To the best of current scientific knowledge and study can the coronavirus be spread from your cat or dog? Or can it be given to them?
The quick answer is a categorical no! To the best of current scientific knowledge, the Coronavirus, Covid-19, cannot be spread by a pet to a human being!
” I think the idea that we’re going to give this virus to our pets or we’re going to get it from them is just nonsense,” said Dr. John Williams, chief of the division of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.
“This is not simply my opinion. I’m a virologist, an infectious disease doctor, and I’m just saying there’s no scientific evidence for that,” stressed Williams, who has studied various coronaviruses for decades.
“I’m going to debunk that also,” said infectious disease expert Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of preventative medicine and infectious disease at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville.
“We don’t have to worry about pets — this virus now likes humans but data show it’s not spreading among pets or farm animals,” Schaffner said.
A Dog in Hong Kong has tested positive
Yes, a dog in Hong Kong recently tested weak-positive and panic began to spread amongst pet owners there. The 17-year old Pomeranian was placed in quarantine and then sent home, where after three days he passed away. Another dog that lived in the same house repeatedly tested negative.
As you can imagine the internet quickly exploded with queries from concerned pet owners. Dr. Williams was quick to point out that the Pomeranian was weak-positive, not testing real positive, even testing negative on at least several occasions.
“The Pomeranian was never sick with the illness, and it was released from quarantine and then died,” said Dr. Dana Varble, chief veterinary officer for the North American Veterinary Community, which provides continuing education for veterinary professionals.
It is not known how the dog died when he returned home as an autopsy was never done. It must be remembered he was an extremely old dog with a variety of health issues.
Last Thursday the Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department announced that another dog was placed in quarantine. A German Shepard had also tested positive for Covid-19. Again, as in the previous case, another dog living in the same home tested negative. Neither dog has shown any signs of becoming ill due to the virus.
Dr. Dana Varble, chief veterinary officer for the North American Veterinary Community points out that is currently no documented evidence that pets are a source, or can even be a source of transmitting the virus to humans. Or that humans can cause the virus in pets.
To put this into perspective, Varble points to a recent test of thousands of household pets for Covid-19 by a veterinary diagnostic company.
“They tested thousands of dogs and cats for this virus and found no positive results in pets, so we believe that the likelihood of dogs or cats contracting this is extremely low at this time,” Varble said.
So are there any likely scenarios where a person might contract the virus from a pet? Maybe a cats, or dogs fur for instance?