Local vet discusses COVID-19 and pets

Digital Mojo

Mobile, Ala. (WKRG) – While little is known about COVID-19 and its relation to pets, the CDC has issued statements saying to keep a healthy distance between you and your pet if you are sick until more is known.

“Viruses particularly are generally species specific, but there are exceptions to that rule such as rabies,” said Dr. Randy Wesson of Wesson Animal Clinic. “Cats and dogs have their own respiratory viruses… there is actually a flu virus for dogs.”

He goes on to explain that while transmission of the virus from pets to people and vice versa is still unknown, people should not worry about their pet getting sick. He says there was a case in Hong Kong this year where a family was ill and their pet tested a weak positive for the virus, but the pet did not exhibit any symptoms. There was another case where a family was ill and the pet tested negative and also was not ill.

According to the CDC “at this time, there is no evidence that companion animals, including pets, can spread COVID-19 or that they might be a source of infection in the United States.”

Wesson Animal Clinic is taking precautions amid COVID-19 concerns by enhanced cleaning procedures and limiting contact with customers who are sick.

“Our receptionists are now asking people if they are sick. If they want to come in, we will be glad to see them, but we do not want to expose our staff needlessly either,” said Dr. Wesson. “So we are glad to come out to the car to get the pet and treat them inside. We have done that a few times.”

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