Coronavirus And Your Pet

coronavirusAs your pet’s health care provider we would like to address the recent outbreak of the Coronavirus, or otherwise known as Covid-19. We, in the veterinary community are very familiar with the family of Coronaviruses. They cause common problems in cats with FIP and in dogs cause gastrointestinal diseases. This is a new virus and causes respiratory disease in humans. THERE IS CURRENTLY NO EVIDENCE THAT COMPANION ANIMALS CAN GET THIS VIRUS, CARRY IT OR SPREAD IT. 

We at Silver Maple Veterinary Clinic are always on the cutting edge and will let you know if there are any changes to that information. Our exam rooms are small, resulting in close contact with you and your pet. For now, we would like to inform you of some hygiene practices we will be instituting concerning your visits to our hospital. 

 - Temporarily, we will suspend handshakes per the CDC recommendations

- We will have plenty of alcohol-based sanitizers in our exam and waiting rooms and feel free to wash your hands with our antibacterial soaps in our exam rooms.

- If you are sick and need to cancel your appointment, please do not come; we will be waiving any broken appointment fees for the time being.

- Please cough or sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue to cover your nose and mouth

The following are answers to commonly asked questions about your pets and covid-19.

Can COVID-19 infect pets? Currently there is no evidence that companion animals can be infected with or spread COVID-19. 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.

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 no 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 infected with COVID-19, talk to the public health official working with the person infected 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 infected 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 should be done with pets in areas where the virus is active? Currently there is no evidence that pets can be infected with this new coronavirus. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, until we know more, pet owners should avoid contact with animals they are unfamiliar with and always wash their hands before and after they interact with animals. If owners are sick with COVID-19, they 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.