September 23, 2021

Veterinarian Daily News

Veterinarian Daily News

COVID-19: How to keep your cats and dogs out of coronavirus’ way

6 min read

Image source: Pixabay

If you have cats and dogs at home, you should definitely take steps to protect them from the new coronavirus. COVID-19 infections from pets have been reported from several countries, and in Slovenia a ferret is said to have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. In most cases, pets have caught the virus from humans or caregivers.

Even zoo animals have contracted COVID-19 after being exposed to a zoo keeper infected with the virus. Tigers, lions, pumas, cougars, snow leopards and gorillas in zoos, minks on farms and other mammals are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Recent research has shown that the coronavirus can infect many other mammals, including fruit bats, hamsters, pigs, rabbits, raccoons, and deer. Some of these animals have been found in laboratories to transmit the infection to animals of the same species.

Non-human primates such as macaques, baboons and marmosets (small South American monkeys with long tails) are also susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 when laboratory experiments provide evidence. Some studies show that chickens and ducks are unlikely to become infected or spread the virus.

Most of these results are based on experiments on a small number of animals and to date there have been no cases where animals have transmitted the infection to humans. But more research is needed to confirm this. And scientists still have to make a list of all animals that can become infected with the new coronavirus.

“More and more studies of pets are now being published around the world, suggesting that asymptomatic infections are quite common in pets,” said Professor James Wood, director of veterinary medicine at Cambridge University in the UK, Medical News today.

What are the COVID Symptoms in Pets?

Most infected pets tend to be asymptomatic or show mild COVID symptoms, research from Utrecht University in the Netherlands and the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada show.

Pets infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 may have some of these symptoms, such as a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, lethargy, sneezing, runny nose, eye discharge, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Can humans spread the coronavirus to pets?

Pets are likely to contract COVID-19 if a family member has coronavirus infection. COVID patients should therefore avoid close contact with their pets as much as possible. That said, you should avoid petting, cuddling, kissing or licking, and sharing food or bedding.

Scientists at the Evandro Chagas National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, found that animals tested positive between 11 and 51 days after their caregivers began to experience symptoms. The results will be published in the journal PLOS ONE.

How quickly do cats and dogs recover from COVID-19? Is it fatal?

According to the Dutch study, the animals recover well. It states: “Around 20 percent of exposed pets can be infected, and they eventually cure the infection, just like most people.” No deaths have been recorded to date.

Why are cats more prone to COVID-19 infections?

Researchers in Canada found that cats are more prone to coronavirus infection than dogs. This was confirmed by the study by the University of Utrecht, which said the biology of cats could make them more susceptible to COVID. Cats carry other types of the coronavirus.

Other research has found that cats have a greater capacity for the virus to grow in their cells than dogs or even laboratory mice, making them more susceptible to contracting the virus.

The researchers also found that the more time they spend with a pet owner, the more likely cats are infected. And cats tend to sleep near their owner’s face than dogs, making them more susceptible to infection.

Dogs’ chances of contracting COVID-19 did not depend on the time they spent with their owner.

“It could be something as simple as most dogs have a long nose, or the virus doesn’t bind as well to the receptor in dog cells or something with the immune system,” NBC News quoted Sue VandeWoude, a professor at Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, as I said.

WHAT TO DO IF YOUR PET has COVID-19

If your pet tests positive for the coronavirus, don’t worry. No deaths have been reported to date. These tips from Mayo Clinic might help you.
■ Pets have mild symptoms so they can be cared for at home.
■ Take the same precautions as you would if you infected a family member.
■ Isolate your pet in a separate room
■ Wear gloves when interacting with your pet or their food, dishes, litter, or litter.
■ Wash your hands after touching your pet’s objects.
■ Do not cover your pet’s face with anything.
■ Do not wipe your pet with disinfectant. It can be harmful.
■ If your pet’s symptoms worsen, call the veterinarian.

Can animals transmit the coronavirus to other animals?

Cats can transmit the new coronavirus to other cats without either of them ever showing symptoms, experiments show. A study published in the journal Science found that cats infected with the virus in their mouth and nose through droplet infection. Kittens exposed to the coronavirus had massive lesions in their lungs, nose and throat.

The researchers also found cats and ferrets susceptible to the virus when researchers introduced virus particles through the nose.

Can I Get COVID-19 From Pets?

No. Infectious disease experts say there is no evidence that animals play a role in transmitting COVID-19 to humans. Human infections are caused by human-to-human contact or through the air.

“Cats are still much more likely to get COVID-19 from you than from a cat,” said Keith Poulsen, director of the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.

Researchers at the University of Glasgow said in a study published on the Veterinary Record that “there is currently no evidence of cat-to-human transmission or that cats, dogs or other pets play a significant role in the epidemiology of human COVID-19”. Infections “.

Should I have my pet tested for COVID-19?

No. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not recommend routine testing of pets for COVID-19. It appears that the coronavirus can be transmitted from humans to animals in some situations. Based on the limited information available so far, the risk of spreading the virus through pets is considered below. If your pet is sick, contact your veterinarian who will decide whether a COVID-19 test is needed.

Dogs are less likely to be infected with the coronavirus than cats.
Image source: Pixabay

What should I do if I think my pet has the coronavirus?

Call your vet. Let them know about the clinical signs of illness and whether the animal has had close contact with someone with COVID-19. The vet will decide whether a COVID-19 test is needed.

When is it Safe to End Pet Isolation at Home?

The pets should recover in two weeks after the positive test. Follow your veterinarian’s advice to resume normal activities for the pet. It is safe for your pet to be around other people and animals if they have had no symptoms for 72 hours without medication. Also, make sure the pet has tested negative for the coronavirus.

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR PET

Here are the guidelines from the Mayo Clinic:
■ Do not let your dog or cat interact with people or animals outside of your household.
■ Avoid dog parks or public places where many people and dogs gather.
■ When walking your dog, keep your dog on a leash and at a distance of 2 meters from other people and animals.
■ Do not allow others to pet your dog when you go for a walk.
■ Keep cats indoors whenever possible.
■ If you have COVID-19, isolate yourself from everyone else, including your pet.

Can the coronavirus be transmitted to humans through the skin or fur of pets?

No. There is no evidence that the virus can spread to humans through the skin or hair of pets.

Do pets need to be vaccinated against the coronavirus?

There is no need to vaccinate pets against COVID-19, although veterinarians in Russia have started vaccinating some animals.

Dr. Els Broens, specialist in veterinary microbiology at the University of Utrecht, said: “I don’t see any scientific evidence for this now. It seems unlikely that pets will play a role in the pandemic. “

Can disinfectants be used on pets?

Using hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, isopropyl alcohol, or hydrogen peroxide to clean your pet’s fur or paws is not recommended as it can be harmful.

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