Can your pets get coronavirus?

Can your pets get coronavirus?

ELGIN, S.C. (WIS) - It's not business as usual at Spears Creek Veterinary Clinic in Elgin.

There's even more cleaning than normal. Staff members, who normally share computers throughout the day, now each only work from one. And each person has his or her own color-coded pen. The most notable difference inside the clinic - the patients, like this Dachshund named Bentley, are still being seen, but the pets' parents are not.

“We actually have the clients call the clinic when they get here. We are going outside, we are getting their pet, we bring the pet in, the clients are not allowed in the building. And we bring the pets in and the first thing we do is sanitize the pet,” said Dr. Wendy King.

Sanitize the pet because, if it's coming from a home where a human has coronavirus and sneezed or coughed on the animal, that germ still could be alive on the animal's fur.

“This is the one time we want you to think of your pet as a surface,” Dr. King added.

Medical experts said they do not believe humans can pass the current novel coronavirus to animals.

“The short answer is no,” Dr. King said. “The long answer is pets do get coronavirus but dogs get their own specific dog coronavirus, cats get their own specific cat coronavirus and humans are getting their own specific human coronavirus.”

Dr. King said viruses are very species-specific. The coronavirus type in pets - dogs and cats - can cause mild diarrhea.

The extra safety precautions being taken at this vet clinic, including re-sanitizing the pet before returning it to the owners, are steps to protect the humans.

Copyright 2020 WIS. All rights reserved.