To our clients:
We at Animal Medical Clinic continue to closely monitor the coronavirus and its impact across the globe with a focus on the health and safety of our employees and clients. Animal Medical Clinic, like many companies, is implementing workplace regulations and guidelines from government and public health authorities related to COVID-19. This includes frequent washing of hands, daily disinfecting of workspaces, and limiting non-essential travel.
To better assist our clients during this crisis, any established customer who is unable to pick up medication or food REFILLS, we will offer delivery of these items in Quincy. While we cannot treat or diagnose a patient from home, we can ensure that they are able to maintain their health with these refills and help to keep our clients safe.
As this outbreak continues to evolve, so will our response. We remain deeply committed to serving the animal health community throughout this crisis. Our aim is to continue to deliver the same great value and service that you have come to expect, and with regular communication and great collaboration, we will work to get through this together.
Animal Medical Clinic Staff
At this time we have decided for the safety of our clients and staff, that we will be canceling our Heartworm Awareness Day and Health Fair for this year. We are still offering our services by regular appointment, but feel the nature of these events with large crowds is not in the best interest of everyone. We will plan these events next year and hope everyone stays safe and healthy.
COVID-19 Update April 6, 2020
We want to once again thank all of our clients for your support during this time of crisis. You have helped keep everyone safe by adapting to our new safety practice of having only one person attend an appointment and maintaining social distancing while in the practice. Please continue to our Facebook page for updates. We are dedicated to being open and available to help your pets.
We wanted to review some information released today by the USDA and address some common questions that have arisen as a result. A tiger has test positive for COVID – 19, the novel coronavirus causing the worldwide pandemic. The USDA’s National Veterinary Service Laboratory has confirmed a case of COVID – 19 in a tiger from a New York Zoo. The tiger is one of several large cats that became ill with respiratory signs after being exposed to an infected zoo employee. Many have expressed concerns that their own domestic cats could become ill with the virus or even transmit the infection to their owners.
Currently, there is very little evidence that any domesticated cats have become infected with the virus. There is also no evidence that domestic cats would be capable of transmitting the virus, making transmission of COVID-19 from pet to owner, very unlikely. However, researchers were able to find the virus in one domestic cat in Belgium, similar to the cases reported in two dogs from Hong Kong. In all cases, the pets were likely infected by their owners who were suffering from the disease. Again, there is currently NO EVIDENCE of a domesticated cat or dog transmitting the virus to humans.
The USDA, AVMA and other world health organizations continue to recommend that persons infected with the virus isolate themselves away from their pets out of an abundance of caution. Many mammals share a receptor on the surface of their cells to which the COVID virus attaches itself when an infection starts. Because cats and dogs have this receptor, ACE-2, it is theoretically possible for the virus to infect our pets. Therefore, the best way to protect our pets is to stay away from them if we have the virus or start to feel ill.
It should not be surprising that large and exotic cats are susceptible to the virus as both COVID-19 and SARS (an earlier corona virus that caused serious disease in humans) may have passed to humans through exotic cats for sale in Chinese animal markets. The viruses both likely originated in bats and made their way to humans through an intermediate host, possibly these exotic cats.
Should my cat or dog be tested for COVID?
A – At this time, the USDA is NOT recommending routine testing for dogs and cats. The USDA indicates that public officials may elect to test specific animals if they are showing signs of illness AND have definitively been exposed to the virus. There are currently two laboratories ready to undertake large scale testing of pets should the need arise. There is absolutely no reason to have a healthy pet tested for COVID.
My pet is ill and I have been suffering from COVID. What should I do?
A – Please call the office to discuss the situation. We will then consult with local public health officials to determine the best course of action.
I have a significant health issue which places me at greater risk for serious illness should I catch the virus. Should I give up my pet?
A – There is absolutely no reason to give up your pet. NONE. As noted above, there is no evidence that pets are capable of transmitting disease to their owners. Pets play a very important role in our lives. Their companionship reduces stress which helps our immune system. They encourage us to take walks and exercise which promotes good health. Giving up your pet would likely be counterproductive if your goal is to reduce your susceptibility to the virus.
What should I do to help protect myself and my pet?
A – Practice the President’s simple guidelines which can be found at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/03.16.20_coronavirus-guidance_8.5x11_315PM.pdf
Most of you are very familiar with these recommendations such as: stay six feet away from others, do not go to work when you are ill, avoid gathering in groups of more than 10, etc. In addition, I recommend that you not allow your pets to interact with a large number of people outside of your household. This will help eliminate even the slight chance of your pet becoming infected with the virus.
Thank all of you once again. Your support enables us to continue to provide essential care to the community we serve. We are confident that we will continue to provide care in a manner that is safe for clients, patients and our dedicated staff.