Blackwell vet advises pet safety during COVID-19

by Charles Gerian

With a family's health and safety now meaning more than ever during the coronavirus pandemic, some might be asking how safe – or vulnerable – their smaller, furrier family members are.

Dr. Larry Wyckoff from the Blackwell Animal Hospital recommends that families follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's guidelines on pet safety.
According to the CDC, there is no evidence to suggest imported animals or animal products pose a risk of spreading the 2019 novel coronavirus, but more testing needs to be done to understand if and how different animals could be affected by COVID-19.

Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that any animals, including pets, livestock, or wildlife, might be a source of COVID-19 infection at this time.

However, the CDC advises that all animals can carry germs that can make people sick. It’s always a good idea to practice healthy habits around pets and other animals, such as washing hands after handling animals or their food, waste, or supplies.

Those who interact with pets are also encouraged to practice good pet hygiene.
CDC officials say those who think they are sick with COVID-19 (either suspected or confirmed) should restrict contact with pets and other animals.

When possible, have another member of the household care for animals while the pet's owner is sick. If someone is sick, it is suggested they avoid petting or snuggling with animals. They should also avoid being kissed or licked by animals, and should not share food with them.

Currently, the Blackwell Animal Hospital is closed on weekends. It is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., and from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. The lobby is closed, so those arriving are encouraged to call ahead at 580-363-1502 or honk their car horn for service when they arrive. A doctor is on call for after-hours emergencies. Call 580-716-4311 in the event of an emergency.