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𝗖𝗢𝗥𝗢𝗡𝗔𝗩𝗜𝗥𝗨𝗦 𝗔𝗡𝗗 𝗣𝗘𝗧𝗦: 𝗙𝗔𝗤𝗦 𝗙𝗢𝗥 𝗢𝗪𝗡𝗘𝗥𝗦

𝗖𝗢𝗥𝗢𝗡𝗔𝗩𝗜𝗥𝗨𝗦 𝗔𝗡𝗗 𝗣𝗘𝗧𝗦: 𝗙𝗔𝗤𝗦 𝗙𝗢𝗥 𝗢𝗪𝗡𝗘𝗥𝗦

We know with Coronavirus being everywhere and on everyone's mind, you probably have questions regarding your pets. This information was put together by the College of Veterinary Medicine and includes information from the CDC.

𝘛𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘦 𝘍𝘈𝘘𝘴 𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘭𝘢𝘴𝘵 𝘶𝘱𝘥𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘰𝘯 𝘔𝘢𝘳𝘤𝘩 12, 2020 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘊𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘨𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘝𝘦𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘳𝘺 𝘔𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘤𝘪𝘯𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘐𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘰𝘪𝘴.

𝗖𝗮𝗻 𝗱𝗼𝗴𝘀 𝗴𝗲𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗻𝗲𝘄 𝗰𝗼𝗿𝗼𝗻𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗿𝘂𝘀 (𝗖𝗢𝗩𝗜𝗗-𝟭𝟵)?

At this time, experts believe it is very unlikely. The World Health Organization currently advises that there is no evidence to suggest that dogs or cats can be infected with the new coronavirus. The OIE states there is no evidence that dogs play a role in the spread of this disease or that they become sick. The CDC also seconds that opinion, stating that, “At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals including pets can spread COVID-19.”

𝗜𝗳 𝗲𝘅𝗽𝗲𝗿𝘁𝘀 𝗯𝗲𝗹𝗶𝗲𝘃𝗲 𝗶𝘁 𝗶𝘀 𝘂𝗻𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲𝗹𝘆 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗮 𝗱𝗼𝗴 𝘁𝗼 𝗴𝗲𝘁 𝗖𝗢𝗩𝗜𝗗-𝟭𝟵, 𝗵𝗼𝘄 𝗱𝗶𝗱 𝗮 𝗱𝗼𝗴 𝘁𝗲𝘀𝘁 “𝗽𝗼𝘀𝗶𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲” 𝗶𝗻 𝗛𝗼𝗻𝗴 𝗞𝗼𝗻𝗴?

This canine patient was in close contact with an infected human, who was likely shedding large quantities of the virus. This led to the virus being in the dog’s nose. There is no indication that the dog is sick or showing any symptoms. Authorities say they will continue to quarantine and test the dog to evaluate if the canine patient becomes ill. In short, there was coronavirus on the dog just like there was coronavirus on the floor in the room but the dog was not infected or diseased.

𝙈𝙖𝙧𝙘𝙝 12, 2020 𝙪𝙥𝙙𝙖𝙩𝙚: The dog was placed under quarantine after its owner was hospitalized with COVID-19 infection on February 26. Subsequent tests revealed weak positive results for the nasal and oral samples taken on February 28 and for the nasal samples on March 2 and March 5. The weak positive result 5 and 8 days after the dog was removed from the home where the person was sick suggests the dog has a low-level infection, which was likely caused by a case of human-to-animal transmission.

The Hong Kong Health Authorities and the World Organization for Animal Health continue to investigate. All pet mammals from households with confirmed human cases of COVID-19 will be placed under quarantine and veterinary surveillance for 14 days in Hong Kong. There is still no indication that pets can shed the virus or get sick from the virus at this time.

𝗔𝗹𝘁𝗵𝗼𝘂𝗴𝗵 𝗽𝗲𝘁𝘀 𝗰𝗮𝗻𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗯𝗲𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗲 𝘀𝗶𝗰𝗸 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗖𝗢𝗩𝗜𝗗-𝟭𝟵, 𝗰𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘆 𝘀𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗲 𝗮𝘀 𝗮 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗱𝘂𝗶𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝗶𝗻𝗳𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗯𝗲𝘁𝘄𝗲𝗲𝗻 𝗽𝗲𝗼𝗽𝗹𝗲?

Yes. It is possible that a person with COVID-19 could sneeze or otherwise contaminate their pet, and then another individual could touch that animal and contract the disease. Veterinary experts believe the risk for transmission would be low. However, animals living with sick individuals should be kept away from other people and animals (quarantined at home), just as people who live with sick individuals must avoid contact with others.

𝗜𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝗮 𝗖𝗢𝗩𝗜𝗗-𝟭𝟵 𝘃𝗮𝗰𝗰𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗱𝗼𝗴𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗰𝗮𝘁𝘀?

There is no vaccine for COVID-19 for people or animals at this time.

Veterinarians are familiar with other coronaviruses. Similar but different coronavirus species cause several common diseases in domestic animals. Many dogs, for example, are vaccinated for another species of coronavirus (Canine Coronavirus) as puppies. However, this vaccine does not cross protect for COVID-19.

𝗖𝗮𝗻 𝘃𝗲𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗮𝗿𝗶𝗮𝗻𝘀 𝘁𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗖𝗢𝗩𝗜𝗗-𝟭𝟵 𝗶𝗻 𝗽𝗲𝘁𝘀?

Yes. The Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at the College of Veterinary Medicine has recently purchased the needed equipment to test for the new COVID-19 in pets. They expect the test to be available to veterinarians starting March 15.

𝗪𝗵𝘆 𝗶𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗰𝗼𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗴𝗲 𝗼𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮 𝗖𝗢𝗩𝗜𝗗-𝟭𝟵 𝘁𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗽𝗲𝘁𝘀 𝗶𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘆 𝗰𝗮𝗻𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗴𝗲𝘁 𝗶𝘁?

Although current information suggests that our pets cannot become infected with COVID-19 and spread it to other animals and people, researchers at the college will begin offering this testing in the future in order to monitor the outbreak. We still have a lot to learn about this new virus, and it will be important to evaluate if our current understanding changes.

𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗮𝗻𝗶𝗺𝗮𝗹 𝗱𝗶𝗱 𝗖𝗢𝗩𝗜𝗗-𝟭𝟵 𝗼𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗶𝗻𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺?

Current research suggests that horseshoe bats are the reservoir species and the virus originated from that species as well. Previous human coronavirus outbreaks, SARS and MERS, originated in bats but passed through other species, such as the palm civet and camels.

𝗜𝗳 𝗜 𝗮𝗺 𝗱𝗶𝗮𝗴𝗻𝗼𝘀𝗲𝗱 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗖𝗼𝘃𝗶𝗱-𝟭𝟵, 𝗵𝗼𝘄 𝗱𝗼 𝗜 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝘁𝗲𝗰𝘁 𝗺𝘆 𝗽𝗲𝘁?

Since your pet is at minimal risk of COVID-19 infection there are no specific steps needed to protect them from infection. However, pets can have the virus ON THEM if they are in an environment with a large quantity of the virus and could serve to be a source of the virus for other people, including family members. Therefore, to protect other people and yourself, the CDC recommends that you restrict contact with pets if you are sick with COVID-19, just as you would restrict your contact with other people. Avoid snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must interact with your pet, wash your hands before and after, and wear a face mask.

𝗦𝗵𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗺𝘆 𝗽𝗲𝘁 𝘄𝗲𝗮𝗿 𝗮 𝗳𝗮𝗰𝗲 𝗺𝗮𝘀𝗸 𝗶𝗻 𝗽𝘂𝗯𝗹𝗶𝗰?

No. Face masks may not protect your pet from disease transmission and may cause other breathing difficulties.

𝗦𝗵𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗜 𝘄𝗲𝗮𝗿 𝗮 𝗳𝗮𝗰𝗲 𝗺𝗮𝘀𝗸?

Wearing a surgical mask will not prevent anyone (human or animal) from being exposed to the virus. A mask should be used to prevent someone that is potentially infectious from spreading the virus to others via droplets through coughing, sneezing, or talking.

𝗛𝗼𝘄 𝗱𝗼 𝗜 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝘁𝗲𝗰𝘁 𝗺𝘆 𝗽𝗲𝘁 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗺𝘆𝘀𝗲𝗹𝗳 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗖𝗢𝗩𝗜𝗗-𝟭𝟵?

Since your pet is at minimal risk of COVID-19 infection there are no specific steps needed to protect them from infection.

To protect yourself the CDC recommends the following steps:

1. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds!

2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

3. Avoid close contact with sick people.

4. Stay home when you are sick.

5. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, and then throw it away.

6. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

7. Voluntary home isolation: If you are ill with symptoms of respiratory disease, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills or fatigue, stay home. The CDC recommends that you remain at home until at least 24 hours after you are free of fever (100 degrees F) or signs of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.

8. Veterinary practices should designate their clinic as a temporary NO HANDSHAKE ZONE. Ask colleagues and clients to refrain from shaking hands.

𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗽𝗿𝗲𝗰𝗮𝘂𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝗱𝗼 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗿𝗲𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗺𝗲𝗻𝗱?

Visitation to nursing homes and long-term care facilities by service animals and their handlers should be discouraged at this time.

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