Can Animals Get COVID-19

AND SHOULD I BE CONCERNED? LATEST ADVICE FOR PET OWNERS

COVID – 19 HUMAN TO ANIMAL TRANSMISSION STATEMENT

In response to a recent story about a dog who has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus in Hong Kong, we would like to reiterate the latest advice and reassure our clients.

Can Animals Transmit COVID-19 to Humans?

It is not believed that animals, including companion animals such as cats and dogs, can transmit the virus to humans.

The advice to restrict contact with household pets should you contract COVID-19 is purely precautionary until more is known about the virus and how it behaves.

This advice is based on prior clinical experiences seen with the SARS virus back in 2003, which is a virus in the same family (coronaviruses). During this outbreak, we saw that;

  • a small number of cats and dogs tested positive for the virus
  • they did not become ill
  • they also did not transmit the virus either to other animals of the same species, or to humans

 

You can read a full statement from the WSAVA (World Small Animal Veterinary Association) here, which again reiterates the need for good hygiene around animals and the desire to prevent scaremongering which could have a negative impact on animal welfare.

Will My Pet Die From Coronavirus?

Following on from what we saw with the SARS virus, and the case in Hong Kong with Coronavirus COVID-19, it is highly unlikely that your pet will fall ill with Coronavirus COVID-19.

PETS ARE HIGHLY UNLIKELY TO FALL ILL WITH COVID-19 EVEN IF THEY TEST POSITIVE FOR IT

What About That Dog On Facebook?

The BVA (British Veterinary Association) President Daniella Dos Santos has made the following statement;

“The OIE [World Organisation for Animal Health] and Hong Kong Government have unanimously agreed that the ongoing test results of the Pomeranian dog suggest that the dog has a low-level of infection and that this is likely to be a case of human-to-animal transmission.”

The dog showed no clinical symptoms.

So, to reiterate;

“...there remains no evidence that pet animals can be a source of infection of COVID-19 for humans or other animals, or that they become sick. The main source of infection remains human-to-human transmission.”

The veterinary industry are taking advice from the BVA, Public Health England, and DEFRA, and are following all usual biosecurity protocols.

What Is The Current Advice for Pet Owners?

For all pet owners, it is a case of good hand hygiene and washing your hands with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds after handling your pet and cleaning up after them, as well as following the protocols issued by Public Health England.

What Do I Do If I'm a Pet Owner and I Get Coronavirus?

The BVA has the following advice for pet owners who test positive for Coronavirus COVID-19;

  • Inform your local health protection team that there is a pet in the household. They will liaise with the relevant animal health authorities.
  • Restrict contact with pets as a precautionary animal health measure until more information is known about the virus.
  • If your pet requires care, wash your hands before and after any interaction with them and wear a face mask if possible.
  • If your pet shows clinical signs, please do not take it to the vet. Contact your local health protection team for advice.

CURRENT ADVICE IS THAT THERE IS NO NEED TO FEAR ANIMAL TO HUMAN TRANSMISSION, AND;

PETS ARE HIGHLY UNLIKELY TO FALL ILL WITH COVID-19 EVEN IF THEY TEST POSITIVE FOR IT

We will update this article as more information becomes available, but we hope that this article helps to put things in context and put aside some fears you may have about whether your pet will die from Coronavirus, or whether you could catch Coronavirus from your pet or from an infected person’s pet.

First published 12/03/2020

Can Animals Get COVID-19 (and should I be concerned?)

All surgeries are remaining OPEN throughout lockdown with our COVID-secure procedures in place