Coronavirus & Pets questions and answers

masked man from coronovirus with pet

What are coronaviruses?

Some are mild, such as the frequent cold, while some are more likely to cause pneumonia. They’re usually spread through direct contact with an infected person.

The genus coronavirus is composed of at least three groups that cause moderate to acute enteric, respiratory, or systemic disease.

Are there any coronaviruses in animals?

Coronaviruses are common in several species of wild and domestic animals, such as cows, horses, dogs, cats, ferrets, camels, bats, and many others.

Can this coronavirus spread from animals to people?

Although not common, coronaviruses can be transmitted from animals to humans. Bats can be reservoir hosts for viruses which can cross species barriers to infect humans and other domestic and wild mammals.

In the last two major coronavirus outbreaks that were transmitted to humans, transmission occurred through intermediate hosts: the masked palm civet (SARS) and dromedary camels (MERS).

Health officials are working to identify the animal source of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCOV), now known officially as COVID-19 or Corona Virus Disease. Investigations are ongoing. The first infections were linked to a live animal market in China, but the virus is now spreading from person to person.

Can my pet contract the COVID-19 coronavirus?

A very small number of pets outside the United States have been reported to be infected with the virus which causes COVID-19 after close contact with people with COVID-19. According to organizations like the AVMA and the World Organisation for Animal Health, at this point, we don’t have proof that animals, and especially, companion animals such as dogs and cats become ill from this virus. It is important to remember that viruses can occasionally infect a species but not cause sickness in that species, nor become transmissible to other people.

Dogs

Both had contact with COVID-19 positive human circumstances. Hong Kong officials state that there’s currently no evidence that pet animals can be a source of COVID-19 for individuals or the virus can get the disease in puppies. If your dog is usually at home and does not contact other dogs or people, and nobody in your household has COVID-19, the odds your pet would become infected are exceptionally unlikely.

Cats

Little scientific studies suggest cats might be prone to SARS-CoV-2, and they may have the ability to transmit it to other cats. This finding isn’t surprising to scientists and veterinarians. We do not have proof that cats can pass COVID-19 to people. We think cat owners should be informed, although not worried, and you shouldn’t stop interacting with or caring for your cat, particularly if you’re well.

Ferrets

Little scientific studies reveal ferrets are vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 infection and may develop the illness. What does this imply to ferret owners? If you are sick with COVID-19 symptoms, have somebody else take care of your ferrets and wash your hands thoroughly before and after contact. Additionally, it means ferrets may be able to play a role in human embryo growth.

Tigers

While not a household pet, tigers have shown to be vulnerable to this virus. The USDA confirmed SARS-CoV-2 at 1 tiger in a zoo in New York. Here is the first instance of a tiger being infected by COVID-19. Samples from this tiger were shot and tested after a few lions and tigers at the zoo revealed symptoms of respiratory illness. Public health officials believe these big cats became sick after being subjected to a zoo employee that was actively shedding virus. The zoo has been closed to the public since mid-March, and the very first tiger began showing signs of illness on March 27. Every one of these big cats has been expected to recover. There is not any proof that other animals in other regions of the zoo are showing symptoms.

Testing

Veterinary testing agency IDEXX has evaluated thousands of feline and canine specimens during validation of its new veterinary test system for its COVID-19 virus and had acquired no positive outcomes. The specimens used for test development and analysis were obtained from specimens submitted to IDEXX Reference Laboratories for additional animal health PCR testing needs. While this is excellent news, we have not reliably tested animals who have had contact with confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Can my pet infect me with COVID-19?

Out of an abundance of caution, restrict your contact with pets and other creatures, as you would with other men and women. When it’s possible, have another member of your household care to your animals as you are sick. Avoid direct contact with pets, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you have to care to your furry friend or be about animals even though you are sick, clean your hands before and when you socialize with pets and wear a facemask if guided to perform by your physician.

If your pet needs veterinary attention, please call your vet or emergency clinic to learn the way they are handling patient care at this time. Many are supplying drive-up solutions or telemedicine options to restrict the physical connection between individuals.

To safeguard your pet from respiratory diseases, vaccinate your pet for Bordetella, parainfluenza and canine influenza, which would be the most common vaccine-preventable respiratory diseases in pets.

Your vet can help you figure out which vaccines your pet should have, according to its risk factors.

What should I do if I am sick with COVID-19? Or suspect that I may be?

Out of an abundance of caution, restrict your contact with pets and other animals, just as you would with other people. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. Avoid direct contact with pets, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a facemask if directed to do by your physician.

What should I do if my pet needs veterinary care?

If your pet needs veterinary attention, please call your vet or emergency clinic to learn the way they are handling patient care at this time. Many are supplying drive-up solutions or telemedicine options to restrict the physical connection between individuals.

To safeguard your pet from respiratory diseases, vaccinate your pet for Bordetella, parainfluenza and canine influenza, which would be the most common vaccine-preventable respiratory diseases in pets.

Your vet can help you figure out which vaccines your pet should have, according to its risk factors.

Is there a vaccination against the COVID-19 coronavirus that my pet can receive?

Currently, there are no COVID-19 vaccines available for humans or animals. The World Health Organization estimates that a vaccine for humans could be available in 12-18 months.

Should my pet wear a face mask when in public?

Masks created for pets may not be effective in preventing infections transmitted by bodily fluid droplets. To safeguard your pet from respiratory diseases, vaccinate your pet for Bordetella, parainfluenza and puppy flu, which would be the most common vaccine-preventable respiratory diseases in pets.

How is this virus spread?

Following the CDC, the virus spreads mainly from person-to-person:

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within approximately 6 ft ).
  • Via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can property in the mouths or noses of people that are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. That is the reason why people are asked to remain 6 ft apart when in people.
  • It’s possible that someone can get COVID-19 by touching a face or thing that has the virus on it and then touching their nose, mouth, or maybe their eyes.

What is the best way to protect myself and my family (human and pet) from the COVID-19 coronavirus?

Practical steps to protect yourself and your loved ones from this or any other contagious respiratory illness comprise:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 minutes.
  • Watch a video about the WHO’s recommended handwashing technique.
  • Prevent contact with sick people and stay home if you’re sick.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or coughing.
  • In public, stay at least 6 feet away from other men and women.
  • Practice all public health or government needs to prevent the gatherings of multiple people. Follow stay at home/shelter in place orders.
  • Stay home when you have symptoms of severe respiratory illness till you’re free of fever (<100.4° F using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (such as cough suppressants), or until a physician or public health official clears you.
  • If you become sick with the COVID-19 coronavirus, please wear a well-fitted mask to help avoid the spread of the virus and limit contacts with other humans as well as your pets as recommended by your physician.
  • If your pet needs veterinary attention, please call your veterinarian or emergency clinic to learn how they’re tackling patient care at this time.
  • Pre-arrange for someone to take care of your pet if you become ill or need hospitalization. Stock at least 2 weeks of food and medicine for your pet.
  • Should you understand older/elderly people, or many others who can’t go out due to health problems, we encourage you to check-in together to make certain they have necessary meals, supplies, and medications, including for their pets.
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