With the news abuzz about COVID-19 and reported cases in cats and dogs, you might be wondering not only how it will affect you, but how it will affect your furry family as well. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has said that at this time domestic animals do not appear to play a significant role in the spread of COVID-19, but in some cases they can catch the illness from their owners. While it is true that there is a well known type of coronavirus seen in dogs, called CCoV, this virus is not the same as SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19. Canine coronavirus is species-specific; it poses no threat to humans. CCoV causes intestinal infection, particularly in puppies, and it does not cause respiratory problems.
From the CDC:
|Until we learn more about how this virus affects animals, treat pets as you would other human family members to protect them from a possible infection.
If you are sick with COVID-19 (either suspected or confirmed by a test), you should restrict contact with your pets and other animals, just like you would with people. Until we know more about this virus, people sick with COVID-19 should avoid contact with pets and other animals.
The CDC also recommends designating an emergency caregiver for your pets in case you are unable to care for them. It is a good idea to have your pet's care information printed and readily available in case someone needs to take over for you. Click HERE for a form you can fill out or use as a template.
Van Stavern Small Animal Hospital always has sanitation efforts in place, but in light of the recent health concerns we have added the following practices to our routine:
- We are limiting the number of people inside the hospital. We kindly request that all clients wait in their cars and call the office to alert staff that you have arrived. Please also fill out the online check-in form to make your carside check-in process more efficient. Staff will bring your pet into the hospital, perform the requested services, and return your pet to you unless a drop-off appointment was scheduled in advance. The only exception is for clients wishing to be present for humane euthanasia of a pet.
- Staff will wear face masks when interacting with clients face-to-face. Hands are washed between every interaction.
- We are sanitizing all door handles, light switches, phones, keyboards, and other high-contact areas regularly throughout the day.
- No staff members have had known contact with infected persons. In the event that this changes, staff will self quarantine.
- Staff members who have traveled to areas with confirmed COVID-19 cases are encouraged to self-quarantine, even if there is no known contact with infected persons.
- Staff members who fall ill are encouraged to stay home and rest, even if there is no known contact with infected persons.
- In the event that a confirmed COVID-19 case becomes present in the hospital, services will be suspended to ensure the safety of our clients. Contingency plans are in place to resume service as quickly as possible. We will work closely with our pet owners to ensure their pets receive necessary care if this should happen.
Our standard practices include:
- If you are dropping off your pet for the day, you may fill out the online check-in form to reduce the amount of time you spend in the hospital lobby/appointment rooms.
- Contact surfaces in each room are sanitized after each appointment. Additional sanitation measures are performed for patients with suspected illness, and rooms may be removed from the appointment cycle if it is suspected a contagious disease has been present.
- Staff members wash hands before and after entering an exam room with patients, and between handling of different patients in the behind-the-scenes treatment areas of the clinic.
- Animals from different families are not allowed to interact. Dogs from the same household may still be kenneled together if requested by the owner.
- Kennels are sanitized between each occupant, and every morning for our overnight guests.
- Bedding is changed and washed daily and as needed throughout the day.
- Dishes are washed and sanitized after each use.
- Yards are cleaned after every walking/exercise period.
- Animals with suspected contagious illness are housed in our isolation ward, which is separated physically from the rest of the hospital and has a self-contained ventilation system. Personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves and disposable gowns are worn when handling these animals.
- Animals with immunodeficiency (such as puppies and kittens) are housed in areas with the lowest possible exposure levels.
Please contact the office at (979) 693-8870 if you have any questions or concerns.
Page Updated: 28 April 2020