B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

Ally the dachshund has chronic pancreatitis thatrequires daily care.

It’s special veterinarian-assisted care that her owner is worried might not be available when she needs it most due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

“She’s on strict food and that’s the only thing she’s allowed. She’s allowed no treats, no human food, no nothing…and insulin twice a day,” said Marisa Panter. “She can’t have a different kind of food, the food is bought from a vet office. She can’t have a different kind of insulin, and the insulin is bought from a vet office.”

Panter and 7-year-old Ally live outside of Kelowna, along with her three-year-old daughter, 13-year-old step-son, her husband, her in-laws, and six pregnant dachshunds that Panter is breeding.

Ally loves all dogs and humans she meets. She’s visited hospitals and retirement homes, bringing joy to residents and patients, and is inseparable from Panter’s daughter.

“She’s probably done 500,000 km in a vehicle, if we go anywhere and we’re not going to be home for insulin, we have to take her with us,” she said

Like most veterinarian clinics, Panter’s vet clinic has closed its doors to all non-essential visits and has resorted to parking lot pickups for food and medication.

She shares a common concern with many pet owners during this time — will she be able to get the adequate care she needs when so many services are being cut back?

“If her pancreatitis acts up, she needs to be in a (clinic) for three days on IV,” she said. “If there’s no vets, I watch her die.”

Dr. Chris Armstrong, a veterinarian and member of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association’s (CVMA) Council, said the one of the main things pet owners should keep in mind is that vet clinics have been declared essential in many provinces and there’s no sign of them shutting down in British Columbia.

READ MORE: B.C. vet stresses need for pet hygiene despite COVID-19 risk being low

READ MORE: More information needed after dog’s weak positive COVID-19 test result: expert

“It may not be business as usual, but I think certainly pet owners and animal owners should not be afraid that their animals won’t be taken care of,” she said. “Particularly in emergency or urgent situations.”

Virtual care options are also starting to become available — GoFetch Health recently launched a Canada-wide service that can help pet owners connect with vets to ask questions and get advice on if their animal needs further care.

The CVMA put out a statement on March 24 advising vets on best practices for telemedicine. However, Armstrong said there is a big worry in her industry: running out of medical supplies.

“Veterinarians, like human medicine, we’re running out of masks, we’re running out of surgical gloves, we’re running out of personal protection equipment,” she said.

Armstrong said that puts limits on things like non-essential surgeries, like a neutering or spaying.

“I think that’s really one of the biggest limiting factors is: can we access sufficient masks and gloves and gowns to be able to continue service?”

When it comes to another common worry, running out of medicine, Armstrong said that hasn’t been a problem so far. She urges pet owners to resist hoarding because that would start to affect supply.

“For most of the medications, I think certainly the supply chain is still there,” she said. “Hoarding at least for pet owners goes just as true for medications and products.”

Armstrong said people have also been worried about their pets contracting COVID, which she said is very unlikely. There’s also been no proof that humans can contract COVID from their pets.

“There has only been two COVID positive dogs, there’s been a tremendous number of dogs been tested through IDEX, which is one of our labs,” she said. “And out of all the testing, it’s only the two Hong Kong dogs.”

However, Armstrong said it’s worth remembering that pets can carry COVID, much like any other surface.

“Dogs, like your pen or a table, could act as what we call a fomite,” she said. “So, in other words, a COVID positive person kissed their dog on the head, just like if they kissed their pen, could they put the virus on those two objects? And the answer is, yes.”

New information comes forward all the time, said Armstrong, and the best thing pet owners can do is stay up to date from reliable sources.

“I think that the message to go across is that, if we are patient, if we kind of know that this is a fluid situation, take direction from responsible and reliable sources,” she said.

“Stay calm and be nice.”

cloe.logan@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

AnimalsCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Supporter Gordy Dodd cheers on HeroWork Victoria executive director Trevor Botkin, who will be in a lift for 36 hours beside Dodd’s Furniture and Mattress on April 16 and 17 to raise funds for the organization’s next project, a makeover of the Salvation Army’s Addiction and Rehabilitation Centre on Johnson Street. (Courtesy HeroWork Victoria)
HeroWork Victoria tackles makeover of Salvation Army rehab centre

Executive director to spend 36 hours living in a lift as fundraiser

Grandmothers to Grandmothers is a campaign that connects Canadian grandmothers with grandmothers in Africa who are caring for children orphaned by AIDS. Here, they are in Kakuto, Uganda in 2018. (Kibuuka Mukisa Oscar photo)
Greater Victoria and African grandmothers celebrate solidarity with virtual concert

Grandmothers to Grandmothers supports women in Africa caring for children orphaned by AIDS

Naloxone is used to treat opioid overdoses. (Black Press Media files)
Island Health issues overdose advisory for Greater Victoria

The advisory directs bystanders to an overdose to call 911 and administer naloxone

West Shore RCMP is seeking information about a collision involving a car and a bicycle on Six Mile Road, near the Island Highway, at 11:30 a.m. on April 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore RCMP seeks information about collision between bike, car

Collision occured on Six Mile Road on April 7 and a bystander got the blue car’s plate number

Oak Bay Police. (Black Press File Photo)
Driver caught accelerating to twice the speed limit through Oak Bay school zone

Officers also responded to impaired drivers and multiple thefts last week

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

Two men were seen removing red dresses alongside the Island Highway in Oyster Bay. (Submitted photo)
Two men filmed removing red dresses from trees on highway near Ladysmith

Activists hung the dresses to raise awareness for Vancouver Island’s Murdered/Missing Women & Girls

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

RCMP on scene yesterday at the altercation at the trailer park. (Submitted photo)
Violent altercation at Port Hardy trailer park sends one to hospital

Police say man confronted another over airsoft shooting, then was attacked with a weapon

John Albert Buchanan was found guilty of manslaughter in the 2017 death of Richard Sitar. Pictured here, Buchanan walking to the court in Nanaimo last year. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Six years including time served for Nanaimo man in bludgeoning death

John Albert Buchanan sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo for death of Richard Sitar

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

Facebook screenshot of the sea lion on Holberg Road. (Greg Clarke Facebook video)
VIDEO: Sea lion randomly spotted on remote B.C. logging road

Greg Clarke was driving home on the Holberg Road April 12, when he saw a large sea lion.

Defence counsel for the accused entered two not guilty pleas by phone to Grand Forks Provincial Court Tuesday, Jan. 12. File photo
B.C. seafood company owner fined $25K for eating receipt, obstructing DFO inspection

Richmond company Tenshi Seafood is facing $75,000 in fines as decided March 4 by a provincial court judge

Most Read