As we keep watch on news about COVID-19 some may wonder how this virus affects their pets. Firstly, realize there can be all sorts of random news on the internet. Therefore, we recommend following news from the WHO and the CDC so you get the facts. Also, the AVMA is in regular contact with these organizations as well as state, national, and international veterinary and public health expert groups to learn the latest developments and their potential impacts on pets. Rest assured that we, as your veterinarians here in Taylorville, Illinois are staying up-to-date on the latest developments.
Key information about COVID-19 and Your Pets
Here is the latest information from the AVMA on COVID-19:
- Transmission of COVID-19 to humans primarily occurs when there is contact with an infected person’s bodily secretions. For example, this could be saliva or mucus droplets from a cough or sneeze from a person.
- Transmission via touching a contaminated surface or object and then touching the mouth, nose, or possibly eyes is also possible but appears to be a secondary route.
- Smooth (non-porous) surfaces (e.g., countertops, doorknobs) transmit viruses better than porous materials (e.g., paper money, pet fur) because porous, especially fibrous, materials absorb and trap the pathogen (virus), making it harder to contract through simple touch. The best way to avoid becoming ill is to avoid exposure to the virus.
How to Protect Your Pets
- While 2 dogs (Hong Kong) and 1 cat (Belgium) have been reported to have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, infectious disease experts and multiple international and domestic human and animal health organizations agree there is no evidence at this point to indicate that pets spread COVID-19 to other animals, including people.
- If you are not ill with COVID-19, you can interact with your pet as you normally would. This includes walking, feeding, and playing with your pet. Continue to practice good hygiene during those interactions (e.g., wash hands before and after interacting with your pet; keep your pet well-groomed; regularly clean your pet’s food and water bowls, bedding material, and toys).
- It is highly recommended that those ill with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus.
- Have another member of your household take care of walking, feeding, and playing with your pet. If you have a service animal or you must care for your pet, then wear a face mask; don’t share food, kiss, or hug them; and wash your hands before and after any contact with them.
- As always, careful hand washing and other infection control practices can greatly reduce the chance of spreading any disease.
- If you take your dog on a walk follow these precautions:
- Do on-leash walks only.
- Don’t let strangers pet your dog.
- Avoid dog parks
- Make sure to include on your shopping list your pet’s food and prescriptions.
For more information, visit CDC’s Healthy Pets, Healthy People website.
We Are Open!
To maintain safety for our community and our staff we have shifted to curbside service. We will continue to be open during our normal hours and offer our full veterinary services including wellness, and emergency and routine surgeries.
How Does Curbside Service Work?
We want to minimize all contact with clients to protect staff and clients from COVID-19. Here’s how
- When you arrive at our office for your pet’s appointment, call us at our regular number (217) 824-3051 to let us know you are here. Then bring your pet on a leash or in a carrier to the front door. Please, for your pet’s safety keep them on a leash or in their carrier.
- Wait for a staff member to come and get your pet. We will take your pet in and the doctor will call you during the exam to discuss what we are finding and any further questions.
- When we are done, you can pay over the phone or write a check that we will get when your animal is brought back out to you.
What If You Can’t Leave Your Home?
If there is any reason you cannot leave your home such as you are ill or quarantined, Countryside Veterinary Service, LLC is now offering remote healthcare services with TeleVet! With the TeleVet mobile app you can easily send virtual consultation requests to us when if your pet is sick or injured.
To get started, download the TeleVet app on the iTunes or Google Play store and create your profile and your pets (pictures encouraged!). When you need us, create a consultation request detailing your pet’s issue. Upload any pictures or videos, instant message, and talk with us face to face through a video conference call to help get your pet feeling better again. We look forward to talking with you soon.
*Only available for current Countryside Veterinary Service, LLC clients and patients.
We appreciate your patience and cooperation so that we can continue to serve you and your pets! Please contact us if you have any questions or need to schedule an appointment.
Dr. Stacey Funderburk
Countryside Veterinary Services