Greencross Vets – important information

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Keeping you and your pets safe

In these unprecedented times, our priority is to continue to provide high standards of veterinary care for your pet. We’re open and here to help when you need us most. To ensure your health and safety and that of our team we’ve implemented minimal contact pet care consulting in response to COVID-19.

When making your appointment

Please phone your Greencross Vets clinic to make your appointment and let us know if any of the following applies to you:

  1. You are unwell (fever, cough, shortness of breath)
  2. You have travelled overseas in the last 14 days
  3. You have come into contact with a person that has tested positive for Covid-19

We’ll discuss options with you to ensure that your pet receives the care they need. This may include a telemedicine consultation depending on your pet’s condition or a minimal contact consultation. Alternatively, we may suggest you ask a friend to bring in your pet or if not an emergency, schedule an appointment for a later time when safe for you to come in.

Pet care option with minimal human contact

To ensure your health and safety and that of our team, minimal human contact procedures are now in place, ensuring we adhere to social distancing regulations. This means we will collect your pet from your car or outside the clinic, to reduce contact with our team and others in the waiting room area.

How we will help you and your pet:

  • Simply call us when you arrive for your appointment
  • One of our team members will come out to your car to collect your pet
  • We will take your pet into the consult room while you remain in your car and will keep you informed over the phone
  • Once your pet has been examined, our vet will update you on your pet’s condition and any treatment plans
  • Payment can be taken via credit card over the phone
  • We can then return your pet to your car

At the clinic – some health and safety instructions

There are a few things we ask of you to ensure your health and safety and that of our team members when visiting the clinic:

  • Limit the number of people accompanying your pet to one person per pet. At our discretion, a maximum of one person only will be permitted into the consult room.
  • When entering and leaving the clinic always use the hand sanitiser provided.
  • Where possible please use credit card or EFTPOS for payment to reduce the need to handle cash
  • Please ring and pre-order medications or food that you require to reduce the time you need to spend in the clinic

Advice from our Veterinary Teams

During these unprecedented times, we will continue to provide quality veterinary services to pet parents and their pet companions via our national network of Greencross Vets clinics and partner emergency and specialty hospitals.

  • Make sure that you have adequate supplies of medications for your pet. Our veterinary clinics and hospitals can organise this for you. If you advise our team a couple of weeks in advance, we can fill your order and have it ready for you to pick up
  • If you are self-isolating and your pet needs to be seen by a vet, please ring the clinic ahead of your appointment. We advise that you ask someone else to accompany your pet to our clinics, however, ensure you can be contacted by phone so that our vets can keep you informed during the consult
  • Our vets may be able to do a telemedicine consultation with you and your pet. This will depend on your pet’s condition as well as other factors so please call our team to discuss
  • As always, our advice to pet owners remains the same. Wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling your pet and avoid having them lick your face
  • There is currently no evidence that pets could be a source of infection to people.

What you need to know about COVID-19 and your pet’s health

Dr Magdoline Awad, Chief Veterinary Officer Greencross Vets and Dr Ron Baker, General Manager Specialist & Emergency Centres, have developed a comprehensive FAQ, and here are the essential things you need to know:

  • There is currently no evidence that pets in Australia can spread COVID-19.
  • To date, the Australian Veterinary Association has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19.
  • We always recommend following everyday preventive hygiene actions to help prevent the spread of illness.

Frequently Asked Questions about Coronavirus

Can the Coronavirus/COVID-19 virus infect dogs and cats?

The good news is that there is currently no evidence that pets are involved in the spread of COVID-19 or that they can be infected or become sick. Whilst there was a case in Hong Kong where a dog belonging to a confirmed COVID-19 pet owner tested positive, the dog did not become unwell. Further testing confirmed the dog was only weakly positive. There have been no other reported cases globally.

Can pets spread the disease? I.e. If a pet has been in contact with someone who is diagnosed with COVID-19, can the pet spread the disease to other people or pets?’

There is currently no evidence that pet dogs or cats can be a source of infection to other animals or to humans. This virus is being spread from humans to humans and there is no evidence that pets are involved.

There is a lot of information online about dogs, cats and coronavirus. Why is this?

The term ‘coronavirus’ defines a broad family (type) of viruses which have been around for a long time, some of which only affect dogs and cats. Dog and cat coronaviruses are different to COVID-19 and cannot infect people. Unfortunately, due to the similar name, these terms may appear in historical articles or online forums and this can cause unnecessary confusion, panic or concern.

There are vaccinations available to protect dogs and cats from infectious diseases including the specific canine coronavirus (there is no equivalent vaccine for cats). It’s important to vaccinate our pet dogs and cats for common diseases such as parvovirus and upper respiratory viruses to keep them safe and healthy. Please talk with your Greencross Vet for a tailored vaccine program to suit your pet. Remember, pets are not involved in the spread of COVID-19, you do not need to be alarmed.

How can pet parents protect themselves and their pets?

Remember, the way you can catch COVID-19 is from exposure to an infected person. Therefore, practice standard precautionary hygiene measures as recommended by the relevant Health Departments in your state or territory. This includes thoroughly washing your hands with soap and water (or alcohol gels), distancing yourself from people who are unwell, in some cases wearing face masks and avoid touching your face.

We recommend following good hygiene whenever interacting with your pets, this advice has not changed. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching any animal.  Avoid sharing food with your pets or letting your pets kiss or lick your face or mouth. Keep your pet’s vaccinations and parasite treatments (including worming) up to date and maintain regular veterinary health checks. If you suspect your pet is unwell or you have any concerns about your pet’s health, give your local Greencross Vets team a call.

If you are required to self-isolate for 14 days, this may impact your pet’s daily routine and you may need to keep them at home with you. You can plan-ahead by ensuring that you have two weeks of pet food and medication on hand.

Should pet parents avoid contact with pets or other animals if they’re sick with COVID-19?

If you have been diagnosed positive for COVID-19 and you are forced to self-isolate, we know that pets can be a source of comfort and companionship during these times. However, we recommend avoiding hugging, kissing and having them lick your face and we always advise that you wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling your pets.

Please do not consider abandoning your pet in these times of uncertainty. If you have any concerns, please contact our Greencross Vets team.

My pet needs to go to see a vet and I am self-isolating or sick. What should I do?

If you are self-isolating and your pet needs to be seen by a vet, you should ring the clinic ahead of your appointment. We recommend that you ask someone else to accompany your pet to our clinics, however, ensure you can be contacted by phone so that our vets can keep you updated.

Our vets may be able to do a telemedicine consultation with you and your pet. This will depend on your pets’ condition as well as other factors so please contact us for advice on what is best for your particular situation.

This information is referenced by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA), the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). It must be emphasised that the situation is rapidly evolving, and we encourage you to monitor the websites of the associations listed above to stay up to date with the latest information.

 

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