COVID-19 update: March 31st
At this time The Vet Group is open. We are committed to looking after our client’s pets and farm animals. We are also committed to safeguarding the health of our staff, clients and the general public. It’s important we all do our bit to help keep COVID-19 infection rates low. We need to protect the vulnerable and support our health services.
For small animal owners:
To keep everyone safe and minimise the spread of COVID-19, our services will be offered a little differently:
- We are deferring non-urgent procedures while continuing to provide essential health care for your pets
- We will also be offering phone or video consultation where appropriate
- Where possible, only have one person attend with your animal for a consult
- When arriving for your appointment, please wait in your car. Phone us from your car on arrival and a member of staff will be out to greet you promptly
- Please phone ahead if ordering prescription medicine repeats or prescription diets so we can arrange to have them ready for you
If you have concerns about your pet’s health, please call or email the Pet Care Team and we can discuss the options best suited to your situation.
Wollaston Pet Care 5561 6911
Timboon Pet Care 5558 6666
- We have secured stock with our suppliers and do not anticipate a shortage in the upcoming months
- We have put measures in place to reduce contact between people at the clinics and will also take measures to reduce contact on farm
- Please ring to place any orders prior to coming to a clinic so that it is ready for you when you get there
- If you are having difficulties with the phone line for orders or booking in farm calls, please email our Farm Services Team
Farm Services 1300 838 700
The COVID-19 situation is a rapidly evolving one. We are monitoring and assessing developments and will continue to update our clients on the measures we are required to have in place. As always, we are here to help and thank you for your understanding and cooperation as we work through the issues we are faced with.
For clients and their families that may be at risk of COVID-19 infection and are in quarantine or those who are sick with symptoms of COVID-19 (temperature >38°C, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose and fatigue) it is important to avoid direct contact with others as per the Victorian Government’s self-isolation guidelines.
If you have animals that need to be seen, call us and we will discuss how we can do this safely.
Similarly, if you need products or medications for your pets or farm animals, call us and we can work out a way to get them to you.
Why is COVID-19/Coronavirus considered so bad?
The vast majority of people infected with COVID-19 will have mild respiratory signs such as a fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat and runny nose. However in some people the disease progresses to pneumonia. This can be severe enough for patients to need intubation and ventilation in the ICU. This video – “What Coronavirus actually does to the human body” – is a very good explanation of what the virus does and we recommend that everyone watches it.
COVID-19 is a newly emerged virus and none of the human population has any immunity to it. That is why it spreads so quickly: through inhalation of infected droplets in the air or by touching infected surfaces and transferring the virus to your eyes/nose/mouth. People with suppressed immune systems or other medical conditions are even more at risk of severe infections.
If you suspect you may have COVID-19, call your local doctor or the Victorian Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398. It is open 24/7.
Can I give COVID-19 to my pet?
Recently a cat in Belgium, whose owner was sick with COVID-19, also became sick with respiratory signs thought to be COVID-19.
This situation is very rare. At this stage, there is no strong evidence that pets can routinely become infected with COVID-19 from their owners. But this case is a reminder for people who are sick with respiratory signs to minimise contact with their pets. Wash your hands before and after handling and feeding your animals. Minimise close contact with your pet/s while you are sick, especially hugging, face-to-face contact or sleeping on your bed.
There is more information about pets and COVID-19 from the Australian Veterinary Association here.
Is my pet a risk to me?
Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that infect birds and mammals, including humans. They are often associated with respiratory symptoms and can also affect the gut. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a coronavirus and likely originated from a wildlife reservoir.
Canine coronavirus, which can cause diarrhoea, and feline coronavirus, which can cause feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), have been seen by veterinarians for many years. They do not cause infections in humans. These coronaviruses are not associated with the current COVID-19 pandemic.
What can I do to help stop the spread of COVID-19?
- The Victorian Health and Human Services has developed a guideline on how to self-assess your risk of exposure to COVID-19 and what to do next.
- Countries across the world, including Australia, are shutting down non-essential services and advising people to stay at home. There is a lot of information out there, but the New Zealand Government’s guidelines on how to isolate at home are nice and clear.