COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Outbreak
A novel coronavirus, named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Illustration courtesy of CDC: Alissa Eckert, MS and Dan Higgins, MAM
At this time, it is best to postpone most elective health care visits to reduce transmission of respiratory viruses. We are currently still taking patients at our hospital and providing routine & emergent medical care. This may change at some point as the outbreak or pandemic evolves. You will be notified of changes in services by this website, phone messages, or direct emails to your email listed in our records. Office hours are still by appointment, & at times they may vary slightly from usual.
To safeguard our staff and other clients, if you or a family member are feeling sick with respiratory symptoms of coughing or sneezing, or have a fever, please call our office to reschedule your pet’s appointment. It is also recommended to have another family member care for your pets if your doctor suspects or diagnoses COVID-19 as a cause of your illness. Although one dog tested positive for the virus in China, so far, experts have not expressed concern about transmission to or from animals. According to many international health organizations, pets are not considered at risk for contracting COVID-19. No animal to human cases have been reported. However, if you are sick, it would be best to limit contact with pets and practice good hygiene.
COVID-19 FAQ for Pet Owners
A good summary with links to very informative websites regarding pets and the current Coronavirus outbreak: https://veterinarypartner.vin.com/default.aspx?pid=19239&id=9548687
Pets are at this time not considered susceptible to this coronavirus. However, an elderly Pomeranian dog living with an infected person in Hong Kong tested positive for a while but had no symptoms. After extended quarantine, the dog was released back to the owners & subsequently died (likely from stress & other underlying health issues). https://www.aaha.org/publications/newstat/articles/2020-03/first-dog-to-test-positive-for-coronavirus-dies/
March 19th, a second dog has tested positive in Hong Kong. The dog is a German Shepherd living with an infected person in Hong Kong & another negative dog. We will be monitoring the progress of this dog. https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202003/19/P2020031900606.htm
No COVID-19 has been detected in thousands of pets tested: Click for article
At this point, the only concern we may have regarding pets is that their fur may become contaminated with the viral particles, just like any other structure or object that is around an infected person. As a reminder, if you are feeling sick with any of the typical symptoms, please have another family member care for your pets.
Virtual Care for Pets
Consider our Telehealth services to assist you and your pet for minor health issues or minor urgent care advice. This is available to both clients and the general public to help provide health information and advice on specific diseases and wellness care. Another service, Teletriage, will not result in a diagnosis, but safe, timely, appropriate advice is given based on information you provide via phone consult, email, videos, or pictures. A decision can be made if a visit to our veterinary office or a local emergency hospital is required.
Telemedicine is available if your pet has been seen by one of our veterinarians in the past year for an examination. With this, we have a valid VCPR (Veterinary client patient relationship) which is required by Arizona state statute for any prognosing, diagnosing, or prescribing of medications. We have access to your pet’s records even if our hospital is closed.
Teleconsulting is another option to maximize the health of your pet bird, dog, cat, or exotic pet. As an ABVP board certified avian specialist, Dr. Hillary Frank is available to offer insight & advice on the care of a patient to another veterinarian.
At North Central Animal Hospital, your other family veterinarian in Phoenix, we pride ourselves in being an AAHA certified hospital. The staff & doctors are highly trained in reducing infectious diseases and have always taken precautions to prevent the spread of illnesses.
Website pharmacy & store: Along with the interesting stock market swings, there will likely be affects seen with supplies and medications over time. Since many of our medications & supplies are made in China, this delay will likely be seen very soon as the numbers of items on back-order are starting to increase. Our Hospital Website Pharmacy and Store may carry the items you need, so please check there first. Another source for prescription diets and AAFCO feed trial certified diets is our Purina Proplan Vet Direct store. Use our clinic ID number 3I8NF when you register for an account.
It may also be useful to visit GoodRx to get typical prices and pharmacies that normally carry medications your pet may need.
Useful & timely information about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Wash your hands while singing the Happy Birthday song twice, or make your own handwashing poster with 13 lines of your favorite song. https://washyourlyrics.com/
Slow the viral spread and reduce burden on health care capacity.
When social distancing measures are imposed, the spread of the virus slows and hospitals are less overburdened. Image by Esther Kim and Carl Bergstrom
If you are sick or have traveled to areas currently affected by COVID-19 and are sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, you should:
- Avoid contact with others.
- Restrain from handshaking, hugs, & kisses in public. Greet with hand gestures &
- Do not attend public events or visit public places.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow/sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing. Change & wash your shirt often if you sneeze or cough onto your sleeve.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, immediately after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
- If you need to seek medical care, before going to your doctor’s office, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
- Discuss travel with your healthcare provider. Older adults and travelers with chronic medical conditions may be at risk for more severe disease.
Cuando se imponen medidas de distanciamiento social, la propagación del virus se ralentiza y los hospitales están menos sobrecargados. Imagen de Esther Kim y Carl Bergstrom
Si está enfermo o ha viajado a áreas actualmente afectadas por COVID-19 y está enfermo con fiebre, tos o dificultad para respirar, debe:
• Evite el contacto con otros.
• Restrinja el apretón de manos, abrazos y besos en público. Salude con gestos con las manos y
• No asista a eventos públicos ni visite lugares públicos.
• Cubra su boca y nariz con un pañuelo desechable o su codo / manga (no sus manos) cuando tosa o estornude. Cambie y lave su camisa con frecuencia si estornuda o tose en la manga.
• Lávese las manos frecuentemente con agua y jabón durante al menos 20 segundos o use un desinfectante para manos a base de alcohol que contenga al menos 60% de alcohol, inmediatamente después de toser, estornudar o sonarse la nariz.
• Si necesita buscar atención médica, antes de ir al consultorio de su médico, llame con anticipación e infórmeles sobre su viaje reciente y sus síntomas.
• Discuta los viajes con su proveedor de atención médica. Los adultos mayores y los viajeros con afecciones médicas crónicas pueden estar en riesgo de sufrir una enfermedad más grave.