URGENT-COVID-19 UPDATE FOR ALL CLIENTS
While we are usually most focused on the health of our animal patients, the current pandemic of the SARS-CoV-2 virus causing Covid-19 has created a very serious situation for the health of our team and of course our community, which is all of you, our clients, and your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours.
Until and unless advised otherwise, we are open and operating as normal. However, I have a very high duty of care to my team, and we all have a duty to prevent the rapid spread of the disease, as the faster it spreads, the more overwhelmed will be our already stretched human hospitals.
Some people are somewhat dismissive of the seriousness of the pandemic. It takes several days for symptoms to occur, then, if available or permitted by the testing centre, testing is done and results are taking 10 days to come through. This means that the current number of cases is at least 2 weeks behind the true figure, and is significantly underdiagnosed, and the numbers are climbing exponentially. There is definitely much worse to come.
So, for Drummoyne Veterinary Hospital:
If your pet needs veterinary attention and:
You have been overseas within the last 14 days, and/or You’re experiencing any respiratory symptoms including hay-fever and/or You are on sick leave for any reason or in self-isolation because of close association or contact with a suspected or confirmed case… Please do NOT enter the Hospital. Please phone us for advice and we can make a plan. We might be able to do a phone consultation, or a carpark consultation, or arrange for someone to drop off your pet.
If you have arrived from overseas after 15th March, do NOT break the law and come to see us. Not only is this illegal, it is highly stressful for our team, especially at reception. We will be required to call the Department of Health and the police, and we may be required to close the business.
In line with social distancing recommendations:
We are trying to keep waiting times to a minimum.
We ask that you limit the number of people presenting your pet to just one owner.
We have re-arranged our waiting areas to keep people more than 2 metres apart while waiting.
Please use hand sanitisers located at reception.
Please use contactless payment methods where possible.
Please respect the choice of staff members who choose to wear protective gear – they are in contact with dozens of people every day, and might have family or friends who are vulnerable.
Please phone ahead to order required 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. Unfortunately, we are down to 2 phone lines this week as the NBN conversion team have been working out the front, so please be patient if you can’t get through.
We have been advised to keep a log of all persons who enter the business so that contact tracing can occur should it be required.
Pets and Covid-19
There are some reports of one pet dog in Hong Kong with persistent and very low levels of virus in its airways following its owner being diagnosed with Covid-19. It is also logical that viruses could “land” in an animal’s airways, mouth or coat and be infectious to another person (as would the virus if it landed on a door handle or a coffee cup). However, at this point in time, there is no evidence or even suspicion that pets can spread Covid-19.
At this stage, there is NO need to seek veterinary treatment or indeed to do anything harmful to any pet that has been in contact with a Covid-19 patient. However, it is logical and prudent to practise excellent infection control both pre- and post-handling of any pet in an at-risk environment – hand washing, frequent and careful washing of litter trays, dog leads, bedding, etc.
Please note also that there is a canine coronavirus which mainly causes diarrhoea, and a feline coronavirus which infects the gut but can mutate and cause a respiratory disease called FIP. These diseases have been around for decades and are not related to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Vaccinating against canine coronavirus (which is included in our Leptospirosis vaccines) is unlikely to provide any protection against Covid-19.
We are working hard to ensure we can continue to provide complete veterinary care without compromising our health or your health.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. This situation is rapidly evolving, and we will provide updates as required.