COVID-19 : Information for pet owners
The COVID-19 pandemic has many concerned and uncertain about their health and the health of their pets.
In an effort to keep you informed, we are providing you with the most recent information released to veterinarians by the American Veterinary Medical Association.
The recent development of a COVID-19 positive dog in Japan has raised concerns about the safety of our pets and their susceptibility to this new virus. A 17 year old Pomeranian whose owner had contracted COVID-19 is currently under quarantine in Hong Kong. This dog is not ill, but repeated testing has detected low levels of the virus in samples from its nasal and oral cavities. Human to animal transmission is still speculative and further testing is being conducted. Infectious disease experts, the CDC, WHO and the OIE (World Organization for Animal Health) indicate that there is currently no evidence that dogs or cats can become sick or be a source of infection or spread COVID-19 to people.
It is, however, recommended that you limit contact with animals if you are sick until more is known about this virus.
Key information about COVID- 19
- The betacoronavirus that causes COVID-19 is SARS-CoV-2 (formerly 2019-nCoV).
- Person-to-person spread has been reported in numerous countries, including the United States. Some popular international destinations, including the United States, also appear to have community spread.
- Transmission seems to occur when there is contact with an infected person's bodily secretions, such as saliva or mucus droplets in a cough or sneeze.
- There are currently no antiviral drugs recommended or licensed by FDA to treat COVID-19, and there is no immunization available.
- For most people in the United States, the immediate risk of being exposed to SARS-CoV-2 is believed to be low, but the CDC considers the virus a very serious public health threat.
- The best way to avoid becoming ill is to avoid exposure to the virus. Taking typical preventive actions is key.
- Infectious disease experts and multiple international and domestic human and animal health organizations agree there is no evidence at this point to indicate that pets become ill with COVID-19 or that they spread it to other animals, including people.
- Out of an abundance of caution, it is recommended that those ill with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. Have another member of your household take care of walking, feeding, and playing with your pet. If you have a service animal or you must care for your pet, then wear a facemask; don’t share food, kiss, or hug them; and wash your hands before and after any contact with them.
Morristown Animal Hospital will continue to keep you informed as we are provided with more information.