What we know about Coronavirus and the risk to your pets
We are all worried about the spread of the new coronavirus causing COVID-19. So for all of us pet lovers it is even more concerning to hear that a dog in Hong Kong has tested weakly positive for the virus.
Results recently published by a large veterinary laboratory (IDEXX), who have tested thousands of dogs and cats, have found NO signs of Covid-19.
These results are in alignment with the statement of World Organization of Animal Heath (OIE) that there is no evidence that pets play a role in the spread of this disease or that they can become sick.
The advice for all pet owners is to:
- Wash your hands thoroughly after cuddling them
- Clean up after your dog in the street
Maintaining good hygiene practices will also protect you against common bacteria’s such as E.coli and Salmonella that can pass between pets and humans.
Interestingly in the veterinary field there are over 100 known coronaviruses
There are two in particular that we are quite familiar – coronavirus in dogs which can cause diarrhoea and coronavirus in cats, which causes an unfortunately relatively common disease Feline Infectious Peritonitis. Neither of these coronaviruses, which have been around for decades, have been passed on from pets to humans.
One positive development is that China has shut all of its wild animal markets – it was long overdue. See below for more information.
We are monitoring any developments in this area and will let you know. If you are worried that your pet is showing symptoms of the virus, please call us for advice.
We have included links of the latest information on Corona in pets from BSAVA, WSAVA and others below.
So to summarise, please DO NOT WORRY. It is highly unlikely you would get catch coronavirus from a pet. Our pets are a source of great comfort to us, particularly in such times of worry and uncertainty. Please take this time to enjoy walks in the park as this might be the best way to relax and get some welcome exercise.
Best wishes and stay safe!