Quakers Hill Veterinary Hospital has been receiving constant updates from the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) and the Department of Health.
Veterinary hospitals have been allowed to continue to provide care for your pets. The Agriculture Minister, David Littleproud, has advised that Veterinarians are "classified as essential services and will be able to cross state borders and continue working under shutdowns currently in operation in Australia."
Protocols have been instituted to protect clients and staff. These changes are:
1. Our roster will consist of two teams. This will start on Sunday 29th March 2020. The reason we are implementing this strategy is so if one person in team A was to test positive for COVID-19 then only half of the staff would go into isolation instead of the entire clinic. Team B could then continue the care of the patients.This roster will be on a rotation system so vets will not have regular days. If your pet requires a follow-up treatment or consultation with a particular vet please book in advance.
2. Our opening hours will be shorter from Monday 30th March 2020. The TEAM roster was created to cover the event of a COVID-19 in-hospital infection plus the reality of having less available staff.
Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm (last appointment 5.40pm)
Saturday 8.30am to 2.30pm (last appointment 2.00pm)
Sunday 8.30am to 2.00pm (last appointment 1.40pm)
3. Contactless consultations will begin on Friday 27th March 2020. In simple terms, "social distancing" has meant that clients will no longer be allowed to enter the hospital. The procedure entails:
- phoning the clinic to book an appointment time
- on arrival at the clinic at your alloted time, phone the clinic to inform us of your arrival and wait in your car or walk your dog in our ample carpark. There is an intercom next to the left door if your phone is not available. The front windows are open to speak freely to reception.
- when the vet is ready, he/she will call you on your mobile phone and leave the line open to maintain the consultation, a nurse will collect your pet and bring it into the hospital while you wait outside.
- findings, diagnosis and recommendations will be given over the phone, payment will be taken by credit card over the phone, and the nurse will return your pet with medications and written instructions.
Due to the obvious limitations, consultations and surgeries will be prioritied on urgency. Elective procedures will be spaced out over the next few months. Of course, kitten and puppy vaccinations, and desexing of six-month old pets are part of our priority list as they prevent serious disease.
If you require a refill of a script or over-the-counter preventative medication, please email email@example.com or phone 9626 9561 to order. The turn-around time may be 24hours so please ensure you have enough medications. We, like pharmacies, have been given directives that we may only supply one month of medication at a time to prevent shortages.
The health and safety of our community and your beloved pets is paramount to us, and we appreciate your continued support at this difficult time. The situation is changing daily so we will update you as often as possible. Telcos are reporting difficulties with congestion on mobile networks and landlines have experienced drop-out periods so please use our email firstname.lastname@example.org for non-urgent script requests and enquiries.
A very positive finding earlier this week was that test results from global veterinary diagnostics firm Idexx Laboratories confirmed statements by national and international health organizations assuring pet owners that dogs and cats cannot contract or transmit the COVID-19 virus. The company had evaluated "thousands of canine and feline specimens during validation of a new veterinary test system for the COVID-19 virus" and "seen no positive results in pets to date of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus strain responsible for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) respiratory outbreak in humans".