COVID-19 and your Pets; What you Need to Know!
Hi there to all my fellow now home-bound pet-parents! I was debating on sending out and article this week on the COVID-19 virus or not since I am sure everyone else is feeling on virus over-load right now like I am, however I thought there are a few really important things I wanted to share with everyone.
First and most importantly is that at this time there is NO evidence to suggest that our pets can be infected by, nor carries of the virus. This is the same case in all other human or animal viruses, is that they are not zoonotic, meaning they cannot cross-infect different species. Some bacteria in fact are zoonotic, but not viruses, they are typically very specific to their host species.
It is a sad reality that as information spread of one dog testing "weakly positive": in China, many pets have now been abandoned out of fear and misinformation. This is the report from Dr. Jonathan Ball at the University of Nottingham regarding that report:
“There is no evidence that the human novel coronavirus can infect dogs and it would be incredible for a virus to make so many species jumps in such a short space of time!
We have to differentiate between real infection and just detecting the presence of a virus – these are very different – and the fact that the test result was weakly positive would suggest that this is environmental contamination or simply the presence of coronavirus shed from the human contact that has ended up in the dog’s samples."
So what does this mean exactly? Our pets though they will not become actively infected by the virus, nor transmitters, they can and will become exposed when around the virus, no different than if they were exposed to any other microscopic containment in our homes, cleaning products, lotions, perfumes, etc.
Therefore because our pets CAN be exposed to the virus, just like any other flu virus, and just like any other object or person in our homes they can become a "fomite," which simply means they can carry the virus on their surface of their fur, skin, paws. In order to limit potential, spread in your household, if you do become sick you should limit your exposure around your pet, no petting, cuddling and sleeping with your pet. Even if you live alone with your pets, you should exercise caution should you become sick, just like you should still limit contact because your sneezing or coughing on your pet can allow further contamination of your environment making it more difficult for your immune system to fight it off.
So, I truly hope this helps calm any of your worried minds when it comes to your safety with your pets, just like any other situation like this in life, we will all do best for ourselves, our pets, and our communities to be prepared, but also stay grounded and calm knowing we are doing all the right things, and we always get through these hard life events and come out on the other side... together!
For more detailed reading our your safety with your pet's check out this recent article form Dr. Karen Becker; "COVID-19 And Your Pet."
Stay tuned... our regularly schedule weekly pet-tip coming your way next week... I answer the question...How many litter Boxes should you have for your cats and why?
April Arguin A.S., C.P.N., P.M.H.