Treating your pet in the coronavirus crisis
24 March UPDATE
In keeping with the new government guidelines issued yesterday advising. everyone to stay at home bar all non-essential travel, and following the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) communication:
"It is responsibility of the veterinary surgeon to take steps to provide 24-hour emergency first aid and pain relief to animals according to their skills and the specific situation, veterinary practices will need to continue to carry out this work. It is important that animal owners are able to focus on their own health, and not need to worry about their pets. Veterinary surgeons who are providing this essential work can be considered key workers." (RCVS)
I am suspending all routine visits and consultations as of this morning.
However, I will continue to provide:
1) Emergency care to animals in distress and supply of urgent prescriptions. All strict hygiene and disease prevention protocols will continue.
2) Free telephone consultations to any worried pet owners, whether you are a registered client or not.
3) Delivery of medication for pain relief, chronic ailments and emergencies. This will be by arrangement to your doorstep/post box and not in person.
We are living in unprecedented times and I want to reassure all of you of my continuing support and dedication to the welfare and health of you and your pets.
Preventing spread of infection
As some of you may know, my specialist background is in infectious diseases; I am fully aware of the mode of transmission and measures of precaution that need to be taken - especially with those of you who may be more vulnerable to infection.
I am taking extra preventative measures if entering a home to provide emergency care or treat an animal in distress ensuring there is minimal risk to either you or myself. This includes maintaining a distance from you when discussing your pet's problem, wearing protective clothing and following strict protocols of hygiene and sterilisation.
A little science ......
There is no evidence to suggest that pets can either be affected by this new coronavirus or carry it and present a long-term danger to their owners. Of the hundreds of thousands of human cases documented so far, we can safely assume that a significant number will have pets in the home and there have been no reports of transmission from human to animal.
The origin of this virus has not yet been featured in the mass media but the scientists have sequenced the genome and found it to be 99.98% identical to a coronavirus found in bats in Asia. The results were published in The Lancet medical journal. There is no evidence whatsoever, despite claims from some quarters, that the virus is a man-made product.
As all virus infections in humans originated from animals, with the possible exception of the measles virus which may be a purely human virus, this outbreak of coronavirus disease illustrates another animal-to-human jump which occur in history from time to time.
Currently there are two avenues of control being investigated: a trial vaccine in the USA and an anti-viral drug in Italy. Let us hope one or both are sufficiently effective to make an impact.
As usual, I am on WhatsApp, Messenger, phone or text if you have any questions to ask me.
The Henley Mobile Vet