Helpful websites: Dr. Scott Weese (a veterinarian at the University of Ontario) has a Worms and Germs blog. This infectious disease guru has very up to date information on Covid19 and dogs and cats! He has written that ferrets can potentially get sick from Covid19. Of the hundreds of thousands of ill humans, 2 dogs in China and 1 cat in Belgium (whose owner visited Italy) have colonized with Covid19. NONE OF THESE PETS ACTED ILL FROM THE COVID19. Do not fear your pets but if you contract Covid19 please socially distance yourself from your pets just as you would from humans. There was also a tiger in the Bronx zoo who tested positive. There will no doubt be papers forthcoming, and Dr. Weese’ worms and germs blog below is fantastic: www.wormsandgermsblog.com/
A good summary from Dr. Weese is as follows: The take-home messages remain the same: If you’re sick, stay away from animals. Keep your animals away from other people or animals. Social distancing applies to the whole household, not just the human members. Your own pet poses virtually no risk to you. If my cat is infected, he got it from me (in which case I’m already infected) or my family (who pose a much greater risk of transmission to me than the cat). If we keep pets with us but socially distanced from others, we don’t need to worry about them as sources of infection outside of the household.
Other info you may find helpful below… FVMA Operating Protocols During COVID-19 – March 24, 2020
With the COVID-19 crisis growing, many practices have changed the way they operate. In an effort to help disseminate useful information to our members, we’ve complied protocols that your practice may want to consider implementing if you have not done so already. These protocols are meant to serve as a template so that you can pick and choose ideas that will work for you — or that can be adapted to your particular operation. We hope these strategies will help you, your staff, and your clients stay as safe as possible during this stressful time.
Prioritize appointments. Some practices now prioritize urgent and sick-pet visits over wellness visits—young animal vaccination schedules not included. Veterinarians should keep in mind Executive Order 20-72, issued by Governor Ron DeSantis on March 20, 2020, that directs all medically unnecessary, non-urgent, or non-emergency procedures or surgeries be delayed. While the governor’s order does not specify veterinary medicine, the FVMA recommends that veterinarians defer elective procedures, which in their judgment are not necessary, to help reduce human-to-human contact and conserve PPE. Communicate new protocol to clients. Many practices are shifting to a curbside model where:
*Clients call from the parking lot on arrival *Team members shuttle pets to the facility and back *Clients stay in their cars *Conversations happen by phone as needed
When making this shift: *Explain the change when appointments are made *Email all clients about the process *Post on social media about the change *Reiterate the changes to the clients when they arrive *Share how the new protocol is working and any adjustments that have been made on social media to keep your clients up-to-date
Set appropriate exceptions to new protocols that work for you. Consider new euthanasia protocols and offer exceptions (critical cases, young animals, or patients with special needs).
When handling deliveries and lab samples, consider:
*Having deliveries left outside
*Wearing gloves to carry and unpack boxes
*Putting all lab samples in outside pick-up boxes, so that drivers don’t have to come inside
Adjust hours of operation. Shortening hours of operation can allow for additional sanitizing time. In these particularly difficult times, it could also help prevent burnout.
In addition to new operating protocols, it is important to do the following: