Waggel’s in-house vet gives her top tips for visiting your vet during quarantine
Meet Aimee, Waggel’s go to in-house vet. Aimee grew up in Kent and graduated from the Royal Dick School of Veterinary Science in Edinburgh. She currently works as a veterinarian in a busy animal hospital in Richmond that is part of the Medivet group.
We sat down (virtually) with Aimee to help answer some questions and provide reassurance during this strange time of social distancing and self-isolation. Information can be confusing and misleading when it comes to pets and quarantine rules. Aimee has provided us some insight into her experience of working at the vets over the last few weeks.
There’s so much conflicting information out there about whether pets can catch COVID-19. Can my pets suffer from COVID-19, or even carry it?
There is currently no evidence that pets can get sick from COVID-19. There is some evidence suggesting that pets, just like human hands, could carry the virus from one person to another. During this time, we recommend the following:
- Keeping their food bowls, beddings and toys as clean as possible
- Not letting your pet lick your face during this time
- Avoid letting others touch or interact with your pet if they are not a part of your household
- Observing social distancing rules when walking your dog
- Continue to follow rules if you have symptoms and need to stay within self isolation by nominating a local person or walker to take your dog for you.
Should I be cleaning their fur, and how should I do this?
It’s always good practice to clean a dog's feet after walking as they come into contact with the pavement and roads. They can pick up bacteria, harsh chemicals and pesticides that can then be bought into your home, and onto sofas or other furnishings. Dogs also tend to lick their paws clean, which can lead to ingestion of some nasty chemicals!
Gently wash or wipe down your dog's paws with disinfectant and anti-bacterial wet wipes or soap. Make sure to check between their toes for any grass seeds, rocks or other items. Thoroughly dry with a towel or cloth afterwards.
An example of some products Waggel recommends:
- Using your standard dog shampoo and warm water
- There are a few brands that offer pet-friendly disinfectant spray, such as Aqueous and Zoflora.
- HOWND offer dog-friendly wet wipes that are great for wiping the feet, paws and their general coat. (Check out the Waggel’s membership page for 20% off HOWND products.)
Are vet practices open during this time and can we still visit?
Most vet practices are remaining open during this time. However, it is worth calling up your individual vet practice beforehand to check if there are any changes to opening hours.
Will vets still be open for 24 hour emergencies?
Yes. Vets will continue to stay open for round-the-clock emergencies.
What conditions can I continue to take my pet to the vet for?
Any illness or injury will still be treated, please ring your vet for help and advice if there is a condition you are concerned about.
Can we still visit the vet for annual check ups and vaccinations for my pet during this time?
Most vets will continue to do puppy and kitten vaccinations as normal. However, adult vaccinations which aren’t immediately critical will likely be postponed. All adult routine health checks have been postponed during this period to avoid any unnecessary contact. If you are concerned about your pet, please do talk to your vet.
All vet clinics in the UK have now been advised by the British Veterinary Association (BVA) that they are not to offer or provide routine, non-emergency appointments for pets (i.e. no booster vaccines, nail clipping, or routine neutering)
How are vets implementing social distancing at surgeries and during visits?
Most vets will be offering contactless consultations. In our practice pets are passed over to the vets at the door to the clinic without human contact, owners will then talk with our vets over the phone whilst their pets receive their examination.
Please make sure to wipe down and clean any pet carriers, bags or leads or collars that might come into contact with other people during the visit.
I’ve noticed a lump on my pet and they are acting out of the ordinary, can I class this as an emergency?
In this scenario, it would be recommended to speak to a digital vet such as First Vet over a video call to assess the situation. Depending on their advice it might be worth discussing further with your vet.
My pet is receiving chemotherapy, is this deemed as necessary treatment and what happens if we are not allowed to visit the vets?
In this case discuss with your individual vet as there are ways in which your pet can still be treated with social distancing rules in place.
“If you are self-isolating or showing symptoms of Covid-19 please do not visit or bring your pet into the veterinary surgeries, consider delaying treatments and consultations that are not urgent. If your pet is in need of urgent care & you are self isolating, please nominate a person who can collect your pet, take them to the vet and care for them during this time.”
If you or someone in your home is beginning to show symptoms please follow the above advice.
Continue to practice good hygiene at vets by continuing to wash your hands, and observe social distancing by waiting outside or in the car until your vet is ready for you.
If you have any more questions at this time, please do join our Waggel Support Community Group where we are working with Vets & our insurance team to bring you up to date information and answer all your questions.