Your Kelpie unlikely to spread virus

Your Kelpie unlikely to spread virus

Coronavirus
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Working dogs, or pets, are extremely unlikely to spread the coronavirus according to the Australian Veterinary Association.

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WORKING DOGS: Your working dog is "extremely" unlikely to play a part in the spread of the coronavirus COVID 19, experts say.

WORKING DOGS: Your working dog is "extremely" unlikely to play a part in the spread of the coronavirus COVID 19, experts say.

There is no evidence "at this stage" that working dogs, or pets, can play a role in the spread of the coronavirus COVID 19.

Australian Veterinary Association president Dr Julia Crawford said the current spread of coronavirus in humans was the result of human-to-human transmission.

Dr Crawford said the 2003 SARS outbreak, where a small number of cats and dogs tested positive for the virus, did not demonstrate a role in transmitting the virus to other animals or humans.

She said the AVA would continue to monitor the situation and provide veterinarians and the public with regular updates.

The AVA advised that pet owners who may become infected with SARS-CoV-2 take precautionary steps to limit close contact with their pets and to practice appropriate hand hygiene before and after handling them.

"What owners can do is what we always recommend - please practice good hygiene, including washing your hands before and after handling your pets, as well as their food", Dr Crawford said.

Maryborough Veterinary Clinic co owner Dr Elizabeth Curnick, said dogs could carry the virus but didn't become infected with it and they didn't get sick from it.

She said farmers with working dogs should continue to practice good hygiene (washing for 20 seconds or more and drying hands afterwards).

A lot of farmers self isolated already, but they should stop shaking hands, she said.

Ms Curnick said owners needed to make certain their animals were healthy and up-to-date with any preventables like vaccinations or wormings.

If owners were concerned they should contact their vet.

She said dog owners should also practice good hygiene when washing their's dog's water and food bowls.

Ms Curnick said that if an owner did have to go into quarantine and their dog or pet became sick, then they should arrange for another person to take the animal into the veterinary clinic.

"Vet clinics probably won't shut down. We will be trying to provide care even if Maryborough gets locked down." she said.

"If your animal is unwell, then get it to the clinic somehow. Don't put it off just because you are in quarantine."

It might be a case of not allowing access inside the clinic to prevent the possible spread of the virus.

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