26 September 2023

Pets suffering from virus too!

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Victoria’s Chief Veterinary Officer has released information for animal owners during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Chief Veterinary Officer, Graeme Cooke said there was currently no evidence that animals played a role in the spread of COVID-19 or that animals could become sick from COVID-19.

“However, there are still things animal owners can do to care for themselves and their animals,” Dr Cooke said.

“You should continue to follow general good hygiene and biosecurity practices before and after handling animals, their food or equipment, or after washing food/water bowls,” he said.

“Have a plan about how your animals will be cared for if you cannot look after them, and make sure the person you will be trusting with caring for your animals is willing to take on this responsibility.”

Dr Cooke said owners should ensure they had sufficient food, litter and any medications the animals may need, in case it became necessary to self-isolate for a few weeks.

“If, as a pet owner, you are isolated to your home and have a secure backyard, this can be used for fresh air and sunshine as well as a place for pets to explore and stretch their legs,” he said.

“If you are unable to go outdoors, you should consider some dedicated indoor play time with your pets.”

Dr Cooke said people diagnosed with COVID-19 must not break their isolation even to take an animal to the vet.

“If your animal becomes sick for any reason, call your veterinarian for advice and to arrange appropriate care,” he said.

Dr Cooke said people who were unable to delegate care of their animals while recovering from COVID-19 should minimise contact, avoid kissing, being licked by, sharing food or sleeping with the animals.

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