During the corona pandemic – Every small step counts!
Dr Hemant Jain
In the situation when the country is under lockdown, your vet is there to help your pets and ensure they’re happy and healthy at all times. It is your responsibility to cooperate with them, follow the guidelines, and do your bit!
Under the current COVID times how are you managing at your clinic?
The current situation is very challenging. Due to non availability of staff/ assistants we are running a one man show. Following utmost care, using all the personal protective gears and maintaining hygiene standards we are taking care of our patients. We are maintaining social distance and treating one patient at a time and advising pet parents that only one person should accompany the pet.
We frequently clean our hands with the help of alcohol based sanitizers and soaps. After treating every patient we are disinfecting the examination table. We also have restricted our clinic timings and have postponed some of the surgeries. We provide online consultation wherever possible.
What are the main concerns of pet parents?
Pet parents are concerned about the transmission of this novel corona virus among the pets. But there has been no report of such transmission from animal to man or vice versa. The corona virus infection occurs in dogs and cats due to a completely different strain.
Dogs suffer from canine corona virus (CCoV) in which the main symptom is gastroenteritis, diarrhea, and vomiting. Vaccine for CCoV is available and hence can be prevented easily.
Cats suffer from Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). Major symptoms are anorexia, depression, biphasic fever and there is abdominal distension due to peritonitis. No vaccine is available to prevent this disease.
Both the diseases can be fatal once the symptoms start to appear and if not treated in early stages. And both these diseases are non-transferrable to humans, so no need to worry!
What are the common problems with pets you have noticed in the last 3 months?
Due to persistent fluctuating and uncertain weather in Vidarbha region a number of different cases are registered.
Viral coughing was commonly seen in pets. The symptoms are – difficulty in breathing, restlessness, severe coughing, accumulation of sputum in the respiratory tract and the symptoms become more severe at night. In a lot of cases it can be confused with kennel cough which is a common bacterial infection.
Maggot wounds are on a rise among the patients. These occur due to a housefly depositing eggs on the wound. Eggs hatch to form larvae. The third stage of the larva is called maggot. Since there is humidity in the region, it is favorable for the fly to deposit the eggs and hence the infection.
Parvo viral enteritis is encountered in the pups aged below 1 year. Major symptoms observed are foul smelling diarrhea which can be hemorrhagic, vomiting, gastroenteritis, and hepatitis.
Tick problem is encountered widely among the pets. Excess ticks on the body can cause parasitic diseases like Ehrlichiosis, Babesiosis. Common symptoms seen are high grade fever, nasal bleeding, joint pain, decreased number of platelets in blood. Skin and fungal infections are also common due sudden rise and fall in temperature.
What sets your clinic apart?
With due protection and maintaining social distancing we are open both in morning as well as evening hours.
We are also providing medicines, pet foods, and accessories all under one roof. We are expert in the field and providing all the essential services since the last 32 years and perform all kinds of major and minor surgeries including rare ones as well.
What are challenges do you face in the current situation?
Under the current lockdown due to Covid-19 there is no support staff available and there is shortage of medicines and pet food. No labor and transport facilities are available to deliver essential items, still under such situation we are treating our patients. Also there is police checking at every square restricting pet parents and pets to visit the vet.
We are providing patient record and purpose of visit to the vet, so that pet parents don’t face any problems with the police.
Also some pet parents are unable to bring their pets to the clinic because of suspended public transport facilities, under such situation we try to provide online consultation wherever possible.
Your advice to the pet parents and industry to deal with this difficult time.
Pet owners need not panic. General checkups and treatment can be postponed. Only sick and emergency cases need to be reported to the vet. Don’t give chilled food or water to the pet since it may increase the risk of throat infection. Avoid raw and uncooked food to avoid infections.
Pet owners should wear mask and follow all other guidelines while visiting the vet and must maintain social distance. They should always take prior appointments while visiting. Pet belongings, mobiles and other such items shouldn’t be brought since they may act as a source of virus. Only a single person should accompany the pet as it reduces the risk of exposure. Regular vaccination and deworming should be done. Kennel to be disinfected regularly so that pets hygiene is controlled.
Restrict your pet’s movement outdoors and make sure to always wash your hands after you come back from a walk. Regular grooming is a must, and talk to your vet about the right bathing schedule for your pet.
We urge the government to start the essential transport services so that we can get medicines and pet food and all the other requirements.
What are the rules which a pet parent should follow at home to keep the pet happy and healthy?
Healthy and balanced diet is essential for the pets. Give them treats on good behavior. Keep them engaged by giving bones and chewable toys to play with. Clean the pet’s place and bowls often and their belongings in one place. Avoid giving high calorie diet, non-vegetarian, and more bulk in the night.
Spend time with your pets so that they don’t feel bored and ignored. Play light soothing music to keep them happy.