Archive for the ‘COVID-19’ Category

Mar 27, 2020

Caring for Pets During Self-Isolation

Posted by Bob under COVID-19

With the current COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing measures being enacted, many of us find ourselves working from home and spending most, if not all, of our time indoors.  According to the most recent report from the AVMA, nearly 57% of all US households own a pet.  So, while some may be worried about maintaining a healthy lifestyle, what about our furry friends? 

Maintaining physical exercise is not only important for ourselves but for our pets as well.  In a previous blog, we discussed the potential benefits of regular walks for your dog.  Follow local ordinances regarding social distancing and use your best judgement when it comes to exercising your dog outside during the current pandemic.  If you find that you cannot continue your usual routine, consider additional ways to keep your pet active.

Playing games such as fetch and tug-of-war may be good ways to keep your dog both physically and mentally stimulated.  Toys that require your dog to chew or uncover treats can also help with mental stimulation.  Similarly, cats may also enjoy playing with toys as a form of physical and mental stimulation.  Additionally, there are many videos online that show how to teach your dog or cat new tricks.

It may also be a wise decision to consider an emergency kit for your pets.  Your kit can include food, treats, medications, toys, blanket or bed, and anything that you might need for your pet.  Many veterinary hospitals remain open however several have modified services and/or hours.  Check with your veterinarian to determine if they are still open and what their current operating protocol is so that you can plan accordingly.    

The good news is the CDC is currently reporting that there is no evidence that companion animals can spread, or are a source of, COVID-19.  See our recent blog for more information on COVID-19 and pets.  And as a reminder to our clients and potential clients, as a critical medicines provider, VetStem remains open to process all stem cell requests.  Click here to locate a VetStem provider in your area.

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Mar 19, 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Pets

Posted by Bob under COVID-19

Coronavirus has impacted the world, including veterinary clinics and pet owners.  With the current situation surrounding Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), there have been questions regarding the possible transmission of the virus from humans to pets (including horses) and vice versa.

I am not an expert on COVID-19, but I am a veterinarian, an epidemiologist, and I have been studying disease spread and animal health for over 35 years.  Our VetStem team has been gathering information from trusted sources.  The following are my opinions and also referenced opinions of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).  Use these resources to assist in guiding your actions relative to COVID-19 and your pets.

Though this continues to be a rapidly developing situation, the CDC is currently reporting that they have not received any reports of pets sick with COVID-19.  They also stated, “In the United States, 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.”  The CDC recommends if you are not ill with COVID-19, you can interact with your pet as you normally would however do practice good hygiene during your interactions (wash hands before and after interacting).

CDC recommendations if you are sick with COVID-19:

  • “If you are sick with COVID-19 (either suspected or confirmed), you should restrict contact with pets and other animals, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. This can help ensure both you and your animals stay healthy.”
  • “When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. Avoid contact with your pet including, petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with them.”

Stem Cell Treatment Availability

  • We want to assure veterinarians and pet owners that VetStem’s laboratory operations are up and running and we are processing samples and shipping out cell doses to veterinarians as per our normal operations. 
  • Veterinarians are critical to maintaining the health of our animals and VetStem is following the CDC guidelines to keep our dedicated staff healthy and working.  As you may know, our laboratories are maintained at a very high FDA-recommended level of sterility and our staff working in these laboratories are working in one of the cleanest and safest environments on the planet.  We have been working at this level for more than a decade.

We will be monitoring the CDC and the AVMA alerts and keep all of you up to date with any new or changed information regarding COVID-19 and veterinary medicine.

Reputable sources for information:

  • CDC information on animals and COVID-19 click here
  • CDC info on people with COVID-19 in home care with pets click here
  • AVMA resources on pets and COVID-19 click here

Be safe.

Bob Harman, DVM, MPVM

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