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Veterinarians are urging Australian pet owners to act proactively to protect the health of their fur babies as the impact of the coronavirus continues to take hold.

“Many people are in isolation now in Australia and with the situation likely to continue for the foreseeable future, owners are advised to be aware of the health of their own pet. If vaccinations or health checks are due, get in touch with your regular veterinarian about making an appointment,” said Sydney-based Pawssum Vets veterinarian Dr James Crowley.

“They will advise you of COVID-19 protocols at the practice and how they are structuring appointments during this time.”

Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world with the nation home to an estimated 5.1 million dogs and 3.8 million cats.

Pawssum Vets co-founder Guy Sharabi said the group, which is a national app-based mobile vet booking service, was helping pet owners already in isolation by offering home visits and telepet consultations.

“Chatting to one of our vets via video has been becoming increasingly common in recent months and is now, understandably, surging to another level as it allows a vet to consult with you, view your cat, dog or other pet, and produce a prescription medications that can be shipped to you by an online pharmacy," he said.


The Pawssum Telepet service operates Australia-wide 7 days a week until late.

Dr Crowley said there was a lot owners could do during the current coronavirus situation to help their pets, including:

✔️ If your pet’s vaccination is due shortly or overdue, or you have any pressing health concerns, consider making an appointment with your vet.
✔️ Be aware that pets may also be feeling stressed as their routine/schedule may have been impacted by working from home or home schooling arrangements, so make every effort to keep them at ease at this time.

✔️ Ask your vet for advice on keeping your pet active if you’re in isolation.
✔️ Ensure you have stocks of any regular medications your pet needs.
✔️ Check your pet food levels (without stocking up irresponsibly).
✔️ Ensure any pets not exercising at their regular level are not overfed to prevent weight gain. 

✔️ Ensure your pet’s health records/information is at the ready before a vet consultation online or in person
✔️ Don’t forget to continue to practise good hand. hygiene – wash your hands before and after handling your pet and their food/water.
 
✔️ If you have a pressing concern for your pet and are under quarantine or concerned about leaving the house, consider a telepet consultation. 
✔️ In general, embrace your pet. There is currently no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted from humans to animals and vice versa so enjoy the extra time with your furry loved one. Harness the human animal bond; it is a beautiful one and good for our own health and wellbeing.

The World Health Organization is stating there is no evidence that companion animals such as dogs or cats can become sick with the new coronavirus.

Information from the World Organisation for Animal Health and the World Small Animal Veterinary Association, the preeminent bodies associated with animal health, revealed no evidence that dogs or cats played a role in the spread of COVID-19.


MEDIA RELEASE, 23rd March 2020
A Reminder that Hand Sanitizer is Toxic to Pets

In light of increased usage of hand sanitizer, Pet Insurance Australia is issuing a warning to all pet owners.

"With the current pandemic, hand sanitizer is becoming a very sought after staple in most Australian homes and across the world," Nadia Crighton from Pet Insurance Australia says. "However, pet owners need to be aware that it is toxic to pets."

Hand sanitizer, which typically contains ethanol can cause alcohol poisoning in pets"If ingested it can cause issues with pets," Crighton warns. "So it's a good idea to keep it out of reach from your curious companions."

Alcohol is a very dangerous substance for all pets.

"If your pet does ingest any amount of hand sanitizer it's important to seek veterinary advice quickly," Crighton recommends.

Symptoms of poisoning can include:


  • The smell of alcohol on the breath
  • Behavioural changes
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Collapse 
  • Decreased coordination
  • Dehydration
  • Depression / Lethargy
  • Diarrhoea
  • Seizures
  • Staggering
  • Tremors
  • Incontinence
  • Vomiting 
  • Weakness 
"Keeping our hygiene up and washing hands is paramount at this time," Crighton says. "But remember that the products we are using could have an effect on the health of our pets. 

Keeping any cleaning products and hand sanitizer out of the reach of the family pet is very important to prevent issues."

Accidental poising from a range of household products can cause a huge amount of stress for pet owners across the world.

“From your everyday pain relief to the dog getting into the rat poison, the products we keep in our homes can have a detrimental effect on our pets.

Common Poisonings include:

  • Ibuprofen
  • Paracetamol
  • Detergents
  • Insecticides
  • Chocolate
  • Rat and mouse bait

“We estimate there could be well more than 10,000 companion animals (insured and uninsured) suffering from human drug poisoning each year in Australia,” Crighton says.

Detergents can also pose a problem for pets.

“Curious kittens and cats have known to walk into a freshly bleached shower and lick the remains from the floor, causing burns to their tongues and mouth,” Crighton says. “So, making simple steps to ensure you remove the chemicals after cleaning is important.”

MEDIA RELEASE, 17th March 2020
It was a Lucky Friday the 13th for Puss! 

Last Friday morning Lort Smith was called to provide off site emergency medical treatment to a cat who had become stuck between two brick walls in North Melbourne.

It is believed Puss, the 12-year-old tabby, was chasing rats between two structures that only had a small gap through which to crawl.

Neighbours heard Puss crying out for help called emergency services. The Melbourne Fire Brigade (MFB) arrived shortly after and found her jammed in a tight four centimetre gap between a house and a neighbouring property.

The MFB crew called Lort Smith for urgent veterinary help to ensure the best possible outcome for Puss’s health and wellbeing. Head of Hospital Dr David Cunliffe, Head Veterinarian Dr Warren Gatt and nurse Amanda Wall were the first to attend to keep Puss calm while Urban Search and Rescue firefighters delicately cut away part of the wall using specialised equipment. 

The complex operation to free the cold and scared feline took some time. 
Throughout the ordeal Puss’s wellbeing was constantly monitored by Dr Gatt, ensuring she was receiving oxygen, and medical treatment to help her feel comfortable.

The moment Puss was free, Dr Gatt and nurse Wall provided on-the-scene emergency medical treatment before being transported to Lort Smith Animal Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit. 


Puss’s temperature was worryingly low, so she was given oxygen and warming therapy in Lort Smith ICU’s humidicrib. Originally designed for premature human babies, humidicribs also help treat critically ill animals. 


This is a non-invasive treatment that helps to speed up the recovery process.

While in Lort Smith ICU Puss's health was constantly monitored. Some of the additional treatments and procedures she received were: 

✔️ blood tests to ensure vital organs were not compromised
✔️
 fluids for hydration
✔️ overnight veterinary care and
✔️  grooming to ensure toxic dust particles were removed.

Puss was discharged after 30 hours in hospital and is now at home with her carers curled up on the couch, happy to be the humans she loves most.

You can watch the moment Puss was freed here: 


About Lort Smith

Lort Smith is the largest not-for-profit animal hospital in Australia, delivering essential and life-saving services to sick, injured and vulnerable animals. Each year our team of more than 60 vets and 110 nurses provide quality care for around 25,000 animals. Lort Smith rehomes approximately 850 animals each year and operates a number of community outreach programs which have a significant social impact on the community. Lort Smith receives no ongoing government funding.


For more information, please visit www.lortsmith.com/

MEDIA RELEASE, 18th March 2020

Tile, the world leading community-powered finding platform, is committed to helping Aussies locate items that matter the most – from keys to wallets. 

However, customers are also already using Tile for their pets as a more affordable pet tracker. Given Australia is a pet-loving nation with one of the highest rates of ownership in the world (62%), we care about our pets like family.

Tile introduces powerful new line-up, features a Tile for everything 

Tile, the world’s leading smart location company, today launches an all-new hardware line-up, including Tile’s most innovative tracker yet, Sticker; a new sleek form factor for Slim; and expanded range for classics Pro and Mate

Together, this next generation of Tile products unlocks more use cases and greater functionality to help customers find their belongings in every situation.

“Over the years we’ve seen our customers use Tile for a variety of items,” said CJ Prober, Tile CEO. “From wallets to remote controls, power tools to backpacks, our customers have shown us they want a Tile for everything. 

We’ve designed our new product line to empower the Tile community to find literally anything.”

2019 Hardware Line-Up

Sticker is waterproof, adhesive-backed and Tile’s smallest finder to date. Tile partnered with 3M to design the adhesive for Sticker, so users can rest assured that once placed on a clean, flat surface, Sticker will stay put. This cost-effective and effortless tracking solution comes with a full three-year battery life and 45 metres (150 feet) range, enabling users the convenience to track their items without restrictions. Sticker can be attached to most metal and plastic materials, including remote controls, cameras, and outdoor gear.

Tile also introduces a sleeker Slim, now in the shape of a credit card. This new low-profile premium design can easily slip into narrow spaces, making it a perfect fit for wallets, luggage tags, and other hidden spots. Discreet in shape and size, this Tile is still powerful with a longer 60 metres (200 feet) range and twice the volume of the previous Slim. Slim also boasts a full three-years of battery life. 

The new 
Mate and Pro models have extended range, enabling users to locate things faster no matter where they are. For those who value high-performance, durability and strong design, Pro continues to deliver as the most powerful finder on the market with an unprecedented Bluetooth range of 120 metres (400 feet). 

With improved findability, Tile is committed to greater peace of mind, at a time when the average person spends nearly a year of their lifetime endlessly trying to locate misplaced valuables.

Mate is a versatile finder to attach to everyday items such as keys, drink bottles, kids’ pencil cases and backpacks; and now has a Bluetooth range of 60 metres (200 feet), 15 metres (50 feet) longer than the previous iteration.

A personal search party: led by the global Tile community

Tile has made it easier to find items by consistently expanding the Bluetooth range and volume level of its hardware devices. But the technological leadership does not stop there. For those moments when an item is truly lost or left behind, it’s the Tile Community that steps in to help. 

Once an item is marked as lost, if any member of the Tile Community spots the missing item, the owner is automatically notified with its location. Tile’s ever expanding Community, comprised of all customers with the Tile app as well as access points, finds more than 90% of items marked as lost.

“Our customers increasingly rely on Tile to find and keep track of all of their belongings,” said Prober. “Whether it’s their backpacks, their cameras, or their keys, the Tile community comes together to locate lost items. With more customers using our expanded hardware lineup, more partners adopting our technology, and more access points coming to market everyday, we continue to deliver the most versatile and powerful finding platform.”

Pricing and Availability

New products are available from Tile.com and major retailers, including JB Hi-FiHarvey NormanOfficeworks and Kogan.

RRP: (all prices in AUD) Tile Sticker from $49.99 for a 2-pack, $79.99 for a 4-pack (available in Black)
Tile Slim: $39.99 (available in Black)
Tile Mate: $34.99 (available in White)
Tile Pro: $44.99 (available in Black and White)

Tile also has multi packs available.

Tile Essentials: 2 Tile Stickers, 1 Tile Slim, 1 Tile Mate available for $99.99.
Pro Combo: 2-Pack at $79.99 and 4-Pack at $149.99.
Mate: 4-Pack available at $99.99.
Tile Mate/Slim Combo: 2 Mates and 2 Slims, available for $109.99.

For more information on styles, pricing and general availability, please contact your local retailers or visit Tile.

About Tile

Tile gives everything the power of smart location, locating more than six million unique items every day. Leveraging its vast community that spans 195 countries, Tile’s cloud-based finding platform helps people find the things that matter to them most. The company is based in San Mateo, CA and is backed by Francisco Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, and GGV Capital. For more information, please visit Tile.com

MEDIA RELEASE, 17th March 2020
Currently there are a lot of conflicting reports around how coronavirus can affect the health of pets. To clarify the facts, pet insurance provider, Petsy has consulted with their inhouse vet team at Petsure to collate a list of FAQs for pet owners to refer to (copied below). 

Most importantly, there is no evidence to suggest that dogs or cats can get sick or spread COVID-19.

Monica Limanto
, CEO and co-founder of Petsy, said she was relieved that there was no current evidence to suggest pets were at risk of Coronavirus. 

"According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and our vet team at PetSure, there is no current evidence that dogs and cats can become sick from COVID-19. This means there is no evidence to suggest we should be concerned about our pets catching or spreading Coronavirus, and most importantly, there is no reason for pet owners to be giving away their pets out of fear of this. 


We need to look after our pets health as normal and stay calm as they are likely picking up on the anxiety felt by their human owners at a time like this," said Monica Limanto, CEO and co-founder of Petsy.

Coronaviruses/COVID-19 and your pets – what you need to know 

What is a Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which can cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the recently identified COVID-19. 

What is COVID-19 and can it infect pets?

COVID-19 is the disease caused by the recently identified coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. COVID-19 was unknown before the recent outbreak identified late last year. 

Currently, there is no evidence suggesting that dogs and cats can be a source of infection for COVID-19, or that they can become sick from the COVID-19 virus. COVID-19 is currently spreading through human to human transmission. However, it is always a good idea to wash your hands with soap and water after contact with pets. This helps protect against various common bacteria, such as E. coli and Salmonella, that can pass between pets and humans.

There is a single dog in Hong Kong which tested a weak positive to the COVID-19 virus, however it is still being investigated whether this positive test result was due to environmental contamination or if the dog was truly infected. It is important to note the dog was not showing any signs of disease. This is an evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available from the relevant human health and veterinary bodies. 

Do dogs and cats suffer illness from any coronaviruses?

Feline infectious peritonitis virus (FIP) and canine coronavirus (CCV) are two coronaviruses which have been unfortunately present and causing disease in dog and cat populations for a long time. 


It is important to note that FIP and CCV are distinctly different and separate to the COVID-19 virus causing the current disease outbreak with humans. CCV generally causes mild gastroenteritis in dogs, and FIP is a progressive and invariably fatal systemic disease of domestic cats. Both cannot cause illness in people.

Do petinsurance.com.au policies provide cover for COVID-19 or other coronaviruses?

Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) and canine coronavirus (CCV) are assessed as Illness conditions under petinsurance.com.au policies and are generally eligible for cover under Illness subject to the policy terms, and provided the condition is not a pre-existing condition.

It is important to remember, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and veterinary bodies have advised currently there is no evidence dogs and cats can become sick from COVID-19. If there are any developments in relation to COVID 19 impacting dogs and cats, we will do our best to keep our customers informed.

Professor Vanessa Barrs, a veterinarian who specialises in infectious diseases, has also provided a useful video update, explaining that there is no risk of infection of COVID-19 from our pets:

Rest assured if your pet is currently displaying symptoms of coughing, respiratory issues or a fever/elevated temperature, you should seek veterinary advice, and know this is generally coverable under your policy depending on your selected cover and relevant terms and conditions.

If I am quarantined or hospitalised due to COVID-19 and can’t take care of my pet, can I seek assistance for emergency boarding?

Emergency boarding under petinsurance.com.au is generally covered if you become sick with COVID-19 and require hospitalisation for five or more consecutive days. Please note this is subject to your selected policy, benefit limits and relevant terms and conditions.

If you are not hospitalised and are simply quarantined at home due to COVID-19, emergency boarding for your pet will not be covered.

Additional resources

Further information relating to the coronavirus can be sourced from the World Health Organisation (WHO) or Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) websites:

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters

https://www.ava.com.au/coronavirus/

Terms, conditions, waiting periods, limits and exclusions apply. 
Petinsurance.com.au is general insurance issued by the insurer The Hollard Insurance Company Pty Ltd (ABN 78 090 584 473; AFSL 241436) (Hollard); is promoted and distributed by Pet Insurance Pty Ltd (ABN 38 607 160 930; AR 1234944) (PIPL) and PIPL’s authorised distribution partners (including Petsy Pty Ltd 54 633 343 058; AR 1277359) (Petsy)); and administered by PetSure (Australia) Pty Ltd (ABN 95 075 949 923; AFSL 420183) (PetSure). PIPL and Petsy are authorised representatives of PetSure. Any advice provided is general only, has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs and may not be right for you. Consequently, before acting on this information, you should consider the appropriateness of this information having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. You should obtain and consider the product disclosure statement (PDS) in deciding whether to acquire or continue to hold, Petinsurance.com.au Pet Insurance.

MEDIA RELEASE, 16th March 2020
Feed your Pet with your Smartphone!

Petsafe® Brand Australia Launches Smart Feed Automatic Dog and Cat Feeder

Global pet product expert, PetSafe® Brand Australia is making pet feeding simpler and smarter with the launch of the PetSafe® Smart Feed Automatic Pet Feeder

This new addition to the popular Health & Wellness category brings peace of mind to mealtime for pet parents who can now schedule, monitor and adjust their pet’s feeding scheduled remotely with the user-friendly smartphone app. 

The PetSafe® Smart Feed Automatic Pet Feeder, (RRP $299.99) connects your smart phone or mobile device directly to the feeder; via a free app; giving you the freedom to conveniently scheduled your fur babies’ meals anywhere, anytime. 

The feeder holds 24 cups of dry or semi-moist food and can be scheduled for up to 12 times daily in sizes from 1/8 cup to 4 cups per meal. There is even an optional Slow Feed setting dispensing meals in small amounts over 15 minutes to slow down any fast eaters. 

The PetSafe® Smart Feed Automatic Pet Feeder is compatible with iPhones, iPODS, iOS 9.0 or later as well as Android smartphones. One feed can be controlled from multiple family members’ smartphones; or multiple feeders controlled from one Smartphone! 

Promoting Health and Wellness 


PetSafe® Brand
 specialises in developing products that keep pets healthy while making owners’ daily pet routines easier. The PetSafe® Automatic Pet Feeder has been designed for busy pet owners who want to ensure their pets get the very best care, even when they’re not home. 

PetSafe® Smart Feed Automatic Pet Feeder, RRP $299.99 – this new high-tech feeder gives owners peace of mind about their pets’ mealtimes. 

Boasting a sleek design and attractive blue colour, it works with owners’ phones, allowing them to schedule, monitor and adjust their pets’ meal scheduling from anywhere with its user-friendly smartphone app. 

Meals can be scheduled for up to 12 times daily in a range of sizes and the feeder has an optional Slow Feed setting for pets who tend to eat quickly. 


For added convenience the feeder notifies owners when the food container is running low or empty. 

You can learn more about the new feeder in the launch video. 



About PetSafe® Brand

PetSafe® Brand is a global pet product expert with wide-ranging innovative products including training, containment, lifestyle and wellbeing product solutions. Visit intl.petsafe.net/en-au for further details or connect on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.


MEDIA RELEASE, 16th March 2020

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