We know many of our clients are not only concerned about contracting the COVID-19 virus personally, but also how it can affect their fur babies at home. We hope this document will help answer some of your questions. The below information is excerpts from a document that was published by The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) on March 7, 2020.
We hope all of our clients and fur babies of Pet Xpert Animal Clinic stay well. Please head the advice of hand-washing and limiting your exposure to crowds. At Pet Xpert, we will continue to monitor the situation. We have implemented additional cleaning rounds in our clinic, to ensure that routinely touched surfaces are sanitized. We ask that if you are feeling ill, please consider having a family member or a friend bring your fur baby to their appointments at the clinic. If your fur baby has been exposed to someone that has COVID-19, please read the advice in this document on how to protect your fur baby. If you have any additional questions, please reach out to us at 407-886-PETS(7387).
Can COVID-19 infect pets?
Currently there is limited evidence that companion animals can be infected with SARS-Cov-2 and no evidence that pet dogs or cats can be a source of infection to other animals or to humans. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available.
Should I avoid contact with pets or other animals if I am sick with COVID-19?
The CDC recommends the following: “You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a facemask.” Please check for new updates on CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html#2019-nCoV-and-animals
If my pet has been in contact with someone who is sick from COVID-19, can it spread the disease to other people?
While we do not yet know for sure, there is limited evidence that companion animals can be infected with or spread SARS-Cov-2. We also do not know if they could get sick from this new coronavirus. Additionally, there is currently no evidence that companion animals could be a source of infection to people. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available.
What should I do if my pet develops an unexplained illness and was around a person with documented COVID-19 infection?
We don’t yet know if companion animals can get infected by SARS-Cov-2 or sick with COVID-19. If your pet develops an unexplained illness and has been exposed to a person with COVID-19, talk to the public health official working with the person with COVID-19. If your area has a public health veterinarian, the public health official will consult with them or another appropriate official. If the state public health veterinarian, or other public health official, advises you to take your pet to a veterinary clinic, call your veterinary clinic before you go to let them know that you are bringing a sick pet that has been exposed to a person with COVID-19. This will allow the clinic time to prepare an isolation area. Do not take the animal to a veterinary clinic unless you are instructed to do so by a public health official.
What are the concerns regarding pets that have been in contact with people infected with this virus?
While COVID-19 seems to have emerged from an animal source, it is now spreading from person-toperson. Person-to-person spread is thought to occur mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. At this time, it’s unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people. Importantly, there is limited evidence that companion animals including pets such as dogs and cats, can become infected with SARS-Cov-2 .
What should be done with pets in areas where the virus is active?
Currently there is limited evidence that pets can be infected with this new coronavirus. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animal becoming sick with COVID-19, those with the virus should avoid contact with animals in their household, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If they need to care for their pet or be around animals while they are sick, they should wash their hands before and after they interact with them and wear a facemask. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available.
Should veterinarians start to vaccinate dogs against canine coronavirus because of the risk of SARSCov-2?
The canine coronavirus vaccines available in some global markets are intended to protect against enteric coronavirus infection and are NOT licensed for protection against respiratory infections. Veterinarians should NOT use such vaccines in the face of the current outbreak thinking that there may be some form of cross-protection against COVID-19. There is absolutely no evidence that vaccinating dogs with commercially available vaccines will provide cross-protection against the infection by COVID-19, since the enteric and respiratory viruses are distinctly different variants of coronavirus. No vaccines are currently available in any market for respiratory coronavirus infection in the dog. [Information from the
WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines Group].
The situation around this virus is rapidly evolving, and information will be updated as it becomes available. Although there is no evidence that pets play a role in the epidemiology of COVID-19, we maintain strict hand hygiene should be maintained by the entire clinical team. Dr. Alex and all of the team of Pet Xpert Animal Clinic also urge everyone to follow the guidance of washing their hands when interacting with pets and, if sick, wearing face masks around them. Again, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 407-886-PETS(7387).