A lot has changed in our country since we wrote about COVID19 and your pets last month. Read below for the most recent updates from Dr. Cohen.
What’s the consensus? Can pets be infected or transmit COVID 19?
If you are worried that COVID-19 may harm your pet, the American Veterinary Medical Association and the World Health Organization agree that so far there is no indication that pets will become ill with COVID-19. Furthermore, there is no evidence that they will help “spread” the disease.
Idexx, a leading veterinary diagnostic laboratory, developed a test to detect COVID-19. This laboratory tested thousands of canine and feline specimens submitted from the United States and South Korea. The testing found no positive results.
We know that COVID-19 originated in animals before it spread to people. What did it take for the disease to jump from animals to humans?
Bats are a known natural reservoir for many viruses including the respiratory corona viruses (SARS corona viruses). Bats viruses kicked off both the SARs and MERs epidemics, spreading to civet cats and camelids (camels, alpacas) respectively before infecting people.
It takes a lot for the transfer a virus from a wildlife reservoir to another animal species. In fact, 4 specific events must occur:
- Interspecies contact
- Cross-species transmission
- Sustained transmission
- Virus adaptation within the new host species
If I am quarantined with COVID 19 symptoms what should I do with my pet?
Although we don’t feel that animals pose a risk at this time to contracting or spreading the virus, it is still recommended to take precautions and have another member of your family take care of feeding, walking and playing with your pet.
If you have a service animal and must care for your pet, then it is recommended that you wear a face mask and refrain from sharing food, kissing and hugging your pet. Wash your hand before and after you contact your pet.
Dr. Cohen received her veterinary degree and completed an internship on the west coast before joining FHA in 2006. Her interests include senior wellness, ultrasonography, opthalmology, endocrinology, and urgent care medicine.