The following text and photos are from Gregory Varano, freelance photojournalist:
Today was final (immunization) shot day for my 21-week-old female Jack Russell Terrier Rainbow. After a busy morning of showering breakfast and dog walking, it was also Rainbow’s visit to the Vet. Time for her final vaccines against Distemper, Adenovirus and Parvo Virus along with a Rabies Vaccine. What a lucky gal.
This got me thinking, are our fur babies affected by COVID-19 (coronavirus)? If so, in what way? Well, I figured it was an opportune time to ask our vet, Dr. Amanda Booth of Saseenos Veterinary Services, right here in Sooke.
Like all clinics today a COVID-19 safety protocol was to be followed. Phone upon arrival and your pet will be picked up in the parking lot and brought into the clinic for treatment. Only staff can enter the clinic. All staff that come to pick up your pet are wearing latex gloves and a face mask. You are to hand your pet to the staff member no closer than arm’s length approximately six feet apart when possible.
Rainbow was met by Dr. Booth at our car and taken in for her injections. No more than ten minutes later Rainbow appeared in the gentle arms of Dr. Booth.
I asked Dr. Booth about the coronavirus in dogs she quickly clarified two points. First off, the coronavirus in dogs is completely different than that in humans, they are not related, dog vaccines for coronavirus would not work on humans. Point two, as far as we know to date there is no way you can contract the coronavirus from your dog or a dog.
Can humans transmit the coronavirus to dogs? There have been two documented cases, both in Hong Kong. In both isolated cases the dog’s owners tested positive for Corona. All the evidence to date states that dogs can’t give Corona to us as far as we are aware, but we might be able to shed to them.
What is being recommended is if you test positive for coronavirus, you shouldn’t be snuggling or kissing your dog but have someone looking after your dog until you are out of the woods so to speak. Since there are only two cases currently to look at why take a chance. There are tests currently being done in Canada and the United States by IDeXX. So far in the numerous tests done on animals, not one test was positive.
If you are on a 14-day quarantine and are otherwise healthy, should you get someone in to look after your dog or cat? The chances are very remote that they would be infected. I’m glad I asked, now to take my pup home for some R&R.
Filed by Gregory Varano