Domestic Animals and COVID-19
Here is an update of current information regarding safety for your domestic pets (Dogs, Cats, and other pets) and the virus that is causing the COVID-19 pandemic in humans.
CAT TESTS POSITIVE IN BELGIUM
Over the weekend there has been a report of a cat testing positive for COVID-19 in Belgium, after showing clinical signs (Vomiting, Diarrhoea, Respiratory Signs). This cat was living with a human that had tested positive for COVID-19.
It is not known whether the cat was unwell because of the COVID-19 infection, or just unwell for another reason and also had the COVID-19 virus.
This is again a likely case of Human-to-animal spread (“Reverse Zoonosis”), rather than Animal-to-human spread.
There has currently been no evidence of animals being able to spread COVID-19 to a human.
This makes the total number of animals to have tested positive for COVID-19 to 3 (2 dogs in Hong Kong, and 1 Cat in Belgium), while there have been over 575,000 positive human tests (according to the W.H.O.)
Therefore the risks of domestic pets spreading the infection is low.
However, not all pets that are owned by COVID-19 positive owners are being tested (as they should all be in isolation with their owners, and really the priority of testing is for humans given the health risks of the clinical signs is with humans, not pets).
If there is an increase in clinical signs in pets that are owned by COVID-19 positive owners, with cats and dogs showing signs such as respiratory signs, fevers, vomiting, diarrhoea, then it is likely more testing will be done.
In the meantime, it is still MUCH MORE LIKELY you will pick up and or spread COVID-19 from human-to-human transmission than from a domestic pet.
But, take precautions
– wash your hands well after patting or playing with your pet
– limit your patting of other people pets
– don’t let your pet lick your face
– don’t sneeze or cough on your pet
– IF YOU ARE SHOWING POSSIBLE CLINICAL SIGNS OF COVID-19, OR HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19, THEN MAKE SURE YOU ADVISE US AT THE CLINIC, ESPECIALLY IF YOUR PET HAS BEEN UNWELL.
Dr Scott Weese – an American Specialist Vet who writes an excellent blog on the COVID-19 crisis and your pets – this guy is brilliant – Bookmark his website and check it out if you are even concerned, I know I am.