PET owners in Helensburgh and Lomond have been advised of changes to the way local veterinary surgeries are operating because of the coronavirus pandemic.

While animals themselves cannot contract or pass on the virus, both the Lomond Veterinary Clinic in Suffolk Street and the Parklea Veterinary Surgery in Adelaide Place are operating a limited service to the area’s pet owners.

In a statement on the firm’s Facebook page, the Lomond Veterinary Clinic said: “In light of Government guidelines to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 we are amending our service to comply.

“With immediate effect, we are no longer able to see non-urgent cases such as vaccinations, neutering or other elective procedures.

“We will still be available to see urgent and emergency cases and to supply prescriptions for pets with ongoing medical conditions. We can also continue to supply pet food.

LATEST HEADLINES: Childcare services open for key workers in Argyll and Bute 'as last resort'

“If your pet does require to attend the clinic, clients will be asked to remain outside the building while their pet is examined so it may be best to drive to your appointment if you can.

“Our hours of service will be amended as we are working with reduced staff numbers.”

Meanwhile, the Parklea Veterinary Surgery in the town’s Adelaide Street has completely closed, except for emergencies, when pet owners can call 07836 320780, and for the collection of emergency medication.

Helensburgh Pet Shop in Sinclair Street also remains open as pet shops are exempt from the UK-wide lockdown.

LATEST HEADLINES: Helensburgh food bank's new plea as virus lockdown hits hard

Meanwhile, the Scottish SPCA has closed its animal rescue centre in Dumbarton, and all other similar facilities across the country, to the public unless they have a pre-arranged appointment.

Kirsteen Campbell, the charity's chief executive, said: “As the coronavirus spreads, we have a duty of care to the public, our staff and the animals we help to ensure we can continue to do our job without putting anyone at risk.

“These precautionary measures are designed to make sure our dedicated animal welfare experts can still be in centres to look after animals and our committed inspectors and animal rescue officers can still be on-hand to rescue animals.

“We will still be there whenever people, pets and wildlife need us.

“We have been monitoring the spread of the virus for some time and have already taken steps to ensure all of our centres are well stocked in terms of specialised food and veterinary supplies.

LATEST HEADLINES: Disappointment at Waitrose decision not to delay Helensburgh store closure over virus fears

“We are doing the right thing by cancelling school bookings, but we don’t want children to go without the opportunity to learn about animal welfare in the weeks ahead.

“We are in contact with head teachers across the country to help get materials related to animal welfare education to households.

“I would say to anyone who has concerns about the impact of coronavirus on how they can care for their pet – give our animal helpline a call.

“We will give you all the advice and support we can. As Scotland’s animal welfare charity, we are here to support pet owners and make sure they can maintain the strong bond with the animals in their lives during this difficult period.”

The Scottish SPCA’s animal helpline can be reached on 03000 999 999.

READ MORE: Click here to catch up with all the latest news from around Helensburgh and Lomond