COVID-19 in Our Pets: An Update

The Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association, as of March 26, 2020 says there is no evidence that pets can contract Covid-19. However, it is recommended that if you are ill, you distance yourself from your pets.

Here is a quote from the article about a positive test in Hong Kong on a dog:

“Late in February, authorities in Hong Kong reported that they quarantined a pet dog after its owner was hospitalized because of COVID-19, and nasal and oral cavity samples tested “weak positive” for the COVID-19 virus. Four subsequent nasal samples continued to test “weak positive,” but test results for nasal samples collected on March 12 and 13 came back negative. The region’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said the results suggested a low-level infection likely acquired from a person, and they said World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) officials agreed with their findings.”

View the entire JAVMA article

The most numerous event involving animals is with the Big Cats at the Bronx Zoo. As many as eight of the big cats have tested positive for “corona virus”. It is believed that they contracted the virus from a Covid-19 positive asymptomatic zoo keeper. They have mild to no symptoms but were recovering at the time the article was written. The link for the ABC news article it here for your review. Please know that there are number of viruses that are in the “corona” group. They cover many species and give various symptoms including respiratory and intestinal issues.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has an April 22 article about two New York City domestic cats, in separate households, testing positive for Covid-19 on April 21, through their veterinarians. Their symptoms were mild respiratory issues and they are expected to fully recover. The link to the CDC article is here. The CDC article says:

“Public health officials are still learning about SARS-CoV-2, but there is no evidence that pets play a role in spreading the virus in the United States. Therefore, there is no justification in taking measures against companion animals that may compromise their welfare. Further studies are needed to understand if and how different animals, including pets, could be affected.

Finally, on April 29, 2020, CNN released an article on a family Pug that tested positive for the virus. Three members of the family are recovering from the virus and are part of a study on Covid-19. The pets in the family, two dogs and a cat were also tested as part of the study. The Pug, the more affectionate and involved pet, tested positive. As the family recalls, there were a couple of days that the dog did not seem its normal self. In retrospect, they think maybe the dog may have been sick. CNN states that there is no evidence that the dog transmitted the disease to the family. The link for the CNN article is here for your review.

In summary:


There is no evidence that our pets can transmit the disease to each other or to people.

If you are sick, distance yourself from your pets. Have someone provide their routine care for you during this time.

Testing for pets is not standard and is not recommended at this time. The Pug was tested as part of a scientific study.

It is our plan to continue to care for your pets at Ridglea West Animal Hospital. Our staff remains healthy. We continue to practice CDC guidelines. We will do all we can to make your comfortable in regard to our methods and protocol.

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