Here at Meadow Wood, cleanliness and sanitation is always a top priority. Currently, we are going above and beyond our regular protocols to keep our hospital and community safe and healthy. We are paying particular attention to high-traffic areas of the hospital and frequently touched surfaces such as door knobs and handles, hand rails, seats and benches, credit card terminals, telephones and keyboards.
With coronavirus dominating the headlines, you might be wondering, “How does this affect me and my pet?” The truth is there is still a great deal we don’t know about this virus. Its origin is still under investigation.
Now that cases of COVID-19 are being reported in the U.S., the main objective is to prevent the disease’s spread, and there are several steps you can take to minimize its impact on you and your family. Our advice to our clients is very similar to that of what your primary physician might recommend and follows closely the guidelines put forth by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and One Health Committee:
Coronavirus & People
- Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- If at all possible, avoid people who are displaying symptoms of COVID-19. These include coughing, fever, and trouble breathing.
- If you’re sick, stay home, and as a precaution, try to avoid close contact with your pet (as well as people) while you’re symptomatic.
- Stock up on your pet’s medication. As the disease progresses around the globe, pharmaceuticals might be hard to come by. In the event of a home quarantine situation, being as prepared as possible is always a good idea.
- Skip the face masks. They don’t really protect you from the virus, and it’s crucial that protective gear be reserved for people who really need it, like healthcare workers who are in close contact with infected patients.
Coronavirus & Pets
- Currently there is no evidence that companion animals can be infected with or spread COVID-19. Experts have not expressed concern about transmission to or from pets and other domestic animals. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as soon as it becomes available.
- The canine coronavirus vaccines available at some veterinary hospitals are intended to protect against enteric coronavirus infection. Using this vaccine in the face of the current outbreak does not provide cross-protection against COVID-19.
Bottom line? Plan ahead, be diligent, and don’t panic. The immediate health risk to the general public in the U.S. is considered low, but the CDC considers the virus a very serious public health threat.If you’d like more information about COVID-19 and pets, read this article from the American Medical Veterinary Association. AAHA has also provided helpful information on the disease, which can be found here.
While we look forward to continuing to care for your furry family members, if you are exhibiting symptoms of respiratory illness, please stay home and avoid contact with other people. You will recover faster and help prevent others from becoming sick as well. Additionally, if your pet needs medical attention, and if you’ve recently been in contact with someone that is sick, please arrange for someone else to bring your pet in. If you’re not sure what to do, please call us and we will help to determine the safest way to care for your beloved pet. We thank you for your cooperation and for your efforts in keeping our hospital and our community safe and healthy.
For our clients who are in the high-risk category and have an ill pet, contact us to discuss how to minimize your risk of exposure while we care for your pet. We will offer curbside check-in so pets can be seen without their people needing to come in to the office or having direct contact with others.
We are actively monitoring developments related to animals and the virus, and you can find the latest updated information about COVID-19 as it relates to pets on the AVMA’s coronavirus page. You are also welcome to give us a call with your questions at 580-215-1993.
Stay safe, Your Meadow Wood Animal Hospital Family