As it Is becoming increasingly clear, coronavirus in the version COVID-19 is beginning to spread around the UK. What is also becoming increasingly clear is that there is some useful, and some not so useful information circulating about the disease.
We thought we would try to help to clarify some of what we do and do not know about COVID-19 as of the 10th of March, and also let people know what we at Mayne Vets are doing to ensure we are able to continue providing veterinary care to our patients
Can my pet catch Covid-19?
There is currently no evidence that companion animals can be infected with or spread COVID-19. There are many different types of coronavirus that affect different species. The human version of coronavirus is very different from both the canine version (which can cause mild diarrhea) and the feline version (which can cause feline infectious peritonitis or FIP). Neither the dog or the cat versions are associated with the current outbreak, which started in Wuhan, China.
Can my pet spread coronavirus?
It is not thought that pets can transfer the disease from person to person. However, there is currently not enough known about how long or how well the virus survives in the environment to completely answer that question. In theory, if an infected individual touches or coughs on the collar/lead or coat of your pet, there is a possibility of transmission, in the same way, the virus may be transmitted via contact with other surfaces.
What should you do if you become ill?
If you become sick with the coronavirus, it is best to limit contact with your pets. Where possible get someone else in the household to care for your animals and avoid petting, or being kissed by them. As always, washing hands with soap and water before and after contact with a pet is best, and if possible wear a facemask.
Should you be self-quarantining and your pet needs regular medications or diets, please get in touch. It is possible that we might be able to arrange for them to be posted or delivered by another method.
If your pet becomes ill with an unexplained illness and has been in contact with someone who is infected with COVID-19, please talk to the public health official who is looking after the infected person and if instructed to take the pet in, please call the clinic and explain the situation first.
What steps are we taking to ensure we can continue providing care to your pets?
Obviously, the developing outbreak is an evolving situation with daily changes to the disease risk and situation. We are reassessing our approach on a daily basis and will continue to do so following advice from the government along with the veterinary bodies such as the British Veterinary Association and the World Small Animal Veterinary Association. We have a range of steps that we plan to introduce as the situation develops. Some have been implemented already, such as increasing the regularity in which public contact areas are disinfected; others can be implemented should the need develop, such as operating a one-in-one-out policy in the waiting room or emergency only appointments if conditions deteriorate. We are also looking at the possibility of introducing telephone or video consults if needed. We will aim to keep you updated with any changes via our Facebook page or when booking appointments
What steps can you take to help us?
There are some simple steps you can take that can help us continue to provide essential healthcare to our patients.
- Please do not come to the clinic if you are unwell or have potentially been in contact with an individual that has tested positive to COVID-19
- If you are unwell or under self-quarantine and have concerns over your pet’s health, please phone the clinic for advice on what we can do to help
- Please wash or sterilise your hands before coming into the clinic
- Please plan ahead. If you have a pet on long term medication, it would be a good idea to order your next set of medications sooner rather than later. We are not anticipating supply issues at this stage but please try not to leave orders to less than a week before medications run out in case there are any delays.
- Remember we can post some repeat medications if required, simply let us know when ordering and remember to order early enough to allow for the post to be delivered
Wash your hands regularly with hot water and soap for at least 20 seconds.
Try to limit physical contact with others
and try to avoid touching your face.
We hope this has helped to clarify any concerns, but if you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us at the clinic.