Lort Smith Animal Hospital is again reassuring pet owners that following basichygiene principals will keep your pet safe from COVID-19.

A new study published on 13 May 2020 in New England Journal of Medicine ,reports that in laboratory conditions, cats can transmit COVID-19 to othercats. It is important to note that the cats all cleared the virus and are wellagain.

“From the evidence we are seeing globally human-to-cat cases outside thelaboratory are rare and isolated”, said Dr Cunliffe who is Head of Hospital atLort Smith, adding, “there are no documented cases in which humans have becomeill with COVID-19 because of contact with cats”.

Reiterating the message from leading animal health organisations worldwide, DrCunliffe says, “this means we need to ensure we treat our pets with respect.We need our pets now more than ever.”

Upholding basic hygiene principals is key to protecting your pet. Hand hygieneis essential before and after handling your pets, as well as their food andwater bowls.

“The evidence is clear: wash your hands, and don’t kiss your pet,” says DrCunliffe.

Lort Smith advises that people who have tested positive to COVID-19 shouldavoid close contact with their pets. Where possible, have another member ofthe house care for the pet during this time.

Additionally ensure all people living in the household maintain good hygienepractices – including minimising direct contact to best protect animalcompanions.

“If you are at all worried about your pet, please call your vet,” implores DrCunliffe.

Lort Smith continues to offer emergency, urgent and essential care to animals.At present Lort Smith’s opening hours are 8:30am-10pm every day of the year.

What to do if you have COVID-19 or are in self-isolation

  • Keep your pet/s indoors if they have been potentially exposed to a human case.
  • Minimise contact with the pet – especially avoid close contact.
  • If possible ensure anyone who has tested positive to COVID-19 has no direct contact with the pet.
  • Maintain good hand hygiene including before and after handling any pet and their food and water bowls.

Develop a pet care plan in the event of you being hospitalised – download LortSmith’s checklist here.

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