How does COVID-19 or Coronavirus affect you, your animals and our veterinary services

As you are aware there is considerable concern in the community and around the world about a new type of Coronavirus that originated in China. This article does not try to cover all the history or medical details of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Here we want to provide information on how this may affect our services and your pets. 

Like everyone else in the community, our staff could become unwell from infection with coronavirus or a cold or the flu. The added concern with coronavirus is that because of community controls we could have multiple staff members away in quarantine isolation for extended periods of time. In this case our ability to provide regular services could be reduced.

Therefore, like many other public organisations, we want to take reasonable precautions to limit the risks that our staff may be infected or that we could apread infection to others.

For healthy members of the public with no special risks we ask only that you observe normal hygeine prior to attending the clinic and while you are here. If you are unwell or have recently returned from travel or have been exposed to an infected person we ask that you follow the health authorities' advice about isolation or quarantine, with increased attention to the potential use of masks and increased hand hygeine. Please contact your medical professional or government information sources about current advice about your own health. 

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) | Department of Health and Human...

This is a rapidly changing situation, so please visit for regular updates. Additional cases and outbreaks of COVID-19 are expected in Victoria as this illness continues to spread across the world. If you suspect you may have the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), please call the dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398.


There has been some publicity about a reported case of transmission of COVID-19 to a dog in Hong Kong. Some detailed information about this case is included below. 

In summary we provide points based on the advice of hte Australian Veterinary Association: 

  • There has been one reported case of human-to-animal transmission of the virus
  • The dog is in quarantine and is not showing any clinical signs of disease
  • There is currently no evidence that pets play a role in human infection – the major risk remains human to human contact
  • Hand hygiene is critical before and after handling your pets, as well as their food.
  • Pet owners who may be infected with the virus or who are voluntarily isolating because of risk of infection, are advised to keep their pets with them, but minimise handling as a precautionary measure until more information is known about the virus and routes of transmission


COVID-19: Update on report of transmission from human to pet dog in Hong Kong.

(this extract is based on information provided by the Australian Veterinary Association)

Further to our communication on 6 March, we have an update on the Pomeranian dog in Hong Kong (1).

A spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) in Hong Kong said yesterday [Thursday 12 Mar 2020] that:

the blood test result of the dog which had repeatedly tested weakly positive for COVID-19 virus is negative.

The AFCD collected samples from the dog 5 times for tests since late February [2020] and detected low levels of the COVID-19 virus from its nasal and oral cavity samples. A blood sample was also taken from the dog on 3 March 2020 for serological testing and the result is negative. The negative result indicates that there is not a strong immune response and that there are not measurable amounts of antibodies in the blood at this stage.

The negative serological test result does not suggest that the dog has not been infected with the virus. It is known in some asymptomatic or mild cases of human infections with other types of coronavirus that antibodies may not always develop. It is also not uncommon in the earlier stages of infections to have a negative result as it often takes 14 days or more for measurable levels of antibodies to be detected. Another blood sample will be taken later for further testing”.

At this stage there is still no evidence that dogs can play a role in the spread of this human disease, or that they become sick.

While pet owners should always use good hygiene practices, including hand hygiene before and after handling animals as well as their food, we do not believe there is reason for pet owners to be otherwise concerned.

As this is an evolving situation, pet owners who may become infected with SARS-CoV-2 should take precautionary steps, minimising close contact with their pets and practicing appropriate hand hygiene practices (2) before and after handling their pets. At no stage should pet owners be taking measures that may compromise the welfare of their pets.

The primary source of SARS-COV-2 transmission remains human-to-human contact, and the best way to reduce your risk is to practice effective hand hygiene (2)


  1. Information on the case of a dog in Hong Kong
  2. Information on hand hygiene