CURRENT PRACTICE PROTOCOLS
At this time we will remain open to treat those that require treatment, to sell prescription food and medications and to consult with you on the phone. All elective surgeries are being postponed until after April 14th per government orders. We are only performing emergency procedures at this time. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We are implementing full concierge service. Please call us from your car when you arrive and we will come out to help you. We will be taking payments over the phone. . Take care of yourselves and wash your hands,
URGENT COVID-19 QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Can SARS-CoV-2 infect dogs, cats and other animals?
We don’t really know. Preliminary evidence suggests that one dog in Hong Kong that lived with a person infected with the virus tested positive multiple times over multiple days. This suggests that the dog was in fact infected, rather than just contaminated with the virus. In mid-March, 2020, the World Health Organization stated that there is no evidence at present that dogs and cats can be infected with SARS-CoV-2, develop the disease, or spread the disease. It is important to note that SARS-CoV-2 was not isolated from the dog in Hong Kong - only RNA was identified via RT-PCR.
SARS-CoV-2 utilizes two receptors in humans: It binds Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2) and then fuses with the cell membrane with help from a type-II transmembrane serine protease (TMPRSS2) (similar to the original SARS virus in the early 2000s). Sequence homology for ACE2 at the critical binding sites suggests that SARS-CoV-2 might be able to bind to ACE2 receptors in cats and ferrets. Given the findings from the one dog in Hong Kong (see Worms-and-Germs Blog), we can reasonably suspect that dogs might also bind the virus. Rats and mice appear not to be able to bind the virus, because their ACE2 receptors are different enough from those of dogs or cats.
Infection, however, requires additional steps than just virus binding and membrane fusion. Viral replication, avoiding the host immune response etc. are also necessary components of infection and potential transmission.
Can infected dogs and cats transmit the disease to people?
Currently, no evidence exists that dogs and cats, even if infected, can transmit the SARS-CoV-2 virus to humans. Indeed, no infected cats have been identified. To date, all transmission has been human-to-human, after the initial jump from bats (most likely) to humans. It is worth noting that the original SARS virus could also bind to the dog and cat ACE2 receptor, but no reported cases of pet-to-human transmission of that virus were ever reported, although that outbreak was much smaller and investigation of domestic animals was limited.
Can dogs and cats act as fomites and transmit the disease to people?
This question has been addressed by the AVMA. Here is the direct quotation:
"COVID-19 appears to be primarily transmitted by contact with an infected person’s bodily secretions, such as saliva or mucus droplets in a cough or sneeze.COVID-19 might be able to be transmitted by touching a contaminated surface or object (i.e., a fomite) and then touching the mouth, nose, or possibly eyes, but this appears to be a secondary route. Smooth (non-porous) surfaces (e.g., countertops, door-knobs) transmit viruses better than porous materials (e.g., paper money, pet fur), because porous, and especially fibrous, materials absorb and trap the pathogen (virus), making it harder to contract through simple touch.
Because most pet hair is porous and also fibrous, it is very unlikely that a person would contract COVID-19 by petting or playing with a pet. However, because animals can spread other diseases to people and people can also spread diseases to animals, it’s always a good idea to wash hands before and after interacting with animals; ensure the pet is kept well-groomed; and regularly clean the pet’s food and water bowls, bedding material, and toys."
Could the SARS-CoV-2 virus cause clinical disease in dogs, cats or ferrets?
We don’t know. The one dog that might be infected in Hong Kong showed no clinical signs. The closely related SARS virus did not cause disease in cats (but cats were able to transmit the virus to other cats). In contrast, disease did occur in experimentally infected ferrets. There is currently no evidence that domestic animals can develop disease from this virus or, if infected, transmit it to other animals or people. However, study of animals to date has been limited.
Hours of Operation
Monday 7:45 am to 5:30 pm
Tuesday 7:45 am to 5:30 pm
Wednesday 7:45 am to 5:30 pm
Thursday 7:45 am to 5:30 pm
Friday 7:45 am to 5:30 pm
Saturday 8:00 am to 12:00 pm
We open on weekdays at 7:45am to better serve your needs!
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2910 MAIN AVENUE
DURANGO, CO 81301
Phone: (970) 247-5771
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