The coronavirus is on the forefront of everyone’s minds and it appears, as always, we fear the unknown.
During this time of worry and concern over the COVID-19 we wanted to offer a variety of options as we strive to protect our staff and clients, our extended family. We will remain open to provide services for your animals. We will avoid overlapping appointments to prevent clients coming into contact with others in the waiting areas. You can elect to stay in your vehicle and wait until a room is available or we would be glad to come outdoors to collect your animals from you while you wait in your vehicle or outdoors. We can also do appointments outdoors for those that desire. We are offering phone and facetime consultations and other methods of telemedicine. Payments over the phone with emailed receipts are available. We also have house call options for those that prefer. We would be glad to accommodate in any safe way possible. Please let us know your concerns and needs as they arise.
Here are some facts that we know as of 3/18/2020 with new information continually evolving.
Infectious disease experts, along with several other health care organizations, agree there is no evidence at this point that pets become ill from COVID-19 or that they can spread it to other animals, including humans. There has been a dog in Hong Kong that tested positive for the virus without any clinical symptoms. Experts from the School of Public Health of the University of Hong Kong and the College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences of the City University of Hong Kong believe the consistency and persistence of the results suggest the virus may have spread from the infected owner to the dog in this particular case. In other testing, IDEXX announced March 13th, that they have evaluated thousands of cat and dog specimens during validation of its new veterinary test systems for the COVID-19 virus and have obtained no positive results.
Although there have not been reports of pets becoming sick with COVID-19, out of an abundance of caution, it is recommended that those ill with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. If you are ill with COVID-19, be sure to tell your physician and public health official that you have a pet or other animal in your home. Have another member of your household take care of walking, feeding, and playing with your pet. If you have a service animal or you must care for your pet, then wear a facemask; don’t share food, kiss, or hug them; and wash your hands before and after any contact with your pet or service animal. You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home. Additional guidance on managing pets in homes where people are sick with COVID-19 is available from the CDC.
If you are not ill with COVID-19, feel free to interact with your furry friend as you normally would. During the time of quarantine would be good time for strengthening that human-animal bond. Several apps exist that reward walking times with your dog. Several training resources available to work on obedience and specific trainings.
For responsible pet owners, preparing in advance is key. Make sure you have an emergency kit prepared, with at least two weeks’ worth of your pet’s food and any needed medications. Usually we think about emergency kits like this in terms of what might be needed for an evacuation, but it’s also good to have one prepared in the case of quarantine or self-isolation when you cannot leave your home.
As always, contact your vet for the latest updates on COVID-19 or the AVMA or CDC sites. While we are recommending these as good practices, it is important to remember there is currently no evidence that pets can spread COVID-19 to other animals, including people.
Stay safe, keep your distance, and follow medical professional guidelines. We will all get through this as a nation. May God protect and bless each of your families!