While you are putting strategies and practices in place to allow you the best chance of dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, have you considered your pet’s health in the mix? Are you concerned that your pet could also contract the virus? What connection is there between cats and coronavirus?
Can My Pet Become Infected?
The World Health Organization and other experts are still telling us that we have no meaningful evidence that pets can spread the infection.
However, your concerns might well be elevated after hearing that a dog, a 17-year-old Pomeranian, was put in quarantine in late February after his owner contracted COVID-19. The owner has since recovered.
The dog, who tested “weak positive” for the infection, died at home in Hong Kong. The Pomeranian never showed symptoms, though he was reportedly tested during the quarantine.
A total of five tests from his nasal and oral samples returned “weak positive” results at first, but the dog later was allowed to go home after samples returned negative.
In spite of the “weak positive” results, the antibodies were not detected in the dog’s blood. This suggests that perhaps the dog may not have been infected.
The virus that was detected may have simply been virus that contaminated the dog’s nose or haircoat. The dog did die, however, after its release Monday. The exact cause of death is unknown.
Can Pets Carry The Virus On Their Fur?
It is possible that the animal could carry the virus on its fur, just as it could leave them on any surface of your house. That is why it is so important to practice good hygiene. Wash your hand before and after petting the animal. Also, hard though it is, avoid pet kissing and snuggles.
Precautions should be taken, even though there is currently no evidence that pets can develop COVID-19.
If I’m Infected, Should I Keep A Distance From Pets?
If you are exhibiting mild symptoms of the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say you should limit contact with your pets, the same as you would with people. If you can, have a non-infected member of the household care for the animal.
If you have no choice but to care for pets while sick, it is suggested by the CDC that you wear a face mask and wash your hands before and after caring for them.
As you make preparations, it is wise to purchase at least two weeks of food items for your pet. Pick up any meds that you need. Be prepared, but don’t go overboard. Be sure to include items such as poop bags and kitty litter.
Can I Still Walk My Dog?
Unless you are under really strict self-quarantine, you need to walk the dog, both so it can get exercise and also take care of their pit stops. Besides, it’s good for both you and your pet.
It’s best to observe the six-foot rule, staying that far away from other people or animals you meet.
The virus spreads from human to human. At present, there is no research that supports human to animal spread of the disease. Though it most likely will not spread from human to animal, it is best to limit contact with the pets if you are infected.
Wash your hands and do not let the animal lick your face.
What About Testing Pets?
At present, this is not a top priority. If more cases start showing up of animal infection, then we need to discuss the possibility.
If a pet can become infected, it would serve as a way to pass on the disease. Then, we need to deal with animals in the same way as we deal with infected humans. Treatment must be determined. Veterinary hospitals need to be prepared in case there is a surge of cases.
Pets would have to be quarantined, perhaps in a hospital or shelter. If you can isolate them in a closed room away from other household members, you could do so at home. Wash your hands frequently and perhaps wear a mask when entering their room.
What Is Feline Coronavirus?
There is a common viral infection in cats that is called feline coronavirus. Do not confuse it with COVID-19. It is a different type of disease, generally causing asymptomatic infection. It can also cause mild diarrhea.
Changes in the virus can cause mutants that lead to the development of feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). Usually, cats with this infection eliminate the virus from their systems, but some cats can develop a very persistent infection.
When the cat mingles with other cats, he can pass on this infection. It is best to remove cats who are often infected from the rest of the cats in the household, so that the risk of FIP within that population can be reduced.
What Is The Best Procedure To Follow With Pets?
Be watchful. Include your pet in your preparedness procedures. After all, he is a member of the family. Meanwhile, let’s both watch the news to learn of any new developments in the dangers of the virus to our pets.
Keep safe and healthy, all of you. May this pandemic be over soon. I, for one, will be very glad when it is a memory from the past.
I used two references for this post. They are as follows: