Vets are open providing health care for pets and livestock

07 May 2020

Vets are an essential service

As an essential service, veterinarians across Australia are open and available to provide veterinary health care for pets and livestock during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Most importantly, please contact your veterinarian first - before visiting the practice - for further advice specific to your animal and situation.

The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is encouraging pet owners to continue to proactively care for their pets, hobby farm animals and livestock during the current pandemic. Obviously in some cases, this may mean travelling to bring food to animals and arranging veterinary care when required.

When you contact your local veterinary practice, you will be advised of the safety protocols that they have in place complying with the strict social distancing guidelines in place, along with the options available for your animal to be seen by a veterinarian. Each veterinary practice will differ slightly in terms of how their business is operating and what services are available, so this is why it’s important to contact your vet in the first instance.

How will my vet see my pet?

Depending on your pet’s condition, your pet may be brought inside by a staff member and assessed and treated within the veterinary hospital. Alternatively, a veterinary practice staff member may assess the animal outside the veterinary hospital, or your vet may conduct a telemedicine consultation with you and your animal.

If you’re wondering whether your animal can receive the regular vaccinations or other medications, the best advice is to contact your veterinarian for advice specific to your pet. Veterinarians will use their professional judgement based on assessing the level of risk to your pet, and can discuss any concerns you may have about your pet.

Pets and COVID-19

We understand that you may have questions and concerns about pets and the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, so this handy reference provides answers to some common questions. It’s a good reminder that there is currently no evidence that humans can get COVID-19 from their pets. Keep your pets with you in your family unit, and practice good hygiene (handwashing) before and after handling your pet and their food and water bowls.

The AVA’s President speaks about companion animals and the pandemic in this video, and the AVA wants to reassure everyone that vets are fully committed to keeping animal welfare a top priority during this rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic.

Remember, if you have to self-isolate or self-quarantine due to experiencing flu-like symptoms or if you have a positive test for COVID-19, it is advisable to minimise contact with pets during this time and maintain good hygiene practices. If you are unwell or need to be hospitalised, arrange with family or friends to take care of your pets.

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