While we are all concerned about the current global coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, there is no need to add your furry friend to your worries. Here is some helpful information:
General Information about Coronavirus:
- There are numerous forms of coronavirus strains, some of which do affect mammals, but these usually cause very mild symptoms.
- It is very uncommon for these forms of coronavirus to be transmitted from animals to humans.
- Although the new coronavirus is thought to have originated from wild animals (likely from bats to another intermediate host and then to humans) it is only recently known to cause disease in humans.
Many clients have called asking if they can give coronavirus to their pet or vice versa. They mention reports from Hong Kong of a dog and its person having COVID-19. We would like to address this concern directly:
- The dog was in very close contact with the owner and the virus likely shed from the human to the dog’s nose. Most recently, (March 12th, 2020) it has been reported that the dog was quarantined after its owner was hospitalized. Tests done on the dog reveal weak positive results for both nasal and oral samples taken on February 28th and for the nasal samples on March 2nd and March 5th. The dog continues to show no signs of illness.
- There is currently no known case of dogs or cats becoming ill from the new coronavirus.
Some Tips to Keep You and Your Pet Safe:
Per the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention):
- If you are sick with the coronavirus: You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus.
- When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food.
- Most importantly: Wash Your Hands thoroughly and frequently.
- Pay attention to the CDC, Health Department, and advice from your doctor. Visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html for details from the CDC.
- The current information about animals and the new coronavirus is available at the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE): https://www.oie.int/en/scientific-expertise/specific-information-and-recommendations/questions-and-answers-on-2019novel-coronavirus/
- Do not put a face mask on your pet. This will not prevent spread and is likely to cause breathing problems.