Dr Leigh Bondi Vet Podcast Coronavirus

In this episode of the Bondi Vet Podcast Dr Alex Hynes and Dr Gerardo Poli join Your Vet Online’s Dr Leigh to discuss how the Coronavirus Covid 19 can affect our dogs and cats. Learn how we can protect our pets as well as some tips to ensure our pets are in good hands if we become infected.

Podcast Transcription

Dr Alex: Hello and welcome to the Bondi Vet podcast where every week we bring you the best pet stories from the show and around the world and of course some fantastic advice for all pet owners.

I’m Alex Hynes and I’m joined as always by Dr Gerardo Polli. Gerardo, we’re living in interesting times right now just not just for us but for our pets in the midst of this coronavirus crisis. Is it just me or has this week been a bit of a blur?

Dr Gerardo: I agree it has been a bit of a blur and the thing which kind of highlighted what we’re dealing with right now is that when we take Yoshi our dog down to the beach right now, there’s only half the number of people that we normally see.

Pets are still interacting but then you can see that owners are actually distancing themselves a little bit which is awesome because it highlights to me that the message is getting out there. We need to have responsibility for how we are in public in limiting the spread of this virus around our community.

Dr Alex: Yeah people are trying to do the right thing aren’t they and it just makes me think you know what we’re gonna have to become quite inventive with how we continue to exercise our pets. Maybe it’s going to be more you know throwing the ball in the backyard or I don’t know what other what other things can you think of as opposed to going down the dog park?

Dr Gerardo: Yeah totally like maybe could be playing with the hose or something like that provided that you’re not in water restrictions. But yeah I think maybe even walking your pet at times when there’s not so many people out there as well but I think we’ll all adapt and we can all make the changes necessary to keep our communities safe.

Dr Alex: now coming up on today’s show first up we talk to Dr Leigh Davidson, she’s the founder of Your Vet Online she’s going to discuss all things around Covid19 and pets because one thing that we know for sure is that everybody has a lot of questions and there’s a lot of conflicting information out there so she’s going to separate out for us the fact versus the fiction when it comes to coronavirus and pets.

Next up we’ll talk to Luke Hura he is a renowned trainer of all sorts of animals for tv film everything from Oddball which I know is a favourite of my 11-year-old, through to the Aussie hit movie Red Dog and he’s going to be talking about his very special job.

And finally, we catch up with our Bondi Vet friend and colleague Dr Danni Dusek, the beautiful Danni and she’s got some exciting news for all of the Bondi Vet fans.

And then to wrap up we’ll be taking your questions on the Covid crisis, Gerardo and I will do our very best to answer all of your questions. That’s it let’s go:

Have Vet Consults Changed Because Of Covid-19?

So first up we have Dr Leigh Davidson, she’s going to speak about the topic that is on everybody’s mind Coronavirus and of course its impact on our pets.

Leigh is the founder of Your Vet Online and she joins us now from Sydney. Leigh welcome to the show.

Dr Leigh: Hi how is everybody?

Dr Alex: Good good it’s great to have you here now I’m interested to know have you seen an increase in the inquiries about Covid 19 in your consultations?

Dr Leigh: Yes so with Your Vet Online we are a 24/7 telemedicine service so we’ve actually been getting two types of queries. One we’re getting the question of can this actually, can Covid 19 transmit to our pets but we’ve also been having people contact us because they’re actually in self-isolation themselves so they can’t get to a vet. So they might have issues with their pets that they want to discuss with us in that respect.

Dr Alex: And and what kind of questions? Is it questions around Coronavirus or just general health questions that they’re asking if they’re in self-isolation?

Dr Leigh: As I said there are two types there’re ones that are just your standard health issues that might pop up, you know the cat that’s vomiting or the dog that’s got itchy skin. But then we’ve definitely had some specific Covid-19 questions and they’re generally about whether the Coronavirus Covid-19 can actually be transmitted to humans from their pets or vice versa.

Dr Alex: Right yeah people are really worried about that aren’t they?

Dr Leigh: They are, they are

What To Do If Your Pet Is Unwell During Covid Lockdown

Dr Gerardo: So I’ve got a question Leigh so we know that pets are still going to get sick right and sometimes it’s unexpected but what should pet owners do, what do you think those pet owners should do if they do need to take their pet down to the vet?

Dr Leigh: Look I think we’ve all got to be a bit careful here so in general respects most veterinarians are still open for work but the best advice is actually to give them a call and find out exactly the situation what they’re doing. Some vets are only seeing cases that are a little bit more serious you know like there’s a genuine sickness there rather than those, you know vaccinations or preventative type situations so it’s always worthwhile just to ring your vet first.

There might be situations and hey and we’ve also got to remember this advice might be changing depending on the status of the location that you’re in so if you’re in the middle of an area that’s got a lot of people that are positive for Covid-19 you might find that your vet really chooses to maybe close down for all things unless it’s a genuine emergency. So I guess it’s just a matter of talking to them on the phone and finding out what they recommend for your situation.

Dr Alex: You’re listening to the Bondi Vet podcast and we’re speaking to Dr Leigh Davidson.

How To Handle Pets If You Become Infected

So Leigh say the worst happens and you’re diagnosed with Coronavirus given that there’s no evidence that you can pass it on to your pets should you still be staying away from them?

Dr Leigh: Yes so that’s an interesting topic for conversation. So we know that Covid-19 is a human-to-human transmission situation, however, our pets can definitely be a source of infection meaning that if you have got Covid-19 and you cough onto your pet then you leave droplets of the virus on your pets.

That can then be picked up by other people.

Now it’s not going to make your pet sick but it could be a source of infection for other people.

What we are actually recommending is that if you do if you are diagnosed with Covid-19 then you step away from maybe caring for your pet as much as you normally would.

You might ask somebody else to feed them or look after them or if you are going to continue looking after them (because you don’t need to abandon them or anything) just be wary about being in extra close contact. Maybe not so many cuddles no face-to-face contact and you know licking, kisses and that sort of thing.

Just being a bit more sensible about how close you get to them.

Dr Gerardo: Yeah sure no that’s great advice.

What about pet owners who have pets and what do you think they should start thinking about coming up to the potential increase in cases and restrictions and travel. Dr Alex: yeah yeah lockdowns and that sort of thing.

Dr Gerardo: Like they’re having, yeah any advice to pet owners there?

Dr Leigh: Yes I look, I think it is important to make sure that if you are putting yourself into risky situations you know you might end up having to be at home in self-isolation. Now if that happens you’ve got to think about how are you going to care for your pets. You need to make sure you do have enough food.

We don’t encourage you to go out bulk buying ridiculous amounts but you need to have enough food for your pets, make sure you’ve got enough kitty litter and you know you might think about doing some things like looking up some Youtube videos on games that you can play at home with your pet and all that sort of thing.

But I think the main thing is our pets sort of come in some ways and I’m going to say this politely, is that our pets sort of come second to us in a sense.

We’ve got to make sure that whatever we’re doing we’re keeping ourselves safe because this is a human-to-human transmission, transmitted virus.

Should We Stock Up On Pet Medications

Dr Gerardo: Leigh I’ve seen on the internet and also seen on some social media posts from vet clinics they also talk about maybe stocking up on their pets’ meds just in case they can’t go out. So if they’re a diabetic or something or if they might have heart meds. Do you think that’s also reasonable advice?

Dr Leigh: Oh yes. Look if you look at what your pets have got, how much medication you’ve got on hand and if it looks like they’re going to run low, I’d definitely be putting in the call to your veterinary clinic to have to make sure you’ve got plenty of those.

The other thing, just as I always like to always recommend that you have a written guide for your pet. Just in case something happens to you.

So if you need to go to the hospital or if you cannot look after your pet for some reason then whoever is left in charge of your pets knows exactly what they need so that comes down to medication, food, how often you want them to be walked all those sorts of things.

Dr Alex: Yeah I love that idea so you could literally, hand someone a little notebook and say this is everything you need to know about looking after my pet.

Dr Leigh: Yes, we actually have a little downloadable on our website that people could look up if need be.

Dr Alex: We’ll put the link to that on the website.

Dr Leigh: Also put things like contact numbers for who your vet is, all those sorts of things, and the insurance company. Yeah, it’s important.

Pet Health Complications – Weight Gain

Dr Alex: Yeah and people aren’t just thinking about that sort of thing when they’re in the middle of it all. Now Leigh you and I were talking yesterday about possible other pet health complications that might arise really just the result of people staying at home more rather than heading out the door every day to work and yeah you had some interesting things to say can you tell us a little bit about that?

Dr Leigh: Yeah so I suspect our pets are going to start putting on weight because I don’t know about you but I can be a bit of a softie and those prying eyes, you know they flutter their eyelashes at you and if you’re at home at work, you know working from home, then they’re sitting next to you and you know your cup of tea and your biscuit, oh I better have some too, so I can sort of see a lot of pets putting on weight if we’re not careful.

Dr Alex: And maybe people too

Dr Leigh: We are extra vigilant with deciding on the types of treats that we’re giving our pets and also perhaps looking at ways to actually keep them a bit busy when they are eating. We can spread that meal out across the day with maybe some toys that you hide the food in and all that sort of thing. Just to give them something to do as well so they’re not annoying us if we’re having to work.

Dr Alex: Yeah you know it could be when all this is over that that everyone you know we’re both going to have to go on a diet, animals, and pets!

Dr Leigh: I know I was looking at some dog yoga the other day I was like Mmmm maybe this could be the answer!

Dr Alex: yeah yeah absolutely

Leigh we’ll have to leave it there thank you so much I think you’ve really given some really good information and bits of advice there. We’ll definitely put a link to the downloadable little book where you can put all your pets’ details, that’s a great idea and it’s been fantastic talking to you.

Dr Leigh: No worries I hope everyone stays safe and well and you and your pets don’t put on too much weight!