Pretty much everybody is now aware this novel coronavirus outbreak is not “just another flu”, but what does it mean for your pets?
There are already several well-known Coronaviruses that affect cats, dogs and other animals. As vets we have been dealing with them for many years.
But this new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, is completely new and nobody has any immunity to it. While it doesn’t appear to affect animals at all, the only current protections for the public are based on hygiene practices and avoidance of droplet infection.
SARS-CoV-2 is most likely to spread from person-to-person through:
- direct close contact with a person while they are infectious
- close contact with a person with a confirmed infection who coughs or sneezes, or
- indirect contact through touching objects or surfaces (such as door handles or tables) contaminated from a cough or sneeze from a person with a confirmed infection, and then touching your mouth or face.
So your pets are safe, but you’re not and your vet is not.
And it is only by practising exceptional hygiene that you can hope to avoid infection before a vaccine is developed.
Globally, the death toll from this disease stands at over 4% That figure is approximately 50 times higher than seasonal flu!
As of my writing this the global count stands at 215,000 people confirmed infected. In addition there has been a single dog, in Hong Kong, that was positive for the virus from oral samples. Repeated blood tests on this 17 year old dog showed no virus. This suggests the dog didn’t have an infection, but contamination from its infected owner. Sadly this dog has just died after release from quarantine. However, it seems highly unlikely this is a result of the virus, and is more probably the result of a very old dog having to endure quarantine for some weeks. A stressful thing for any dog!
Animal Happiness is still doing home visits for anyone that needs it.
But we are being very cautious. Extremely cautious, and if you have been directed to self-isolate or self-quarantine, or you are at risk for any reason, you must let us know so that Dr Gary can use appropriate personal protective equipment to eliminate any chance of becoming infected.
Regardless of your perceived risk, we ask that you set things up outside your house so we don’t to enter your house at all. If needed the examination can be done in our van – a better option for cats in many cases.
We also ask that you pay by card rather than cash where possible.