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Pets & the Coronavirus – what we need to know

Pets & the Coronavirus – what we need to know

There are lots of questions right now surrounding COVID-19 and how the virus impacts our pets, if at all.

Here with some answers is Thomas F. Dock, Director of Communications/Public Information Office, Noah’s Animal Hospitals.

1) To date, we have no evidence that pets can transmit the novel coronavirus (Sars-CoV-2) to people or other animals.
2) To date, 2 dogs in Hong Kong (both from families infected with COVID-19) have tested positive for the virus via nasal swabs. The original dog, a 17 year old Pomeranian, died just 3-4 days after returning home to it’s owner, but COVID-19 is NOT thought to be the reason for death. No symptoms of COVID-19 were ever present in this pet
3) The second dog is a 2 year old German Shepherd and is also asymptomatic. He lives with a 4 year old mixed breed who has tested negative.
4) Veterinary experts continue to monitor cases like these to see if pets can get infected versus can pets be infectious…
5) There is NO reason to relinquish pets during this time. In fact, many shelters and rescues have limited or halted intake until we are through this crisis.
6) You will notice a difference to veterinary visits during this time. Most hospitals have closed the clinic to human visitors and do “car-side” check-ins. In these cases, history and information is shared over the phone or via special apps, like
a. The pet then goes into the building with a staff member who comes out to the car.
b. Exam is done in the building, information and findings shared via phone to owner.
c. Tests completed, treatments dispensed, and pet returned to vehicle while owner pays over the phone.
7) Elective surgeries, such as spays and neuters, are being postponed at this time to help save needed supplies for true emergencies and human medical needs.
8) While puppies and kittens should still go in for their wellness visits and vaccines, adult animals can probably wait for their care until things return to normal.

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