Protecting Your PETS

Dr. Adam Strom from LA’s Metropolitan Animal Hospital (MASH) answers questions about your pets during COVID-19.

Can my pet contract and spread COVID-19?

Based on the most recent information, it appears domestic and wild animals may be susceptible to catching the coronavirus. Most cases in dogs and cats have presented with very mild signs of sickness. The virus is more often at detectable levels in cats and ferrets, but there was a recent report of a COVID-19 positive dog as well. There is to date, no evidence of a pet passing the virus to people, but rather catching it in the homes of people who are infected and contagious. This situation is obviously developing, and we are staying current with the information as it becomes available. 

If I am ill with COVID-19 are there special precautions I should take when caring for my pet?

It is recommended that those ill with COVID-19 have limited contact with animals until more information is know about the virus, especially cats and ferrets. Have another member of the household take care of pets everyday essential needs. If this is a service animal- it is recommended to wear a face mask, don’t share food, kiss, or hug them, and always wash hands before and after touching or having contact with them.

Is MASH still open 24/7?

MASH is open 24 hours a day and is fully operational.

We are not turning away patients because of COVID-19 positive family members. MASH knows that pets, despite this virus pandemic, still get sick and need care. We have specific protocols in place to take in patients from COVID-19 positive households.

What are those protocols?

Clients are met curbside, all of our staffers wear protective gear. Dogs all receive new leashes and cats are placed in disposable cardboard carriers. Pets are all washed with viricidal shampoo. If your pet needs to have a prolonged stay in the hospital we arrange facetiming with the pet and its guardians instead of in-person visits.

Is there anything we haven’t asked that you would like to share with our readers?

I’d like to encourage all Californians to follow the guidelines issued by Gov. Newsom. Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. Maintain a safe social distance of 6 feet whenever outside of the house. Wear a cloth face covering if you go outside. 

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