A vet looks at pets and COVID-19
The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on humans is well-documented, but what kind of impact does it have on pets?
Jennifer Kelly, a small animal veterinarian at Carriage House Animal Clinic, said pets aren’t at risk for contracting the virus.
“At this time, there is no evidence that animals can be affected by COVID-19 or that they can spread
it to other animals or to people. It’s always a good idea to wash our hands after touching animals and keep your animal’s environment clean,” she said.
While owners who have contracted the virus can’t pass it to their pets, she recommends those owners limit their contact with their pet(s).
“Have another family member that’s not ill care for the pet more or if you’re the only caretaker try not to hug, kiss, or have face-to-face contact,” she said.
Kelly also advises pet owners to follow strict hand hygiene and make sure they have enough food and prescriptions for their pets.
When clients do have to come to the clinic, for things such as prescrip- tions, she said they’re doing what they can to keep social distance or limit social contact.
“We’re setting them [the prescriptions] out on the bench or hand delivering them out to their cars,” she said.
The coronavirus has also impacted the clinic’s supply of masks.
“We definitely have a shortage of masks and we’re doing our part to re-sterilize and reuse some masks when possible. Now, with the governor coming out and saying no more elective procedures, that’s definitely going to help us conserve our medical supplies,” said Kelly.
In addition to no more elective procedures, she noted that quite a few other changes have been made to the way they do business.
“We’re trying to do our part to limit the spread of COVID-19. For example, we’re asking clients to only bring in one owner per pet with the excep- tions of euthanasias and then we prefer for owners to wait in their cars rather than the lobby before we perform the exam. We’re taking payments over the phone and trying to reduce the wait time by asking questions before the appointment,” she said.
Kelly added that more restrictions could be enacted.
“This is all changing on a daily basis on recommendations from the board of Animal Health,” she said.
She mentioned that clients have been pretty receptive to the changes. “I think most people have been pretty under- standing and trying to do their part too,” she said.
The clinic’s hours haven’t changed; they’re still open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays and closed on Sundays.