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El Gato and COVID-19 Update 

When you can’t wash your hands, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers that contain at least 60% alcohol. Remember, these should not be used in lieu of proper hand washing because they do not get rid of visible dirt or grease, harmful chemicals, or all types of germs. Good old-fashioned handwashing is the best bet.

We are monitoring the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) for updates regarding pet guidelines involving the COVID-19 virus. Some clients questioned whether pets can not only get the virus but transmit it to their owners. As recently as April 12, 2020, based on information supported by guidance from the U.S, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the AVMA stated, “At this point in time, there is also no evidence that domestic animals, including pets and livestock, can spread COVID-19 to people.”

Within days of this information, the United States Department of Agriculture and the CDC, announced two confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) infection two pet cats in New York State. According to the USDA, “both had mild respiratory illness and are expected to make a full recovery. SARS-CoV-2 infections have been reported in very few animals worldwide, mostly in those that had close contact with a person with COVID-19”.

Because there are still many questions about transmission of COVID-19, we recommend you follow the guidelines about pet / human interaction until we know more:

Do not let pets interact with people or other animals outside the household.

  • Keep cats indoors when possible to prevent them from interacting with other animals or people.
  • Walk dogs on a leash, maintaining at least 6 feet from other people and animals.
  • Avoid dog parks or public places where a large number of people and dogs gather.
  • Do not let pets interact with people or animals outside of your household.

If you are sick with COVID-19 (either suspected or confirmed by a test), restrict contact with your pets and other animals, just like you would around other people.

  • Avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food or bedding.
  • When possible, have another member of your household care for your pets while you are sick.
  • If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wear a cloth face covering and wash your hands before and after you interact with them.

Routine testing is not recommended at this time. State and public health officials will determine whether an animal should be tested for SARS-CoV-2. Nonetheless, if your pet develops signs / symptoms of upper respiratory illness, please contact us immediately.

COVID-19 presents a risk to our pets primarily if the human does not have a plan in place to care for the pet if the owner becomes ill. Now is a great time to put a plan in place to care for your pets if for any reasons illness or natural disaster prevent you from caring for their needs. Even with other family members available, your backup plan should include:

  • The contact information for a boarding facility that will board your animals.
  • Learn the vaccinations that are required for admittance to such a facility, that your pet(s) are current, AND you have proof of those vaccinations
  • Create an emergency bag for your pet that includes a current photo of you with your pet, one month supply of their food and necessary medications with directions. Include a current copy of your appropriate medical records and provide a list and contact information for people authorized to make medical decisions for your animals.
  • Identity tags, microchip and rabies and license tags should be with your pet.
  • Be sure you have an appropriately sized crate, carrier, and/or trailer labeled and available for your pets.
  • Maintain social distancing as described above, for both you and your pet

For more detailed information about creating a pet emergency kit, go to www.fema.gov and working together, we will get through this. If you have questions or concerns, please contact our office.

Cancer in Pets

A cancer diagnosis for any family member, including your beloved pet is frightening to hear. Did you know that according to Nationwide Insurance, cancer is the number one disease-related cause of death for dogs in the United States? The Comparative Oncology Program of the U.S. National Cancer Institute states of the 65 million pet dogs and 32 million pet cats in the U.S., approximately 6 million new cancer diagnoses are made in both dogs and cats annually. In fact, 1 in 4 dogs and 1 in 5 cats will develop cancer in their lifetime and dogs get cancer at about the same rate as humans!

The good news is that some pet cancer can be treated if caught early. The sooner the cancer is identified, the chances of surviving increases. The best way to obtain an early diagnosis is to be vigilant about identifying changes in your pet’s health. Report any changes or concerns to our staff as soon as possible. Remember, older pets should be seen for a thorough check every six months.

Common Cancers in Dogs

  • Lymphoma – cancer of the lymph nodes
  • Thyroid Cancer
  • Lung tumors
  • Mammary gland cancer
  • Oral melanoma
  • “Mast cell” tumors
  • Tumors on the trunk or limbs
  • Anal gland adenocarcinoma
  • Hemangiosarcoma (occurs in the lining of blood vessels)

Common Cancers in Cats

  • Lymphoma – often connected to Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV)
  • Mast Cell tumors
  • Squamous carcinoma
  • Fibrosarcoma – connected to vaccinations

Not as common but still occurring are:

  • Lung
  • Brain
  • Nasal
  • Liver
  • Mammary tumors

If your pet has been diagnosed with cancer, options for treatment will then be discussed. Referral to a veterinary oncologist (cancer specialist) might be sought to get additional information to make an informed decision regarding your pet’s cancer treatment.. Most importantly, ask questions and keep yourself informed. You are your pet’s best advocate. Here are a few places to obtain valuable information for your pet: www.morrisanimalfoundation.org, www.vetcancersociety.org and https://fetchacure.org/resource-library/cancer-glossary/.

Kodi’s Kolumn! by Kodiak (Kodi) Bibb – Head K-9 in charge! (That’s me on the right!)


Specially-Abled Pets Day – May 3. This day reminds us all that disabled pets can be some of the best friends we’ll ever have. They will love you and be your best friend in spite of their differences. Sadly, these pets are often passed up at shelters because people feel they may be too much work. Just remember how much love they have to give the next time you are looking for a new best friend.

Mother’s Day – May 10. Officially, Mother’s Day as we know it began in 1868 as Mother’s Friendship Day, but was nationally recognized in 1914 and it recognizes and celebrates the influence of the mother of the family. The earliest celebrations, however can be traced to spring celebrations in ancient Greece in honor of Thea, the Mother of the Gods.

Memorial Day – in 2020 it will be celebrated on May 25, but is generally observed on the last Monday of May. This very special holiday was designed to honor and remember the U.S. military personnel who died while serving the United States.



  • They are they can fly in different directions and hover forward, backward, sideways, in mid-air, and upside-down!
  • They can fly in the rain and shake their heads as fast as 132 times per second to remove water.
  • They can feed every 10 – 15 minutes and scout between 1,000 and 2,000 flowers every day for food.
  • They are fast; having been clocked in direct flights at about 30 mph and in courtship dives at 45 mph.

Stay Safe!