The bad news is one dog DID test “mild positive” for coronavirus in Hong Kong. The good news – it’s a real exception and is probably related to the fact that this dog’s owner has coronavirus. Experts assure us the HUMAN probably passed some of the viral bacteria to the DOG’s mouth.
It’s highly, highly unlikely that your pets can carry the virus or have it. This strain — COVID-19 is spread between people.
According to the World Health Organisation, there’s no reason to panic about pets as possible victims or carriers of the coronavirus, since there’s no evidence that they can be infected.
Most viruses cannot be spread between humans and animals
The Centres of Disease Control and Prevention noted that there had been no reports of animals being infected in the US.
And the well respected World Organization for Animal Health confirms:
The current spread of COVID-19 is a result of human to human transmission. To date, there is no evidence that companion animals can spread the disease. Therefore, there is no justification in taking measures against companion animals which may compromise their welfare.
The most important factor for all of us, according to all the experts, is to simply wash our hands lots with soap and water.
And, regardless of coronavirus concerns, it’s always a good idea to wash your hands after coming into contact with animals, particularly their saliva.
That’s because they can transmit bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella, which can cause diarrhoea and vomiting, as well as certain types of parasites.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), no animals in the United States have been identified with the virus, and there is no evidence that dogs or other pets can contract or spread COVID-19.
Veterinarians say there are a number of coronavirus strains that affect dogs, and they’ve been around for years, but those that affect your pet aren’t the same as the one affecting people now.
Canine coronavirus is not the same as COVID-19, known as the coronavirus, being transmitted from person-to-person right now.
There is no evidence that dogs or other pets can contract or spread COVID-19.
Canine coronavirus is a respiratory disease, and it is highly contagious. But it is relatively mild and shows up as a single incidence of vomiting, or a day or two of diarrhea. Fever is rare. Often, there are no symptoms at all.
The treatment is usually to keep your sick dog isolated from other dogs, and keep his area clean, especially clean of poop since that’s one way it is spread. After a couple of days your dog should be fine.
The main thing to watch for is dehydration resulting from diarrhea.
An animal COULD BE involved – a bat!
Current evidence suggests that the COVID-19 virus does have an animal source. Ongoing investigations are important for identifying the animal source (including species involved) and establishing the potential role of an animal reservoir in this disease. Yet, to date, there is not enough scientific evidence to identify that source or to explain the route of transmission from an animal source to humans.
However, genetic sequence data reveals that the COVID-19 virus is a close relative of other CoV found circulating in Rhinolophus bat (Horseshoe Bat) populations. There is the possibility that transmission to humans involved an intermediate host.
The many species of Horseshoe Bats are called microbats because they’re so tiny – mostly less than one ounce! They’re found primrly in Africa and Asia.
About Horseshoe Bats
They are found in the Old World, mostly in tropical or subtropical areas, including Africa, Asia, Europe, and Oceania.
Called microbats because of their tiny size (between just 4 and 28 grams or well under one ounce) there are many species of horseshoe bats. Some are hunted for food, particularly in Sub-Saharan African, and some species are used in traditional medicine in Nepal, India, Vietnam, and Senegal.
Although the COVID-19 disease may be circulating among some members of the horseshoe bat population, scientists believe there is at least one more animal intermediary between the [possibly] infected bats and us.
There IS a danger for pets
The AVMA or American Veterinary Medical Association tells us that the primary concern is for humans and that any concern for animals and COVID-19 is around:
- Shortage of drugs and medical supplies for animals – because it’s all being bought up in a panic, for people and
- A possible shortage of pet food in your own home, if the event quarantining comes to North America.
They remind us that as always, we need to include our animals in emergency preparedness planning, keeping a two week supply food and medications on hand for everyone in our home.