Can my pet get this it?
Many mammalian respiratory viruses have some ability to cross species lines, but they are usually much weaker in the second species. So far, despite millions of pets being directly exposed, only a handful of cats and dogs have tested positive. And none have become seriosuly ill, or shown any signs at all of being able to spread it.
Pets can, however, be "fomites", meaning they can be a surface on which a virus can live for a short while, no different than a doorknob or a blanket. Consequently, if you are ill, avoid coughing on or snuggling with your pet if the pet is going to be meeting other people.
I heard that there is a coronavirus vaccine in dogs, do you recommend it?
"Corona" is a large family of distantly related viruses that vary tremendously in their symptoms and severity. There has been a type of coronavirus in dogs for decades for which we do have a vaccine. This virus causes diarrhea in young puppies and is generally only a concern in breeding and shelter scenarios, so it is not part of the usual vaccination protocol for most dogs. The name is really just a coincidence!
How will I care for my pet if I get sick?
Birchwood Animal Hospital requests that clients who are in any way ill, as well as those who have traveled outside of Manitoba in the last 14 days, to stay at home. If this is the case, but your pet requires medical attention and you are unable to find somebody else to bring them to the clinic, contact us as we will try to offer remote support through other means (telephone, emailed photos, video-chat etc). Delivery can be arranged for medications and food.
What is Birchwood Animal Hospital doing to prevent the spread of the virus?
In order to do our part to prevent the spread of Covid-19 while still providing services to our patients, we are limiting the number of people in the building. When we are below capacity, healthy pet owners wearing masks are welcome to attend their pet's appointment (only one human per visit please!). When this is not possible, due to capacity or other limitations, we will ask you to remain in your car during your pet's visit. Please call (204-832-1368) when you arrive and you will either be directed to the door if we can admit you, or a staff member will come and collect your pet.
If you are coming to pick up food or medicine, we will deliver those out to your car.
What can I do to prevent the spread of the virus?
The best way is to keep up to date on guidance from public health authorities: https://www.gov.mb.ca/health/coronavirus/public.html