As of Sunday night a great deal more businesses were prevented from opening in the hope of containing the COVID-19 virus. Only “Essential” businesses are allowed to remain open. Thank goodness that includes Vets.
Our house “border security” consists of two elderly, and quite deaf, dogs who will bark enthusiastically at anything they see walking past be it two or four legged. But life has gotten quite dull for them recently as there hasn’t been much to woof at even though we live on the main road of our village.
One of our dogs, Nelly has been caught sleeping on the job on several occasions, and who can blame her. However you would think that our dogs would be happy that us humans are staying at home more, but for our other dog it has had the completely opposite effect.
It would seem that Basil has become most confused by our constant presence in the house. He is off his food and not even bothering to come to see what is for dinner. This in itself was cause for alarm so I called my friend and vet Anna Pink and asked for her advice. We spoke about his symptoms: general malaise, some vomiting, depressed behaviour and not being interested in events going on around him, and decided that it was worth bringing him into her surgery in Santa Ponsa for a blood test and check up. Basil is quite an old dog and has had some strange illnesses in the past so we made an appointment following the Calvia Vet Coronavirus Protocol which they have had in place since the beginning of the lockdown.
Having made an appointment over the phone and in receipt of my travel document that Calvia Vet had sent to me Basil and I turned up at our allotted time. Firstly we had to wait outside of the clinic until they were ready to see us, and then after swapping his lead for a sterilised one of their own only Basil was allowed into the examination room. I say “allowed” but Basil didn’t want to go in and was quite worried, but eventually Juan, Anna’s husband and partner in Calvia Vet, managed to persuade him that it would be okay. They left the door open so Basil could look at me anxiously, silently begging me with his eyes to get him out of there! He had his temperature taken, a physical examination and then a blood test. All of the Calvia Vet team were wearing scrubs, masks and gloves to protect themselves and their clients. I asked Juan if they had been busy, “No, we are only really seeing emergencies or things which cannot wait. We are asking our regular clients if they can postpone minor appointments such as nail clipping until the lockdown has been relaxed. We don’t want anyone to be out of their house unnecessarily. We are doing our best to resolve problems and enquiries and give advice over the phone where possible. So we are seeing clients by appointment only, this is helping us to plan, and to space out bookings because we are following extra hygiene procedures such as additional surface disinfection over and above our usual protocols, spraying of doors, handles and credit card machines”. Basil’s diagnosis? Well, his blood count has come back within normal range which is great, so perhaps he is just being a sensitive flower, but tomorrow we will receive the Leishmaniasis blood results: all four paws crossed he does not have that. You can contact Calvia Vet on 971 695 108 or call your own vet for advice about their protocols and appointment policy. Make sure before you travel that you have been emailed the travel document by your vet in case of Guardia Civil roadside checks.
If your dog is feeling down or acting strangely it can be because he is picking up on how you are feeling and acting at the moment. General advice on how to treat depression in dogs is to increase “cuddle time” and also introduce some extra entertainment or play time which can help you to develop a better bond with your dog. For a couple of ideas of how to do that check out the Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/MajorcaMallorca/ where Dog Trainer Heather Whitehouse is sharing simple training techniques you can try with your dog, all you need is some time, and a diced frankfurter. Maybe that will be enough to make Basil feel better. We will have to wait and see, hopefully border security will soon have no cause to be sleeping on the job anymore.
Stay At Home Together, and we will soon beat this!