Information For Vet Practices During The COVID-19 Pandemic

This page has been put together for vet practices to keep up-to-date on what their clients should do in a pet emergency during the coronavirus (COVID-19 ) pandemic as it unfolds in Australia.

Last updated: 06/04/2020 – 12:38pm

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are you advising pet owners to do if they have a pet emergency during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic?

During business hours, we are advising pet owners to phone their local vet clinic to discuss their concerns with a veterinarian. If their primary vet clinic is closed, we are advising them to find their closest local vet practice that is open.

Outside of business hours we are asking them to contact us on (08) 6244 2584.

Are you changing your opening hours?

We can’t pretend that it’s business as usual, but we are here for you and your clients for after-hours emergencies. At this stage, we will not be extending our opening hours. We will be watching the situation in Perth and responding appropriately as is required.

What should pet owners do if they are under quarantine or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and need to bring their pet to see an emergency vet?

We are asking where possible to have a family member or friend who:

  • Is not been diagnosed with COVID-19, and;
  • Who has not been in close contact with a diagnosed person to bring their pet to the hospital.

 

If they are unable to arrange for someone to bring their pet to us, we ask them to:

  • Once they arrive at our hospital, they will be asked to wait in their car and we will come out to help them;
  • To phone us from the car park to let us know they have arrived;
  • A nurse will then come out to collect their pet and take them into the hospital. The vet will then perform a consultation with the owner via phone or video call.

How are you keeping your hospital safe?

We have strict processes in place to ensure hygiene and safety at all times. During this outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) we will be increasing the frequency of regular cleaning of high-touch surfaces. This includes and is not limited to all reception surfaces. Due to bathrooms being a high-risk area for infection transmission, we don’t have a bathroom available for use – we are recommending where possible clients use their own bathroom before visiting us. We are also requesting clients to use our hand sanitiser when they enter the building, as well as to observe the markers on the floor to maintain social distancing measures.

Can pet owners still visit their pets in the hospital?

In normal circumstances, we encourage clients to visit their pets, however, in the current conditions we will be asking them to refrain from visiting their pet in order to reduce the risk to our team members and for their safety. For patients staying in hospital, our team will be taking photos and/or video clips to help our clients feel closer to their pets during this difficult time.

Where can pet owners stay up-to-date with the latest information about coronavirus (COVID-19) and pets?

With so much misinformation online, our Vets together with Animal Emergency Service have put together answers to questions they are frequently being asked about coronavirus and pets. Visit the blog here: Coronavirus and Pets.

You can also view ourĀ COVID-19 Client Information.

What to do if you are concerned about one of your patients

If you are concerned about the wellbeing of your patient and are unsure of the circumstances around the closure of your business due to COVID-19, we recommend sending through the patient history to us immediately giving us as much information as possible. If your client presents to us with health concerns, we have put the following protocol in place:

  • If clients phone us during regular practice hours we will ask if they have tried to contact you first. If they have tried to contact you and your business has closed, we will encourage them to find a local vet in their area.
  • You will always receive a full patient history back from Perth Vet Emergency if we see your client.
  • If you have further concerns after your client has seen us, you are welcome to discuss their visit with a vet by calling the clinic directly on the phone number at the top of this page.

Measures to consider putting in place during the COVID-19 pandemic

Like many Australian businesses, we are unsure of how the pandemic will affect our businesses, leaving ‘business as usual’ in a vulnerable position. Many of our primary vet partners already have an after-hours diversion to Perth Vet Emergency or have an automated answer message in place to advise their clients what they should do in an emergency.

In addition to considering an after-hours or answering message service, we also recommend the following:

  • Keep hand sanitiser at reception Keep hand sanitiser stations in each consultation room
  • Have signage asking clients to use hand sanitiser on arrival
  • Offer to supply clients with a face mask if they are feeling unwell
  • We recommend the use of Virkon as this currently offers the best protection against coronavirus. Virkon will need to be applied and left for 15 minutes for full effect – consider your current practices and adjust accordingly
  • Wipe down the Eftpos machine after each transaction with alcohol wipes
  • Limit pens used between transactions
  • Clean floors and benches with Virkon where possible
  • Wipe down phones and keyboards
  • Practice good hygiene such as washing your hands, avoid touching your face
  • Keep a 1-metre distance between you and your clients where possible

Are you accepting cash as a form of payment during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak?

We are still accepting cash, however, our team will be wearing gloves for all cash handling. We are asking clients, when possible, for payments to be made by EFTPOS, credit cards, or through our online secure payment gateway to reduce the risk of transmission.

Are you offering alternative methods of payment for clients whose financial circumstances have changed due to coronavirus (COVID-19)?

We want to assure you we are committed to discussing with clients their options for the best and most affordable pet treatment for their situations.

Some of the alternative payment options we offer include:

  • Our vets will work with clients to find an alternative treatment plan to suit their financial circumstances If clients require financial assistance, we can help them with applying for payment plans
  • We are still accepting cash, but we are asking clients, when possible, for payments to be made by EFTPOS, credit cards, or through our online secure payment gateway
  • We also recommend pet insurance to our clients to give them peace of mind. We can assist in processing their claims

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