Coronavirus (Covid-19) how can it affect my cat or dog?
In the last week there have been some disturbing news regarding the treatment of dogs and cats in Wuhan, China. Headlines suggest that they are being destroyed if found on the street.
We wanted to reassure pet owners on the latest guidance and animal health risks in the UK regarding this.
As Veterinary Surgeons, we are encouraged to stay up to date with the latest advice and we will keep our customers posted on our website should any issues change.
OIE (World Organisation For Animal Health) Report
According to the OIE (World Organisation For Animal Health), the predominant route of transmission of the coronavirus (Covid-19) has appeared to be from human to human.
The evidence currently suggests that Covid-19 does have an animal source, and this is under current investigation.
A Pomeranian dog from Hong Kong did test positive for Covid-19, but further testing suggested that the dog had a low-level of infection and that this was more likely a case of human to animal transmission. Furthermore, the dog so far has not shown any clinical signs of the disease and is currently still in quarantine. The OIE stated that “there is no evidence that dogs play a role in the spread of this human disease or that they become sick.”
What to do if you have been diagnosed with Coronavirus
In the event that a pet owner is diagnosed with the Coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are recommending that they restrict contact with pets only as a precautionary animal health measure until we learn more about this virus.
If owners need to care for their pets while they are sick, the recommendation is that they wash their hands before and after any interaction and wear a face mask. Where possible, people who are sick, or under medical attention for the disease, should avoid close contact with their pets and have another member of the family care for them.
When handling and caring for your animals, basic hygiene should always be implemented, including washing hands before and after being around or handling animals, their food or supplies. In addition, avoiding kissing, licking or sharing food.
However, if a pet does show any clinical signs, do not take it to a Veterinary Surgery. Please phone your veterinary practice for further advice.
What do we know about Covid-19 and companion animals?
The current spread is a result of human to human transmission. To the date of this article, there is no evidence that our cats and dogs can spread the disease as mentioned previously. Therefore, there is no justification to take measures against them which may affect their welfare. There is no evidence that they play a role in the spread of this to humans or that they become sick. Further studies are required to understand how various animals could be affected by Covid-19. The OIE will provide updates as new information is available.
- It’s a different class of coronavirus that those affecting dogs and cats
- There is currently no evidence to think that dogs and cats can be infected
- A person with coronavirus should minimise contact with dogs and cats on a precautionary basis to prevent any chance of transmission
- People who have coronavirus who have to deal with their pets, should wash hands before and after contact and wear a face mask.
We hope this article has helped to reassure pet owners in the UK. If there are any further developments or changes we inform our customers immediately on our Facebook Page.
Keep up with all our latest news
Finally, to ensure you keep up with all our latest news regarding this, please join our Facebook Page. If any changes do occur, we will post news straight away on their to keep our customers informed.