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El Paso veterinarians hope to keep coronavirus on a leash as they provide ‘essential’ pet care

Veterinarians provide medical treatment for a cat.
Veterinarians provide medical treatment for a cat.

EL PASO, Texas - Though many businesses have had to close due to the coronavirus pandemic, veterinarians provide an "essential service" and refuse to roll over to the contagious disease by adjusting the way they work.

The biggest challenge has been how to adjust to social distancing.

Some El Paso area veterinarians are saying that the offices will not only remain open but that staff will be able to make conditional house calls, even to a quarantined family as long as the proper precautions are taken.

Borderland veterinarians are trying to keep their lobby areas empty of clients to avoid violating the six-foot rule.

“We just asked people to sign their pet in and wait in their vehicle and we get them when we are ready for them so we do not have a bunch of people sitting in the lobby waiting," said Dr. Lizette Porras, an associate veterinarian at the Mesa Veterinary Clinic.

The animal hospitals also maintain the right to turn away any client that arrives to their facilities looking sick.

The recent pandemic scare, has pet owners wondering whether or not they can get Covid-19 from their pets.

“So they’ve done testing and studying, and it has not been identified in animals in America at this time," said Dr. Amy Starr, who owns the Mesa Veterinary Clinic. "Like with any virus there’s always the possibility of mutation but it has not been found in animals at this time. Whether it is the flu or Covid-19 or the cold or strep or anything like that you should take precautions with pets.”

During this time, veterinarians are also saying that the real danger emerges if pet owners over-quarantine themselves and forget important pet check-ups because some diseases can be spread to pets.

The American Veterinary Medical Association also encourages good hygiene for reasons other than the coronavirus noting that “since animals can spread other diseases to people and people can also spread diseases to animals, always wash your hands after interacting with animals and clean their bowls, beds and toys.”

Michael Gordon

Michael Gordon is an ABC-7 reporter who co-anchors Good Morning El Paso weekends.


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