Can My Dog or Cat Get CO-VID 19?

All pet parents are wondering if our dogs or cats can get CO-VID 19 or can they give it to their furry friend. So, I dug into some official information to get you the answer. Let's dig in!

The American Veterinarian Medical Association (AVMA) updated a report on April 5, 2020 about dogs and cats getting or giving us humans the CO-VID 19 virus. It turns out there was a study in Hong Kong, which was very small indeed where the Chinese tried to infect dogs with the virus. No luck! These dogs did not become infected. There was also a 17 year old Pomeranian whose owner had tested positive and they ran a nasal & oral cavity test with the dog. The dog did come back and tested "weak" positive for SARS-CoV-2 the virus. However, the dog had no symptoms and the AVMA quarantined the pom and another dog living in the same household.  The School of Public Health of the University of Hong Kong and College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences of the City University of Hong Kong says the results of the testing suggest the infected people gave the Pomeranian the virus in this particular case. However, the 2nd dog never tested positive and neither dog showed signs of respiratory disease.

Another dog, a 2 year old German Shepherd Dog whose owner had COVID-19 also tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 on March 18th. On March 19, the dog had another positive test and on March 23rd the dog tested negative. Another mixed-breed dog living in the same household tested negative. Neither dog had any signs of respiratory disease and continue to be quarantined and monitored and tested.

A cat in Hong Kong living with an infected human was tested with positive results on March 30.  Samples were taken again on April 1, and were also positive, the cat remains quarantined and has no signs of respiratory disease.

A tiger in the New York Bronx Zoo which was closed mid-March started showing clinical signs on March 27th. This animal was being cared for by an employee who was shedding the virus. Other large cats have also tested positive and all are expected to recover. 

The USDA and CDC are continuing to monitor animals along with state animal and public health officials who will determine whether other animals at the zoo should be tested.

So, here's the good news with the number of global cases of COVID-19 surpassing the one million mark, there have only been 2 dogs and one cat in Hong Kong, and a tiger in New York that has tested positive. None of the dogs or cats showed symptoms of the illness. The tiger was exposed with contact from a zoo employee who had the virus. There are no reports of pets or livestock becoming ill with COVID-19 in the United States. There is no current evidence that our pets, or livestock can spread the COVID-19 to people.

The AVMA has suggested the following recommendations for our companion animals supported by the CDC and the World Organization for Animal Health:

*Pet owners without COVID-19 symptoms should use good hygiene like hand washing before and after contact and after feeding, waste or cleaning up.

*Those folks with the COVID-19 virus should restrict contact with their pets like people. Have someone in the household care for the pet during the human illness. If you must care for an animal, while ill, wear a face mask, don't share food, kiss or hug them and make sure to wash your hands.

There is no reason to remove pets from their homes even if the household becomes infected. People need their furry friends for love and support and can support each other to good health.

So, there you have the official reports, if you wish more information you can review the entire report here. 

If you have any other questions or concerns, please let me know. We're being safe at the store for our pet parents and hope to see all of you soon!


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