Dear AMCOC Clients and Friends,
We are now just entering the early phase of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in Chicago. I know this may be a frightening time for many, but it is also a time that we come together as a community to help those most vulnerable to the virus — our elderly and immunocompromised friends, family members, and neighbors. As a thoughtful community, we need to reduce the rapid spread of COVID-19 by practicing good hygiene, including washing our hands frequently, refraining from touching our faces, keeping a social distance of 6 feet from others, avoiding large crowds, and self-quarantining if experiencing symptoms. Over the course of the next year, public health officials estimate that 20 to 60 percent of the population will be exposed to COVID-19. Our goal today is to slow the spread of disease and “flatten the epidemic curve” so that we do not overburden our health care system. Through good hygiene and social distancing, we can reduce the intensity of the pandemic and make sure those who are ill receive appropriate and timely care.
Although COVID-19 has the capacity to cause significant respiratory illness in humans, the good news is that it does not appear to do that in dogs. To date, only two dogs living in Japan have tested weakly positive for COVID-19. Both dogs show no signs of ill health (they are asymptomatic). Despite recent evidence showing dogs may harbor the virus in their mouth and nose, we do not believe today pets are a significant vector for transmission of this disease to humans. If you are ill with COVID-19 or experiencing respiratory symptoms, however, please do not hug, snuggle, or touch your pets. Hypothetically, pets could act as fomites for this virus — meaning the virus could remain on their fur and potentially infect another person. If you become ill, we recommend that you assign your pet’s care to someone else in the household.
At Animal Medical Center of Chicago, we are very protective and proactive with the health of our clients, patients, and staff. Though we have always followed the highest standards of cleanliness at AMCOC, we have implemented additional cleaning steps to reduce the risk of viral spread within our hospital. If you are ill or have been in close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19, we would appreciate it if you would reschedule any nonessential appointments – or you can call us to make alternative arrangements for us to care for your pet.
During these extenuating times, we’d like to offer you the following:
- If you desire to avoid our waiting room, please don’t hesitate to tell us. You may wait in your car or sit on our porch before being immediately ushered into your pet’s examination room.
- If you choose not to enter the practice, we will escort your pet from your car into the clinic for you.
- We can also hand deliver your medication to your parked car, or you can pick it up on our porch whenever you desire.
- If you are unable to bring your ill pet to our practice and we deem it medically appropriate, we will be available for medical consultation via telephone or skype.
Just let us know what works best for you!
Lastly, during this pandemic, we will be avoiding any extra contact with our clients. Please do not be offended if we do not shake your hand, do not have communal candy at front desk, or talk to your partner on your cell phone. We’re doing all we can to help reduce the rate of spread of COVID-19.
Please do not hesitate to call us at 773-525-3353 if you have any additional concerns or questions about COVID-19 in pets. You may also check out the CDC’s website for additional timely COVID-19 information.
We wish you all good health.
Donna Solomon, DVM &
The Staff of Animal Medical Center of Chicago