|Canadian COVID-19 Webinar|
There were more than 220 registrations for our Canadian shelter webinar with Dr. Sandra Newbury! Shelters from across the country were represented and had the opportunity to ask questions. As a result of this tremendous response, we are planning to follow up with more webinars and are discussing a Canadian-focused website. Please email if you are interested in helping with content or translation. Thank you once again to Ogena Solutions for sponsoring the webinar.
The Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs presented a webinar last week about megestrol acetate as a tool in the toolkit for managing fertility in cats during COVID-19. For an FAQ about this drug, visit this link.
Key points:MGA prevents ovulation and can therefore suppress heat and prevent pregnancy in catsIt must be prescribed by a veterinarian and is extra-label in catsIt should not be used in juvenile cats or pregnant catsIt needs to be given weekly, and a compounded liquid is recommendedIt can have serious side-effects like diabetes, although these are uncommon at currently recommended dosesKeep Kittens Out of Shelters – Why and How
Most shelters are not spaying and neutering right now. That means a lot more more kittens this kitten season. Kitten admissions to shelters should be limited to urgent situations only and, if admitted, they should go to foster homes as quickly as possible. That’s both to protect our staff and to prevent infection in cats.
A study showed that kittens are more susceptible to COVID-19 than young adult cats. While there is no current evidence that cats play a role in the epidemiology of this disease, there are concerns that an outbreak could be possible in a shelter – particularly in kittens and particularly if there is crowding and sub-optimal infection control.
For resources on how to keep kittens in the community and out of the shelter, see Arizona Humane and Toronto Humane’s Don’t Kitnap Kittens pages.
|We are entering a critical period for COVID-19 infections in Ontario and other parts of Canada. What we do, and don’t do, in the next two weeks will literally save (or cost) human lives. Although we are dedicated to helping animals, people have got to be our first priority right now.|
The Ontario Public Health presentation on April 3 transparently shared projections about the numbers of cases and deaths in Ontario if we all do the right thing, and the numbers if we don’t.
No intervention: 6,000 deaths and 300,000 cases
Current preventions: 1,600 deaths and 80,000 cases
Extreme preventions: 200 deaths and 12,500 cases
This is everybody’s fight.
The following recommendations are based on positions from the COVID-19 shelter response group (condensed here). The group includes many key organizations – U. Wisconsin, Florida and Davis shelter medicine programs, NACA, HSUS and others, and Canadian partners OSMA, AVQMR, Humane Canada and CVMA, who all attend daily group discussions.
What shelters should, and should not do right now:DO protect your staff and broader community by limiting the number of staff who have to go in to work DO allow social distancing among staff who need to be in the shelter, by minimizing the number of tasks that require close contactThat means:NO elective surgeriesLIMIT admissions to truly urgent cases ADOPT out animals that have not been spayed or neutered. We should, and can, trust our adopters to do the right thing when the time comes, and should provide all possible support at that time. Here’s Dr. Julie Levy’s open letter about why we must suspend spay-neuter during the pandemic and here is the webinar she presented. FOSTER animals that are not ready for adoptionWhat about kittens?Limit kitten admissions to truly urgent cases. We have to keep animals in the community, and trust and help community members to take care of them. Resources here and here.Daily COVID-19 Shelter Digest
Subscribe to the Daily shelter digest from the group mentioned above, for credible and up-to-date information.
AVQMR/OSMA Facebook page
We strongly encourage OSMA members to utilize this group in this difficult time. Every comment can be translated just by clicking the “Translate” command so it’s easy to communicate in two languages. The page is here.
|March 29, 2020|
|There’s a deluge of content out there about COVID-19, but not much that is Canadian-shelter-focused. The intention is to provide a resource for our shelters. The updates will be BRIEF. Goal is approximately weekly.|
Symptomatic COVID-19-positive cat in Belgium
This development may create some panic, so let’s be ready for it. Worms & Germs has a very measured response to this case – essentially saying this was predictable and does not fundamentally change previous recommendations. Remember, this is one cat amidst more than 500,000 human infections. The overwhelming risk remains human-to-human transmission. Health Canada has reassuring information about animals that we can direct the public to (go to the “Animals in Canada” section).
Recommendation to stop non-emergency transport
OSMA and AVQMR have endorsed a call to stop most animal transport, in order to maintain social distancing and thereby protect people. Lifesaving transfers within communities should continue.
Other recommendations for Animal Control agencies
These are included on the page referenced above. Areas covered include:Limiting shelter services, what should and should not be providedStopping all elective surgeriesRecommendations for handling COVID-19-exposed animalsDaily COVID-19 Shelter Digest
Subscribe to the Digest from major US sheltering agencies for credible and up-to-date information. AVQMR, OSMA and Humane Canada are participating in daily and twice-weekly briefings and discussions.
AVQMR/OSMA Facebook page (members only)
This page has been used very effectively for COVID-related communication between Canadian shelters. Most input is coming from AVQMR members. We strongly encourage OSMA members to use the group in this difficult time. Every comment can be translated just by clicking the “Translate” command so it’s easy to communicate in two languages. The page is here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/283210268792770/?ref=bookmarks
We are working hard to pull together a Canadian shelter COVID-19 webinar presented by a shelter medicine specialist. This is a collaboration between OSMA, AVQMR and Humane Canada at present. Speaker availability is our main limitation right now. Watch this space.