gov.au

 

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