COVID-19 PANDEMIC

How We Can Help

CONSULTATIONS

  • If you have been confirmed as coronavirus positive, or have returned from travel within the last 14 days, you can simply reschedule non urgent consults (eg nail clips, adult vaccinations, heartworm injections, dental checks etc) for after the end of your 14 day self-isolation period 

  • If you have been confirmed as coronavirus positive, or have returned from travel but you believe your animal is too unwell to wait, then you are able to do the following: 

    • Drop off consults- preferably dropped off by a trusted friend, family member, or pet taxi service, along with written consent to examination and treatment and agreement to pay invoice over the phone at the time of discharge.  Written consent can be in the form of an email or sms.  Verbal contact over the phone is required for these consults so that an accurate history and diagnosis can be achieved, email and sms are not suitable methods of communication for the purposes of gaining an accurate history. 

  • We ask that you limit the number of people presenting your pet to one owner per pet and, when arriving for your appointment, please wait in your car and phone us on your arrival.  We are now doing drop off consults while you wait, in accordance with the current social distancing laws.

    • While you remain in your car the vet examines your pet, and then calls you to discuss the treatment plan.  Once treatment is performed, the nurse will call you to take payment over the phone, and we will return you pet to you to go home.

  • If the consult is a condition that does not necessarily require examination, or if you are concerned about leaving your home for a consultation,  then call us and you may be given the option of an online consult (through a private and secure online consultation room).  This is NOT appropriate for many medical consultations, as nothing can replace a physical examination for diagnosis of medical and surgical conditions. However, if you feel an online consultation may be an option for your pet (for general advice and non urgent issues only), then call us and our staff can advise you whether or not it is appropriate. If you are advised that a physical examination is required, then please be understanding of this as we will always advise you as to what is best for your pet - their health and well-being is our priority.

MEDICATIONS AND PET FOOD SUPPLIES

  • At the time of writing, supplies for most medications and pet foods remain unaffected, with the exception of items such as hand sanitizer etc

  • Given that a large number of items are imported from overseas (for example Hill's, Royal Canin, and many medications), and given that we are simply unable to predict how our supply chains may become affected over the coming weeks/months, you may wish to consider stocking up on essential pet medications and foods, so that you have sufficient supplies for several weeks.

  • We will continue to order from our suppliers regularly, and will do our best to keep you updated if supply shortages occur.  Please ensure we have your orders before 10.30am on the day of ordering, so that we may endeavour to provide you with your supply the same day (subject to stock availability). 

  • For your convenience, please call ahead for repeat medicines, food or worming so we can arrange to have them ready for you without the need to wait.  We do now ask for prepayment, again to minimize your waiting times and to make social distancing easier when you are at the practice. 

**Remember, we are here to help you so if you have any concerns about how we can help treat your pet, just give us a call and we will do our best to find a solution.  Please do NOT come into the practice if you are unwell, have potentially been in close contact with someone who may have coronavirus, or you have arrived from interstate or overseas within the last 14 days because we can only help you and the remainder of our clients if we ourselves are well enough to be at work and not self-isolated at home.** 

While the new social distancing measures have forced us to have less personal interactions with you for the next few months, rest assured that we are still the warm and friendly vet practice that you are accustomed to, and your pets will still receive the usual care, empathy, cuddles and treats that they are used to. 

COVID-19 FAQ about Your Pets

Are cats and dogs at risk of contracting the 2019 novel coronavirus?

  • Infectious disease experts and multiple international and domestic human and animal health organizations agree there is no evidence at this point to indicate that pets become ill with COVID-19 or that they directly spread it to other animals, including people.

What can I do to keep my pets safe from COVID-19?

  • Keep pets away from people infected with COVID-19.

  • Confine pets of infected people to limit spread, as it’s not yet known whether pets may be nonclinical carriers of disease in the same way as other surfaces such as door handles, keyboards and benchtops.

  • Follow good hygiene practices at all times, especially hand washing before and after interacting with pets.

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 bring your pet to us even if your pet is unwell. By doing this you will put your veterinarian and staff at risk of infection.  Ring us first and ask for advice.  If your pet needs to be seen, we will be able to work with you to ensure your pet will receive the care they need, while keeping our staff safe from COVID-19 infection and therefore remaining able to assist other clients and their pets.  If you have booked a house call, please advise us you are under quarantine before we arrive.

Should we be testing pets for human COVID-19?

  • At this time, testing pets for COVID-19 is not warranted, as there is no indication that apparently healthy and unexposed pets should be tested for the human COVID-19 virus.

  • We are currently awaiting the results of the Hong Kong investigation for evidence that pets can be actively infected with human COVID-19 to better understand the risk of the virus to our dogs and cats, and to us from our pets.

  • According to the World Health Organization, people who test positive for COVID-19 should be isolated from others including children, spouses and even pets to ensure they do not inadvertently transfer infection.

How should we handle our pets to ensure they do not become carriers of the virus?

  • Walk on a lead when outdoors.

  • Avoid contact with persons known or suspected to have been exposed to COVID-19. If you are infected or have been exposed, include your pet(s) among those you do not have contact with, and wash hands before and after handling your pet(s).

  • Routinely clean and disinfect animal contact surfaces (e.g. cages, feeding areas) and immediately after contact with high-risk species.

What if my dog or cat is showing signs of flu-like illness?

  • If your pet shows signs of coughing, sneezing, lethargy or otherwise, call us at the first sign of illness and keep them indoors to prevent further spread.

  • Signs of illness in dogs and cats can be associated with various common viral and bacterial infections (e.g. kennel cough and canine flu) that are not transmissible to people.

Are exotic pets, such as ferrets and rats, safe from the disease?

  • The practice of selling/consuming wildlife that may carry the virus has been implicated as the source of the current global coronavirus outbreak.

  • If you have recently acquired an exotic pet, it should be handled hygienically as indicated above, quarantined away from other pets, and your veterinarian should be consulted.

Should we get rid of our pets to be sure they will not transfer the virus to our family?

  • No. There is currently no evidence that household pets like dogs and cats are involved in transmitting coronaviruses to humans.

  • Pet ownership can have health, emotional and social benefits, so practicing responsible pet ownership and hygienic practices is recommended to keep families and pets together and free from disease.

What is known about other coronaviruses in cats and dogs?

  • Feline infectious peritonitis is associated with a viral infection from feline coronavirus. There are many different strains of feline coronavirus, which differ in their ability to cause disease. It is now recognised that feline enteric coronavirus strains can mutate to the more harmful type of virus and cause FIP disease.

  • Canine coronavirus is a highly infectious intestinal infection in dogs, especially puppies. Coronavirus is usually short-lived, but may cause considerable abdominal discomfort for a few days in infected dogs.

Can I vaccinate my dog against the novel coronavirus?​

  • No. The vaccine available to dogs is only protective against the canine intestinal coronavirus, not COVID-19

  • Research is currently underway to provide a vaccine for humans against COVID-19

What is the treatment for coronavirus in pets?

  • There is no specific treatment for coronaviruses in dogs or cats, as mild clinical signs are unlikely to require therapy.

  • Supportive care, including replacement of lost fluids, nutritional support, and anti-nausea medication, may be used for more severe cases.

  • Rarely, hospitalisation is necessary. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses and, therefore, will not help treat coronavirus infections, although they can be beneficial when secondary bacterial infections occur

CREDITS to PERTH VET EMERGENCY, the World Health Organization and the AVMA for the above information

To Keep up-to-date with the latest COVID-19 developments, go to: https://www.wa.gov.au/government/coronavirus-covid-19

For advice on how and when to self-isolate, go to: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-isolation-guidance 

Information correct at the time of publication: 14/03/2020

Emergency Plans for Your Pets

Emergencies often happen without warning.  For this reason, it is a good idea to have an emergency plan set aside for your pets as well as your other family members so that you're not caught off guard.  So, what sort of items should you consider having in your disaster kit?

Basic Supplies

  • Food, water and treats (including dishes) for two weeks (dogs up to 60kg: 4 litres of water per day; cats: 1 litre/day)

  • Medications (with dose and frequency) and medical records (include vet contact info), plus pet photos with names and written descriptions of your pets (in a Ziploc bag)

  • Dogs: waste bags; cats: small cat litter box, litter, scoop, garbage bags; exotics: bedding, extra water bottle, hiding box, extra hay

  • Dog leads, harness, muzzle; consider having a cat harness and lead

  • Sturdy pet carriers for each pet (consider exercise pen for dogs)

  • Toys to help entertain and lower stress (dogs: Kong, ball, treat ball; cats: feather wand, catnip toys)

  • Towels/blankets

  • Other supplies: can opener, spoon/scoop, pet first-aid kit, disinfectant for pet mess clean up, paper towels, rope, duct tape, Sharpie marker, cable ties

*PET FIRST-AID KITS ARE AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE IN CLINIC - CALL US TODAY TO PURCHASE

(while stocks last)

6323 2916 (Stirling) or 9444 6800 (Joondanna)

More Helpful Tips

  • Record your pet's microchip/tatto and license numbers.  Store this information with their medical records.

  • Label all containers with pet names and your contact information - things can go missing in an emergency

  • List the number and type of pets that should be present on the property

  • As many items as possible should be packed in ready-to-go bins or backpacks.  Mark storage bins with pet names and your contact information in case items are separated at an evacuation centre.

  • You should have an emergency plan for all animals and move challenging animals such as farm animals, birds, aquarium fish or exotic animals as soon as possible.

  • If you have animals who cannot be moved in an immediate evacuation, such as aquarium fish or farm animals, create a sign describing the animals left on the property with your name and contact information.  Prepare this now and keep tape with it so it is ready to affix to your door to alert rescue officials.

  • While in storage, rotate pet food and water every three months, replace medications as advised by your vet.

What are We doing to protect You?

Following recent media concerns surrounding the novel Coronavirus and its impact on our community, I would like to reassure you that we share the global concerns over the spread of the virus and its impact on public health. We are taking all necessary measures to protect our employees, clients, patients and suppliers to ensure we mitigate the impact of the virus on our practices.  

These are uncertain times.  While it is likely that many of those with coughs and sniffles are suffering from regular colds and flu viruses, the threat of the new virus on a population with no immunity remains, largely for the elderly and those whose immune system are already weakened by other issues. 

As a precaution, therefore, we have initiated the following protocols as they pertain to our employees, following the regularly updated Government advice at: https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/publications/circular-42020-covid-19-and-employment-flexibilities

To summarize: 

  • Employees who have travelled overseas according to the above government website, or who are living with people that have travelled within the last two weeks are to self-isolate for  two weeks and receive medical clearance prior to returning to work 

  • Employees to report if any member of their family, or guests staying with them, has contracted the virus or are recovering from it, or has symptoms consistent with the virus. 

  • Employees report to management, if they are showing any signs of flu-like symptoms, and to contact their doctor and get tested and discuss the necessity for self-isolation at home to prevent the spread of the virus 

  • Employees to wash hands frequently with soap and water 

  • Hospital grade hygiene practices continue to be part of our daily routine as per normal, with increased frequency of disinfection for commonly used surfaces such as door handles, bench tops, pens and phones etc.  

While the new social distancing measures have forced us to have less personal interactions with you for the next few months, rest assured that we are still the warm and friendly vet practice that you are accustomed to, and your pets will still receive the usual care, empathy, cuddles and treats that they are used to. 

On the customer front, we request that if you have been unwell with flu-like symptoms, have travelled interstate or overseas, or had contact with any suspected individuals infected with Coronavirus, that you reschedule all routine visits such as nail clipping and vaccinations until after 14 days from the potential exposure or symptoms.  If, during this period, your pet is unwell and you believe it cannot wait, please call us to discuss a variety of ways in which we can still provide veterinary care to your pet without you personally bringing them in. 

We are here to help, but please remember that we are only able to help your pets if we ourselves are well and not in self-isolation.  Unfortunately, our industry is not one that can work from home, so to assist us in being able to continue to help our patients, please follow the guidelines above to protect both us, our families, and the rest of our valued clients. 

Up-to-date health information can be obtained from https://www.health.gov.au/  

We will continue to review the situation and follow advice from public health organisations so that we can work to reduce the risk and spread of infection within our community.   Should you have any concerns please feel free to reach out to us at: reception@voguevets.com.au  

© 2019 by Vogue Vets & Wellness Centre providing animal physio, rehab and vet services to Perth and surrounding suburbs including Stirling, Balcatta, Osborne Park, Joondanna, Tuart Hill, Coolbinia, Menora, Mt Hawthorn, Mt Lawley,  Gwelup, Karrinyup and more, 

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