As of today, May 12, 2020, a lot has changed when COVID-19 first hit the scene. As you can expect with any emerging global problem, the more experts and research we do, the more we are discovering.
So, where does that leave us today? A few things have changed. Originally, we were under the impression that domestic pets seemed to be unable to contract the virus. That has, unfortunately, changed. Both in a laboratory setting and out in the real world it has been shown that domestic pets do appear to be able to contract COVID-19 and that includes dogs, cats, and ferrets. That isn’t entirely surprising given we know our pets can contract other types of coronaviruses. We could get into the deep recesses of all viruses, but I don’t want to bore everyone.
Early on, it appeared that animals that did test positive were asymptomatic. That has also changed to some extent. In New York, two cats (from different homes) who had mild upper respiratory issues did test positive for COVID-19; they were in homes whose owners had been diagnosed COVID-19 positive.
Now, when something like this happens, we have to be careful of a concept of correlation vs. causation. It is springtime in the US and with that comes a lot of allergic issues. The symptoms can look similar to what was seen in these two pets. So, were these cats symptomatic because of COVID-19 or did they have other issues going on and then tested positive? The one dog that has tested positive in the US had very mild symptoms but, again, this dog is a pug and the breed is notorious for upper airway issues.
What does this all mean? I think the recommendations that we laid out in our very first podcast and blog still hold true:
- If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, it is best to limit contact with your pets. I know that is tough but it is the best for everyone.
- There is still no evidence that pets can transmit the disease.
- As always, monitor your pets for respiratory issues. Call your vet if there are any concerns.
- Stay tuned for further updates.
Stay safe everyone. For more information please tune into our podcast at www.SeniorPetPodcast.com.