Coronavirus (Covid-19) and your Dog: What You Need to Know
Coronavirus (Covid-19) is on all dog owner's minds and raises questions on how it affects not just us humans, but our beloved pets as well. But we are delighted to have a guest blog from one of Benyfit Natural’s team of experts, Adele Fitzpatrick, a Holistic Veterinarian, who might have some of the answers you are looking for.
Adele has over 10 years’ experience in companion animal care. She runs a veterinary practice in Glasgow, Vet Creche, and promotes an integrative approach to animal health. Here she answers some of the most common questions she is currently being asked about dogs, pets, and COVID-19.
Adele says, "It’s a scary time for everyone right now. We are all worried about our health and that of our families and friends. With the current restrictions imposed on vets, it is understandable that you may also be worried about your other precious family member – your pet!
When we became vets, we took an oath to ensure the health and welfare of animals under our care. And that is what we will continue to do. We just have to make some changes to ensure we are helping to stop the spread of Coronavirus.
Below I have answered the most common questions regarding veterinary care and COVID-19."
Adele Fitzpatrick answers your questions on Coronavirus and your Dog
Holistic Veterinarian Adele Fitzpatrick at her Vet Crèche practice.
Q: Can my pet get Coronavirus? - "No, pets cannot contract CV-19."
Q: I currently feed my dog a raw food diet, should I change their diet in case I cannot purchase raw food? - "No. There is currently no foreseeable issue with raw food manufacture and supply. Pet shops are allowed to remain open (check with Benyfit' Natural's Raw Dog Food Stockist Locator for one near you) and Benyfit are offering free delivery so it’s even easier for you to still get your raw dog food. Changing your pet’s diet at any time could cause a digestive upset, such as vomiting or diarrhoea, which require a trip to the vet. We advise you continue with your pet’s current diet and feeding patterns."
Q: Are vet practices still open? - "Yes, vets are still open but to see emergency cases only. Non-emergency cases will be offered a telephone or video consultation and medication may be posted, delivered or contact-free collection arranged"
Q: What conditions are considered emergencies? - "Emergency conditions are those causing severe pain or that are life threatening.
Examples of emergency conditions are:
Wounds, choking, difficulty breathing, gagging, a non-stop cough, bleeding from anywhere (such as blood in diarrhoea, urine or from a cough), inability or straining to urinate, injury, painful or closed eyes, poisoning, seizures, staggering, fractures, severe lameness, obvious signs of pain or anxiety, heat stroke, severe vomiting and diarrhoea, refusal to eat and drink, collapse, weakness, unconsciousness, paralysis, difficulty giving birth and severe allergic reactions."
What conditions are not emergencies? - "Non-urgent conditions are those that if left untreated would not cause significant harm to your pet, for example itchy skin. However, vets have been able to utilise telemedicine (phone and video consultations) to be able to treat these remotely."
Can I still get repeat prescriptions and flea and worming treatments? - "Yes, if you contact your vet they will be able to prescribe and deliver these to you or arrange non-contact collection."
Can my pet still be vaccinated? - "No. Vets are currently not able to perform any routine treatments as this is an unnecessary risk to staff and public health and safety. The stance on puppy primary vaccination courses is currently unclear and changing. It is generally agreed that a pup can have their second vaccination if they have already started their course. Most vets are now refusing to start any new vaccination courses, but this does seem to be variable across the UK."
If my pet becomes sick should I still contact the vet? - "Yes. It is so important to still contact your vet if your pet becomes sick. Even though we may not physically be able to examine them, we can still provide a treatment plan and medication."
Why can my vet send out medication without seeing my pet when they couldn’t before? - "The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) has released guidance that we are temporarily allowed to remotely prescribe POM-V medicines where it is appropriate to do so in order to maintain social distancing. This decision is being constantly reviewed. When lock-down is over, we will return to the usual rule that we must see the animal first."
I am due to get a puppy in the next few weeks, should I be worried? - "This is a difficult time to get a new puppy because of the restraints on their vaccination course and socialisation. You may also not be able to physically collect the puppy due to travel restrictions. I would advise you contact the breeder who will most likely keep the pup for a few extra weeks. If you have just got a puppy, there are some excellent online puppy courses you enrol in."
I was planning on breeding my dog. Should I still do it? - "We would currently advise against anyone planning on breeding their dogs. Especially if they are a breed that is known to have birthing complications, such as Bulldogs and French Bulldogs. Dogs are pregnant for 9 weeks: there is a possibility we may still be in lockdown then. Vets are already working with skeleton staff and struggling to deal with emergencies, so it would be irresponsible to add to their workload by breeding a dog that is likely to have complications."
I hope you find this information useful.
Be kind and stay safe!!