Michigan Coronavirus: You, your pets and how it correlates to the virus

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MARQUETTE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJMN) – Animal Medical Center of Marquette says they’ve been tracking the correlation between COVID-19 and animals since the pandemic began.

“There was a first case of a Pomeranian in Hong Kong that tested positive,” said Dr. Kellie Holmstrom, Animal Medical Center of Marquette. “Hong Kong tested a couple of dogs at the time and then a couple of day later there was German Shepherd. With it being a coronavirus, the most common ones that you would see the cats and the ferret.”

With a zookeeper giving the virus to a tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York, it’s been proven that it can transfer from human to animal.

“If you as a human are diagnosed with COVID or you suspect you have COVID, try to isolate yourself from your pets to decrease the exposure,” said Dr. Holmstrom. “Currently we have not seen any cases where the pet then turned around and gave COVID to the owner but it’s something we’re continually monitoring as we learn more and more about this disease.”

The American Veterinarian Medical Association says if you are ill with COVID-19 you should restrict contact with pets and other animals, just as you would restrict your contact with other people. When possible, have another member of your household or business take care of feeding and otherwise caring for any animals, including pets. If you have a service animal or you must care for your animals, including pets, wear a cloth facemask; don’t pet, don’t share food, kiss, or hug them; and wash your hands before and after any contact with your pet or service animal. You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home.

AMC says even if you’re pet doesn’t have the virus, the germs can still live on your pet like the surface of your computer keyboard or a door knob.

“We’re now wearing masks for examining the dogs in the clinic just so we’re keeping them as clean as possible before we return them to their owner,” said Dr. Holmstrom.

As an essential business, Animal Medical Center of Marquette is still open. Their number is (906)226-7400.

For more information on guidelines from the American Veterinarian Medical Association, click here.

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