Up to date guidance on public and animal health risks:
IMPORTANT Further Coronavirus update 24th March 2020
Following the Prime Minister’s address on Monday 23 March, all veterinary practices must reduce face-to-face contact immediately.
This means that we are only allowed to provide emergency care (in person)
As previously we are very happy to do phone consultations (with video if available) wherever possible.
For repeat prescriptions please phone to order them and we can post them out or arrange for you to collect them safely – please telephone on arrival at the practice (or knock on the door) and they will be brought out to you. Food can likewise still be collected.
Any clients needing to attend the practice are asked to wait in their car.
Where possible the vet will treat your pet outside, but may need to take him/her inside if required.
No clients will be allowed to enter the building.
Our staff have been split into teams consisting of receptionists/nurses/vets to avoid potential transfer within the practice.
As previously, if you are having to self-isolate please phone the surgery for advice first. If we need to see your pet please arrange for a friend/family member from outside your home to bring your pet to the surgery. Do NOT send your pet without prior arrangement.
I am sure everyone will appreciate that it is crucial that we maintain the health of our staff to enable us to provide you with an emergency service and your cooperation is very much appreciated.
Emergency contact number 015935 32669
Thank you for your understanding and we wish you all well in these trying times.
Coronavirus and animals
According to the OIE, the current spread of Covid-19 is a result of human to human transmission, and, to date, there is no evidence that companion animals can spread the disease. Therefore, there is no justification in taking measures against companion animals which may compromise their welfare. Current evidence suggests Covid-19 has an animal source but this remains under investigation.
On 1 March it was reported that a Pomeranian dog in Hong Kong had tested positive for Covid-19 and further testing, including gene sequencing, suggests that the dog has a low-level of infection and that this is likely to be a case of human-to-animal transmission. The dog has not shown any clinical signs of disease. A blood test has also been carried out and has come back negative, indicating that there are no measurable amounts of antibodies in the blood at this stage. This does not rule out infection. The dog is still under quarantine pending a further blood test. The OIE states that “There is no evidence that dogs play a role in the spread of this human disease or that they become sick.”
The British Veterinary Association are advising the following precautionary measures for pet owners diagnosed with Covid-19 :
Restrict contact with pets as a precautionary animal health measure until more information is known about the virus.
If your pet requires care, wash your hands before and after any interaction with them and wear a face mask if possible.
Keep cats indoors if possible and try to arrange for someone else to exercise dogs, taking care to restrict any contact with the person walking your dog and making sure they practice good hygiene. This is to reduce the likelihood of your pet spreading the disease through environmental contamination on their fur – there is no evidence that pet animals play a role in the spread of the disease or that they become sick themselves.
If your pet shows clinical signs, please do not take it to the vet but call the practice for advice.
If your pet requires emergency treatment, call the practice for further advice. Do not take your pet to the surgery unless the vet instructs you to. You may need to arrange for someone else from outside your home to transport your pet for treatment.
Advice from the World Small Animal Veterinary Association :
1. Can COVID-19 infect pets?
Currently there is limited evidence that companion animals can be infected with SARS-Cov-2 and no evidence that pet dogs or cats can be a source of infection to other animals or to humans. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available.
2. Should I avoid contact with pets or other animals if I am sick with COVID-19?
The CDC recommends the following: “You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a facemask.” Please check for new updates on CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html#2019-nCoV-and-animals
3. If my pet has been in contact with someone who is sick from COVID-19, can it spread the disease to other people?
While we do not yet know for sure, there is limited evidence that companion animals can be infected with or spread SARS-Cov-2. We also do not know if they could get sick from this new coronavirus. Additionally, there is currently no evidence that companion animals could be a source of infection to people. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available.
4. What should I do if my pet develops an unexplained illness and was around a person with documented COVID-19 infection?
We don’t yet know if companion animals can get infected by SARS-Cov-2 or sick with COVID-19. If your pet develops an unexplained illness and has been exposed to a person with COVID-19, talk to the public health official working with the person with COVID-19. If your area has a public health veterinarian, the public health official will consult with them or another appropriate official. If the state public health veterinarian, or other public health official, advises you to take your pet to a veterinary clinic, call your veterinary clinic before you go to let them know that you are bringing a sick pet that has been exposed to a person with COVID-19. This will allow the clinic time to prepare an isolation area. Do not take the animal to a veterinary clinic unless you are instructed to do so by a public health official.
5. What are the concerns regarding pets that have been in contact with people infected with this virus?
While COVID-19 seems to have emerged from an animal source, it is now spreading from person-to-person. Person-to-person spread is thought to occur mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. At this time, it’s unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people. Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses. Importantly, there is limited evidence that companion animals including pets such as dogs and cats, can become infected with SARS-Cov-2 .
Although there is no evidence that pets play a role in the epidemiology of COVID-19, strict hand hygiene should be maintained by the entire clinical team throughout the veterinary interaction, especially if dealing with an animal that has been in contact with an infected person.
6. What should be done with pets in areas where the virus is active?
Currently there is limited evidence that pets can be infected with this new coronavirus. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, until we know more, pet owners should avoid contact with animals they are unfamiliar with and always wash their hands before and after they interact with animals. If owners are sick with COVID-19, they should avoid contact with animals in their household, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If they need to care for their pet or be around animals while they are sick, they should wash their hands before and after they interact with them and wear a facemask.
This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available.
WSAVA urges pet owners in areas where there are known human cases of COVID-19 to continue to follow the information in its Advisory, including washing their hands when interacting with their pets and, if sick, wearing face masks around them.
The situation is rapidly evolving, and information will be updated as it becomes available.
Note: WSAVA recognizes that not all recommendations will apply to all areas or all regions at all times, depending on the epidemiological risk and risk mitigation in the area. WSAVA encourages veterinarians to keep in close contact with, and follow the directions of, their local veterinary authority.