Veterinarians limit services amid COVID-19 outbreak

GRANDVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — Many people are wondering how COVID-19 could impact their pets, such as if they can contract the virus or spread it.

News 8 reached out to a local veterinarian to get some answers.

The coronavirus is a family of viruses and COVID-19 is a specific type of virus within that family. While cats and dogs can get sick from a certain type of coronavirus, they are very unlikely to get sick from COVID-19.

News 8 spoke with Dr. Doug Clarke with Pet Veterinary Clinic in Grandville. He says he learned through the American Veterinary Medical Association that a dog tested positive for COVID-19 in China because the dog’s owner had it.

However, the dog did not get sick from the virus and Clarke does not believe animals are able to pass it along to people

He says it’s like if the virus was living on a desk or doorknob, while it can stay there, it’s not necessarily infected.

“We don’t have to do anything for the pet, per say, but after we handle it, we are washing our hands for 20 seconds, wiping down doorknobs, that kind of thing. As far as protecting the pets from COVID-19, no, there really is no evidence that I understand that they can be infected with it,” said Clarke.

Clarke also mentioned that while vet clinics are still open, being that they are considered essential, many of them are only offering emergency services in person. If you have any questions about your pet’s health, he says to call your veterinarian.

Monday, Gov. GretchenWhitmer signed another executive order temporarily banning all nonessential veterinary procedures as another social distancing measure. It went into effect Tuesday.