How To Protect Your Pet From Coronavirus
You can protect animals from coronavirus by using the same safety and hygienic protocols recommended for humans:
- Wash your hands before and after interacting with companion animals.
- Help them avoid large crowds.
- Limit their contact with people and animals from outside your household.
The CDC recommends keeping animals, including cats indoors, and advises against making animals wear face masks because the masks could harm them. When walking your dog, make sure to keep at least 6 feet distance between your dog, yourself, and other people.
In addition to following the safety protocol for COVID-19, make sure to keep companion animals in good health. Make sure their physical, psychological, and other species-specific needs are met. Like humans, animals are less susceptible to infection when they are free from conditions such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, or diabetes.
Can Other Animals Contract Covid
Two pet cats in New York have tested positive for the coronavirus. One cat displayed mild respiratory symptoms, and lived with an owner who had previously tested positive for COVID-19. The other cat also showed mild respiratory signs, and according to the CDC, no individuals in the household were confirmed to be ill with COVID-19. The virus may have been transmitted to this cat by mildly ill or asymptomatic household members or through contact with an infected person outside its home. Globally, two pet cats, one in Hong Kong and one in Belgium, tested positive for COVID-19. Both of these cats lived in homes with COVID-19 positive owners.
A four-year-old female Malayan tiger named Nadia at New Yorks Bronx Zoo was the first known case of COVID-19 in an animal in the United States. A total of eight big cats are;confirmed by the Wildlife Conservation Society that operates the Bronx Zoo to have been infected with the coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2. All eight cats continue to do well. They are behaving normally, eating well, and their coughing is greatly reduced, according to WCS. Nadia was tested under anesthesia in order to obtain nose, throat, and respiratory tract samples. The other cats were tested through fecal samples.
Can Animals Catch Covid
In short, yes. However, infections in animals tend to be less severe than in humans, and the risk of them transmitting it remains low.;
Around the world, a small number of pet cats and dogs have been reported to be infected with Covid-19. Studies show that felines are marginally more at risk, due to a mutation in the gene that provides a vector for the virus.
In wild animals, the numbers seem to be slightly higher. One ferret tested positive in Slovenia, and an outbreak in a zoo in New York saw four tigers and three lions test positive for coronavirus, after they came into contact with a sick zoo-keeper. In December, an outbreak of coronavirus on a mink farm led to thousands of animals being culled. The industry has since been shut down until 2022.;
Clinical Signs In Animals
The clinical spectrum of illness for the SARS-CoV-2 virus remains largely undefined in animals. Companion animals may present with respiratory or gastrointestinal clinical signs based on the presentation of other coronaviruses more commonly found in animals as well as other emerging coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-1 infection.
Clinical signs more likely to be compatible with SARS-CoV-2 infection in mammalian animals may include a combination of the following:
Is There A Sars
At this time, there is no vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 for animals.
Veterinarians are familiar with other coronaviruses. Similar but different coronavirus species cause several common diseases in domestic animals. For example, many dogs are vaccinated for another species of coronavirus as puppies. However, this vaccine does not cross protect for SARS-CoV-2.
Stay Healthy Around Animals
Because all animals can carry germs that can make people sick, it is always a good idea to practice healthy habits;around pets and other animals.
- Wash your hands after handling animals and their food, waste, or supplies.
- Practice good hygiene and clean up after pets properly.
- Talk to your veterinarian if you have questions about your pets health.
Be aware that children 5 years of age and younger, people with weakened immune systems, and older adults are more likely to get sick from germs some animals can carry.
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The state of Utah reported nearly 10,000 mink deaths from COVID-19 last fall, which raises the concern: can the virus find an animal host, rearrange itself into a new variant and then spread to other animals and humans?
We know that sometimes cats may be able to get severe disease and die from the infection, but it’s very rare.
Dr. Jane Sykes, professor of medicine and epidemiology, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine
There is some evidence experimentally that when you infect cats, they can transmit it to other cats, said Dr. Jane Sykes, professor of medicine and epidemiology at the UC Davis Veterinary Hospital.;
Once infected, Sykes said cats can shed virus.
That potentially could get transmitted, so there’s still the potential, but there’s no evidence right now that animals are an important source of infection for humans,” Sykes said.;;
The main concern, for now, is infected humans will make their pets sick. Research shows cats catching the virus at higher rates.;;
One of the reasons why cats may be more susceptible is they often are very close to people’s faces when they’re sleeping in beds with people, said Sykes.
Researchers at the University of Glasgowin Scotland euthanized one cat because it became very sick with COVID-19, but recent studies show the vast majority of infected cats and dogs have mild symptoms or none at all.
The important point is this infection is spreading from people to the animals, not animals back to people, said Sykes.;
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When A Pet Can Resume Normal Activities
If the companion animal is test-positive for SARS-CoV-2, monitoring, isolation, and movement restrictions can end if these conditions are met:
- The animal has not shown clinical signs consistent with SARS-CoV-2 infection for at least 72 hours without medical management;AND one of the following conditions:
- It has been at least 14 days since their last positive test from a lab that uses a validated SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR diagnostic assay;OR
- All sample types collected at follow-up are negative by a validated SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR diagnostic assay.
Want Know If Your Dog Has Covid
As we take precautions to avoid getting infected with the deadly coronavirus, we want to ensure that the rest of our family, including our pets, is equally protected as well. So how should one know if beloved Max has the coronavirus? Do dogs exhibit the same symptoms as humans?
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How Do I Know If My Dog Or Cat Has Covid
If your dog has respiratory symptoms, such as coughing, sneezing, a runny nose or a lack of appetite, then you should see your vet, says Wedderburn. However, he adds that the chances of it being coronavirus is minimal: There are many different types of respiratory illness that can infect pets in that way, such as the cat flu viruses and kennel cough infections in dogs. Pets are far more likely to get these common diseases . If your pet does catch coronavirus, their symptoms will usually be mild, or non-existent.;
He adds that, in recent months, many owners have confused a circulating strain of Canine Enteric coronavirus with the novel coronavirus. Its an infectious virus that goes from dog to dog, sometimes causing quite severe gastroenteritis. Vets have seen a surge in cases this year. It is the same family of virus, but it has no similarity to the strain of coronavirus spreading between humans, he says.
How Can Dog Owners Protect Dogs From Covid
Healthy pet owners in the U.S. should follow basic hygienic precautions such as washing their hands with soap and water before and after contact with any animal, including dogs and cats. If you test positive for COVID-19 or believe you have been exposed to the virus, the CDC has provided guidelines for pet care:
- When possible, have another member of your household care for your pets while you are sick
- Avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food or bedding
- If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wear a cloth face covering and wash your hands before and after you interact with them
To help reduce the spread of all germs, you may also consider wiping your pets fur and feet when they come in and out of the house with;grooming wipes. Dogs do not need a face mask to protect against COVID-19.
And the most important protection of all for your dog is this:;Under no circumstances should owners abandon their dogs, cats, or other pets because of COVID-19 fears.
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Can Your Pet Get Covid
You may have heard that coronaviruses can infect animals and wondered whether your pets could get COVID-19 — or pass the virus to you.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people, and some, like canine and feline coronaviruses, infect only animals.
In rare cases, a coronavirus jumps from animals to humans. A small number of pets have been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. This is thought to have also happened with two other types of deadly coronaviruses, Middle East respiratory syndrome and severe acute respiratory syndrome . All three originated in bats.
Most pets with COVID-19 only had mild symptoms. Some didnt show any symptoms at all. Serious illness in pets seems to be extremely rare.
Can dogs get the coronavirus?
There are a few reports of dogs being infected. Experts believe that the pets caught the new coronavirus from close contact with people who had it.
Can cats get the coronavirus?
A few cats have reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 after they came into contact with people who were infected. They include pet cats and zoo animals.
Early studies have found that cats are the animals most likely to catch the new coronavirus. They can also show symptoms of COVID-19 and might be able to pass it to other cats.
New studies show that two domestic cats in the U.K. were infected with COVID-19. These cats got the virus from humans and had mild to severe respiratory symptoms.
Are any other types of pets at risk?
If I Am Diagnosed With Covid
The American Veterinary Medical Association and the CDC recommend that anyone sick with COVID-19 should maintain separation from household pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would with other people. Although only a small number of pets have become sick due to SARS-CoV-2 in the United States, 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. You should avoid contact with your pet, 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, wear a mask and wash your hands before and after you interact with pets.
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Should I Keep My Cat Inside Or Change My Dog’s Behavior
Although the chances of your pet catching the coronavirus from another animal are low, if you take your dog or cat outside, have your pets follow the same rules as everyone else keep them away from other people and animals.
If a dog approaches you, there is no need to be scared of getting sick from virus on the dog’s fur. But avoid approaching dogs on leashes not because of the dog, but because there is usually a human on the other end.
If you become ill with COVID-19, the CDC recommends that you isolate yourself from your pets and have someone else care for them. If that isn’t possible, continue to wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face.
Also remember: If your pet needs medical care, make sure you inform your veterinarian if you or a household member is ill with COVID-19. That information will allow your veterinarian to take adequate precautions.
The evidence around pets and the coronavirus is changing rapidly and our team is keeping an updated review about how cats, dogs, ferrets, other less common pets and livestock are affected by the new coronavirus.
But where the science stands today, there is little to worry about with regards to your cat or dog. In rare cases, they might become infected with the virus, but the chances of them getting sick from the infection or passing it on to you or another animal are extremely low.
Pets Can Catch Covid From Owners Study Suggests
Covid is common in pet cats and dogs whose owners have the disease, research suggests.
Swabs were taken from 310 pets in 196 households where a human infection had been detected.
Six cats and seven dogs returned a positive PCR result, while 54 animals tested positive for virus antibodies.
“If you have Covid, you should avoid contact with your cat or dog, just as you would do with other people,” Dr Els Broens, from Utrecht University, said.
“The main concern is not the animals’ health but the potential risk that pets could act as a reservoir of the virus and reintroduce it into the human population.”
The authors of the study said no evidence of pet-to-owner transmission had been recorded to date but it would be difficult to detect while the virus was still spreading easily between humans.
Most infected pets tend to be asymptomatic or display mild Covid symptoms.
Researchers from Utrecht University sent a mobile veterinary clinic to households in the Netherlands that had tested positive for Covid at some point in the past 200 days.
Swabs were taken from their pet cats and dogs to test for evidence of a current infection, while blood samples were also tested for antibodies suggesting a past exposure to Covid.
The results were presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases:
- 4.2% showed evidence of a current infection
- 17.4% tested positive for antibodies
Vets in Russia have started vaccinating some animals against the disease.
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What To Do If You Think Your Pet Has The Virus That Causes Covid
Pets infected with this virus may or may not get sick. Of the pets that have gotten sick, most only had mild illness and fully recovered. Serious illness in pets appears to be extremely rare.
Pets that do have symptoms usually have mild illness that can be taken care of at home. If you think your pet is sick with the virus or if you have concerns about your pets health, talk to your veterinarian. Most pets that have gotten sick from the virus that causes COVID-19 were infected after close contact with a person with COVID-19.
If your pet is sick and you think it might be from the virus that causes COVID-19, talk to your veterinarian.
If you are sick with COVID-19 and your pet becomes sick,;do not take your pet to the veterinary clinic yourself. Call your veterinarian and let them know you have been sick with COVID-19. Some veterinarians may offer telemedicine consultations or other plans for seeing sick pets. Your veterinarian can evaluate your pet and determine the next steps for your pets treatment and care.
So What About The Pomeranian Dog In Hong Kong And Other Zoo Animals Testing Positive
The dog who tested positive for infection with COVID-19, who remains in quarantine, has not shown any clinical signs of the coronavirus infection. Itâs also one of the only dogs that has shown this test result. Also, keep in mind that dogs are not known to be able to transfer coronavirus to humans.;;
Therefore, no need to fear the furry animals in your home. Be sure to just wash your hands with soaps frequently, and take care of yourself and your loved ones.;If you have a history of exposure and are showing symptoms of coronavirus, you may be able to meet the CDC criteria for testing and should seek testing.
While the cats are the first known pets to test positive in the U.S., a handful of tigers and lions at the Bronx Zoo have tested positive for the virus as well.;While the virus appears to be transmissible from humans to animals, scientists say they have thus far not seen evidence indicating animals can pass it on to people. Scientists in Hong Kong drew similar conclusions after a dog tested positive earlier this year. We don’t want people to panic. We don’t want people to be afraid of pets, said Casey Barton Behravesh, a CDC official who works on human-animal health connections, adding that people should not rush to get their pets tested. There’s no evidence that pets are playing a significant role in spreading this disease to people.
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Cats Especially Susceptible To Infection
A second ECCMID news release details a study out of the University of Guelph in Canada that involved testing 48 cats and 54 dogs of 77 COVID-19 survivors for coronavirus antibodies. The owners were asked how they interacted with their pets, including whether they petted or kissed them and whether they permitted them to sit on their lap, sleep in their bed, or kiss or lick their face.
The researchers also tested 75 dogs and cats in an animal shelter and 75 stray cats treated at a low-cost veterinary clinic for coronavirus antibodies. Thirty-two of 48 of the owned cats and 23 of 54 of the owned dogs had antibodies, compared with 7 dogs and cats at the animal shelter and 2 of the stray cats.
Eleven of owned dogs had symptoms, most often lethargy and loss of appetite. Some dogs had a mild, transient cough or diarrhea. Thirteen owned cats had symptoms, most commonly a runny nose and difficulty breathing. While most cases were mild, three were severe.
The amount of time dogs and owners spent together and the type of contact they had didn’t change the dogs’ odds of infection. But that wasn’t the case with cats, which were at higher risk of coronavirus infection the more time they spent with their owners, especially if they shared a bed.
They added that because the infection rate in animals with owners was higher than in those at the shelter and the stray cats, humans are more likely spreading the virus to pets than vice versa, something previous studies have also shown.