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Coronavirus: Your Pet and your Vet
COVID-19 has health officials all over the world on high alert after its identification in China. The disease causes flu-like symptoms in people, including mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Health officials across the U.S. are on high alert due to COVID-19, and veterinary professionals are highly trained to identify and protect against zoonotic diseases.
Here’s some key information about COVID-19:
COVID-19 and Domestic Animals
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), no animals in the United States have been identified with the virus, and there is no evidence that dogs or other pets can spread COVID-19.
The CDC recommends that people who are sick with COVID-19 restrict contact with pets and other animals, just like you would restrict your contact with other people. When possible, a member of the household other than the individual who is ill should care for any animals in the household. Those infected with COVID-19 should avoid contact with animals, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. Those who must care for a pet, or who will be around animals while sick, should wear an appropriate facemask and wash hands thoroughly before and after interacting with those animals.
The reason for this is because the lipid base of the virus can attach to the fur of the pet upon a infected persons cough and sneeze. Once the next person interacts with the pet those tiny lipids (smaller than a hair follicle) are still present and can be transmitted to the next persons hands. Thorough hand washing is the best and foremost strongest line of defense against Covid-19.
What about the dog in Hong Kong?
On Thursday, February 27, a pet dog in Hong Kong tested “weak positive” for the virus that causes COVID-19. Its owner also tested positive for coronavirus. On Wednesday, March 4, another report was issued by the Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) indicating that a second test on that same pet dog had come back positive. According to the report, another dog quarantined at the same facility (but in a separate room) was also tested, but the results were negative for the virus.
The precise meaning of the positive test result from the one dog remains unclear and further evaluation is ongoing. Hong Kong officials said that dog continues to show no clinical signs of illness, remains under quarantine and is being cared for, and will continue to be monitored and tested.
We will keep you updated you as we learn more. At this time, the CDC, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) say there is no evidence that companion animals, including pets, spread COVID-19.
What are we doing at Sully Animal Hospital?
Our main objective is the health and safety of our clients and pets. We have implemented disinfectant protocols that protect our Doctors and Staff as well as our clients and patients to include:
Our Hospital Staff is trained to keep you and your pet healthy. We are always here when needed and have established safety precautions to ensure the safety of you and your pet.
We are rolling out a virtual online communications platform as another means to get in contact with us at Sully Animal Hospital. Our clients will be able to video chat with us at the clinic. As soon as it is live, you will receive and email with the details.
How you can help?
As always, it’s a good idea to wash your hands after being around animals, and animal owners should continue to include pets and other animals in their emergency preparedness planning, including keeping a two-week supply of food and medications on hand.
The cooperation of our entire community is essential in maintaining a safe environment. We urge anyone that has mild cold-like symptoms, to follow the advice of health officials and stay home while sick to help protect others that might have autoimmune deficiencies.
Please notify one of our clinic staff if you need to cancel or reschedule and appointment due to cold or flu-like symptoms such as; Sneezing, Headache, Couching, Fever, Runny Nose & Sore Throat.
If you pet has flu-like symptoms such as; Sneezing, Headache, Couching, Fever, Runny Nose & Sore Throat please call to schedule an appointment.