Updated: Apr 2, 2020
by Erin Elizabeth
Many of you out there are wondering- can my pet get corona virus? The short answer is- no, and incidentally, also- yes. Confused yet?
They can get a strain of corona virus. However, not COVID-19. There are many strains of corona virus including the decade old SARS and MERS. Both dogs and cats can contract a certain strain of corona virus, albeit not the same one as each other, and the the same one as humans.
"But my vet vaccinated my pet for corona virus, I should be fine, right?" Maybe.
There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19 for humans or pets, what your dog may have been vaccinated for has absolutely nothing to do with COVID-19, and despite the conflicting facts within the news, no pet has become infected with the virus.
Let's not forget that I am a dog trainer, not a virologist. So I took advantage of this mandatory quarantine to chat with a few veterinary professionals for their advice and opinions on the topic.
(See below for more detailed info from Maya Rich, RVT)
The bottom line?
USE COMMON SENSE! Don't spread unnecessary panic, stay home, pick UP your pets poo, wash your hands, and give your pet a bath. Bath-time is a great opportunity to bond with your pet, take advantage of it during this forced vacation!!!!
You should still adhere to the instructions for prevention in line with what has been issued with the CDC and WHO following decontamination protocol just as you would a child, a muppet, a doorknob, a pant leg, a leash, or any other surface.
(WASH YOUR PAWS & HANDS!!!) In the meantime, human-canine "silverstoning" should probably take a back seat until we are through all of this..... just to be on the safe side...
Wait, What? Who would...HuH?!😲😬🤐 https://slangit.com/meaning/silverstoning
The AKC as well as other sources are stressing, PLEASE DO NOT abandon or surrender your pet out of sheer frenzy and unwarranted terror and fright- while there is still much to learn about all of this, there is absolutely NO evidence that ordinary, household pets are part of the cause or the spread of the COVID-19 infection.
So have no fear, stay informed, and give your pet a cuddle.
❤ Lucy & Erin ❤
🐾 Artemis & Maya 🐾
A little history about coronavirus, according to an article written by the NIH “Human coronaviruses, first characterized in the 1960s, are responsible for a substantial proportion of upper respiratory tract infections in children. Since 2003, at least 5 new human coronaviruses have been identified, including the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS), which caused significant morbidity and mortality”. COVID-19 is a new mutation that originated in the Wuhan province of China and has proven to be one of the most contagious.
There is a strain of coronavirus that infects cats and two different strains that can affect dogs, FCoV and CRCoV and CCoV respectively. In dogs CRCoV can cause an acute respiratory infection and there is no vaccination for this strain. CCoV causes severe gastro-intestinal symptoms, there is a vaccination for this strain that your dog may have received. Cats that contract FCoV rarely present any symptoms, but it can mutate into a condition called FIP (feline infectious peritonitis) which is usually described as a failure to thrive and causes death in young cats. None of these strains can infect humans.
According to the World Health Organisation and the Centers for Disease Control there is no evidence that dogs or cats can become sick from COVID-19. They can, however, be a fomite which means that if someone infected with COVID-19 were to cough on their pet and then another person touches that pet they can become infected. Animal fur is porous and therefore absorbs the virus making it less likely to be spread through contact, it is being recommended to bathe your pet more frequently then usual. (2-3 times a week) and wipe feets, back, tail and head down with baby wipes after outings/walks. Self Quarantine and social distancing is key. Realize the High risk behavior that will expose or infect you will be direct contact with someone infected or by touching non-porous materials such as a door knob that an infected person has touched without washing her/his hands. SO...Wash your hands and paws as often as possible and use best prectices to protect your pet and yourself.
-Maya Rich R.V.T. & Concerned Pet Parent
contributing writer for Pet Parent Life
*special thanks to Dr. Juliana Wilcox DVM, Chasing Tails, and SDHS