Heather Westron, one of the vets at Alma Veterinary Surgery on Alma Square, stressed there have been only a handful of reported cases of Covid-19 in animals world-wide.
In all cases, it is likely that the transmission was human to animal ,and there is no evidence that pets can pass Covid-19 to their owners.
She said the practice has been receiving a large number of calls from concerned pet owners, with most concerned about how to keep their animals well.
“We’ve had quite a few calls since the lock down started. People are concerned about whether their animals are at risk,” she said.
Alma Veterinary Surgery has had to stop carrying out routine checks and is asking people to telephone ahead to find out if a visit is necessary rather than going to the surgery.
The British Veterinary Association has published advice for pet owners who are diagnosed with coronavirus or self-isolating with symptoms.
It says: “Restrict contact with pets as a precautionary animal health measure until more information is known about the virus.
“If your pet requires care, wash your hands before and after any interaction with them and wear a face mask if possible.
“Keep cats indoors if possible, and only if they are happy to be indoors, and try to arrange for someone else to exercise dogs, taking care to restrict any contact with the person walking your dog and making sure they practise good hygiene.
“This is to reduce the likelihood of your pet spreading the disease through environmental contamination on their fur – there is no evidence that pet animals can pass Covid-19 to humans.
“If your pet shows clinical signs, please do not take it to the vet but call the practice for advice and alert them to the household’s status.
“If your pet requires essential treatment, call the practice for further advice. Do not take your pet to the surgery unless the vet instructs you to. You may need to arrange for someone else to transport your pet for treatment.”
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