Animal Disease Lab Shifts to Human COVID Testing, AVMA Says Rule Out Common Illnesses Before Testing Animals for COVID-19, New Funding for Small Business Relief, & World Veterinary Day 2020 Is Here

by Edwin Plotts
Pawlicy Advisor
Vet Blog
VetReview: Animal Disease Lab Shifts to Human COVID Testing, And Other Updates
cat getting blood tests

Your highlights from the last week in veterinary news 🤓

  • Purdue University’s Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory Turns to Human COVID-19 Testing
  • AVMA Recommends Ruling Out Common Illnesses Before Testing Animals for COVID-19
  • New Funding Approved for Small Business Relief Loans
  • APSCA Says “Giving Tuesday Now” Announced for May 5th, 2020
  • World Veterinary Day 2020's Theme Is "Environmental Protection For Improving Animal and Human Health"


Purdue University’s Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory Turns to Human COVID-19 Testing

Purdue veterinary scientist

(Image Source: Today’s Veterinary Practice)

To help meet the increasing demand for COVID-19 testing, Purdue University announced it will be using a lab that tests for infectious animal diseases to test humans for the coronavirus instead. The lab will process 400 human COVID-19 tests per day.

“We have a long history of providing high volume testing for large populations,” says Dr. Kenitra Hendrix, director of Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory. “And so it was fairly straightforward to translate our expertise over to performing this test on human samples.”

Hospitals around the state of Indiana will be able to submit test samples to the lab.

AVMA Recommends Ruling Out Common Illnesses Before Testing Animals for COVID-19

cat getting blood tests

Last Wednesday (April 22nd), the USDA reported that two cats in New York State had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). This comes after an increase in reports that other animals have tested positive for the virus around the world.

However, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recommends that veterinarians should consult public and animal health officials before testing for the virus. Animals who have symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 may have other, more common illnesses.

“These clinical signs are not at all unique to SARS-CoV-2 and, as such, veterinarians are strongly encouraged to rule out more common causes of these clinical signs in animals before considering testing for SARS-CoV-2,” said the AVMA in a statement.

Veterinary Business

New Funding Approved for Small Business Relief Loans

Money with stethoscope (Image Source: AAHA)

Last week, small businesses grew frustrated when it was announced that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the small business funding initiative attached to the coronavirus stimulus bill, had run out of money.

Thankfully, the US Senate approved an additional $320 billion on April 22nd to refill the program, giving veterinary clinics with fewer than 500 employees a second chance to apply.

The AAHA reports that $484 billion of funding was approved in total as part of the relief package, which includes the PPP and other programs. According to the Small Business Association (SBA), the PPP resumes on Monday, April 27th.

You can apply for the program by logging in or creating an account through SBA Connect.

Animal Welfare

APSCA Says “Giving Tuesday Now” Announced for May 5th, 2020

we're in this together (Image Source: Giving Tuesday Now)

The APSCA® announced to supporters that they will be able to contribute to the world’s coronavirus response on Tuesday, May 5th. The date has been designated “Giving Tuesday Now” and is meant to bring unity to the world and encourage charitable giving in the fight against COVID-19. In the meantime, the ASPCA® reminds supporters that they can donate to their Emergency Relief and Recovery Fund at any time.

You can learn more about Giving Tuesday Now at

World Veterinary Day 2020's Theme Is "Environmental Protection For Improving Animal and Human Health"

This year's World Veterinary Day landed on Saturday, April 25h.

According to the World Veterinary Association:

"Veterinarians know that environmental, human and animal health are inextricably linked. Negative changes to our environment will ultimately harm ourselves and the animals in our care...The 2020 World Veterinary Day will celebrate the work of veterinarians to protect our environment.

"Veterinarians, in their role as advocates for animal health and welfare, have a responsibility as well as the opportunity to safeguard our environment for future generations. Their actions can help mitigate the effects of climate change, ensure proper disposal of medicines, and support responsible use of natural resources (e.g. water and feed) necessary in raising livestock."

Sharing some love for the veterinarians, technicians, practice managers, and support staff in our lives - Pawlicy Advisor released "That's a Vet" to help make veterinary teams smile :)

(Not exactly climate-change related, but a fun show of appreciation nonetheless - enjoy!)

Appreciate the summary above? Subscribe to VetReview, get news across your industry in 5 minutes or less.

We scanned a wide range of top veterinary and local news sources, so you don’t have to:

  1. Confirmation of COVID-19 in Two Pet Cats in New York | USDA
  2. Information on Animals That Have Tested Positive for "COVID-19 | UCDavis
  3. Rule out common illnesses before testing for COVID-19, AVMA says | Veterinary Practice News
  4. Testing animals for SARS-CoV-2 | AVMA
  5. Purdue’s Veterinary College Tackles Human COVID-19 Testing | Today's Veterinary Business
  6. Purdue Veterinary Lab Will Test Human Samples For COVID-19 | Indiana Public Media
  7. Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory | Purdue University
  8. Veterinarians Help Human Hospitals Fight Pandemic, COVID-19 Test Available for Pets, The Paycheck Protection Program Ran Out of Money, & Animal Shelters are Emptying | Pawlicy Advisor
  9. House gives final passage to $484 billion coronavirus relief bill | NBC News
  10. Small businesses get a second chance at relief loans | AAHA
  11. Notice: PPP Resumes April 27, 2020 | SBA
  12. Save the Date: GivingTuesdayNow on May 5 | ASPCA
  13. World Veterinary Day 2020 | WVA
Edwin Plotts, Director of Marketing at Pawlicy Advisor

About the author

Edwin Plotts

Foster/Rescue Parent & Director of Growth - Pawlicy Advisor

Edwin Plotts rescues and rehomes cats in Brooklyn, NY - while leading Pawlicy Advisor's brand growth. He's a pet parent of two rescued sibling cats: Greyson and Babs. He's also an avid volunteer with Flatbush Cats and The Toby Project.

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