What are coronaviruses?

Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that can cause a range of symptoms, including a runny nose, cough, sore throat and fever. Some are mild, such as the common cold, while others are more likely to lead to pneumonia. They're usually spread through direct contact with an infected person.

The coronavirus gets its name from the crown-like spikes on its surface (“corona” in Latin translates to “crown”). The genus coronavirus is composed of at least three groups that cause mild to severe enteric, respiratory, or systemic disease. Other well-known coronaviruses are SARS and MERS.

Are there coronaviruses in animals?

Coronaviruses are common in several species of domestic and wild animals, including cattle, horses, dogs, cats, ferrets, camels, bats, and others.

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Summer has arrived and the number of wildlife cases that are coming into our clinic have exponentially increased.  With the change of season comes unpredictable weather and as a result juvenile wildlife are often separated from their family. This may be from falling from their nests or otherwise injured while they are still learning to be ‘street smart’.

Recently we had a special guest in the form of a juvenile tawny frogmouth, not old enough to fledge from the nest so, we suspect he was knocked out by heavy winds.

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Leading into Summer and preparing to go on holidays, means as pet owners we need to check our destinations to see if we need to provide tick prevention to our animals.

Tick paralysis is a potentially devastating condition that can affect dogs, cats and humans.  Ticks need humidity and mild weather to develop and are not able to survive in cold climates.  Ticks are most commonly found along the east coast of Australia during the warmer months but can be found inland in suitable habitats.

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Interestingly, the top names for both dogs and cats is Bella for females and Charlie for males.  Pet parents are more likely to give their dogs human names while cats names are much less restrictive. 

More unusual cat names include sweet foods such as Cookie and Biscuit or famous people like Prince Harry or grandeur names like “big cat”, Simba or Bear.

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As owners we often use the word “fleas” for any itch, but would you recognise a flea from a picture or understand their cycle?

Fleas are small, wingless parasites that range in length from 2-4mm, they are brown in colour and oval in shape.  They have six, spiny legs, with powerful hindlegs for jumping.  Fleas can jump more than 200 times their body length.  They have small antennae and mouth parts for piercing and sucking.  They feed on the blood of humans and animals. 

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