THE owner of a Helensburgh veterinary clinic has issued advice to pet owners during the coronavirus crisis.

Dogs and cats cannot become ill from, or spread, Covid-19 but with government guidance recommending against unnecessary travel and encouraging social distancing, vets have also been affected by the fallout from the pandemic.

Karen Murphy, owner of Lomond Veterinary Clinic in Suffolk Street, said: "We remain committed to animal welfare and treatment during this time but human health and helping to reduce the spread of the coronavirus has to take precedence.

"Just as for the rest of the country, veterinary surgeons have been asked to minimise unnecessary contact.

"To do this, all veterinary clinics are required to reduce their services to urgent care only for the time being.

"We have been asked by the British Veterinary Association not to do any routine work such as vaccinations, except where a primary course requires to be completed - for example in puppies and kittens - and not to see cases that are not essential for animal welfare, such as nail clips and weight checks.

"For owners worried about vaccinations lapsing, a short delay in booster vaccination should not cause any problems."

Local businesses, including restaurants, pubs and shops, have taken the decision to close their doors temporarily following instructions from Prime Minister Boris Johnson and while the Lomond Vet Clinic has not yet followed suit, precautionary measures have been implemented.

READ MORE: Heartbreaking messages as Helensburgh businesses close doors

Karen added: "Due to reducing staff numbers in order to limit their exposure, hours of service will need to be reduced accordingly in most clinics and this will be the case at Lomond Veterinary Clinic.

"When clients do attend, we are asking that they remain outside and we will take their pets in to be examined.

"If someone is self-isolating or ill and their pet requires veterinary attention, wherever possible efforts should be made for somebody else to get the pet to the veterinary clinic. Please call your veterinary surgeon for advice if your pet is unwell.

"Veterinary surgeons are also recommending that breeders do not breed from their pets at this time to reduce the veterinary care burden and that pet owners take extra steps to keep their pets from injury - keeping pets on a lead at all times near roads, for example.

"Dogs and cats cannot become ill from Covid-19 but good hygiene practices such as hand-washing after handling your pet should be observed and kissing your pet should be avoided for now.

"This is an evolving and rapidly-changing situation. At Lomond Vets we have frequent updates on our Facebook page and there is information on our website also ("

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