Expert Pitch

Ask the expert: MSU veterinarian dispels myths about pets and COVID-19

Michigan State University
9-Apr-2020 4:55 PM EDT, by Michigan State University

Since first hearing about the COVID-19 outbreak in China, media outlets around the world have reported on strains of the virus originating in animals, on pets testing positive for the virus and most recently, on a tiger testing positive for COVID-19 at the Bronx Zoo.

Annette O’Connor – chairperson of the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences and professor of Epidemiology at Michigan State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine – says that there are seven different types of coronaviruses and that the Centers for Disease Control doesn’t believe the COVID-19 strain can be transmitted to domestic animals.

However, O’Connor explains that since COVID-19 is a new virus, it’s critical for humans to take extra precautions around animals and pets since there isn’t a wealth of research about the virus.

O’Connor answers common questions related to COVID-19 and pets:

Can my pets get sick from COVID-19?

At this time, we have very limited information about animals and COVID-19 because it is too new of a virus. However, if pets do get sick, we would expect them to have signs such as diarrhea, vomiting or respiratory problems, like trouble breathing. If you are concerned about your pet, you should do what you would usually do: isolate them and contact your veterinarian.

Am I at risk for catching COVID-19 from an animal?

The transmission we see currently see of COVID-19 is human-to-human transmission. We do continue to see rare reports of cats and dogs that live with COVID-infected patients being infected.

To date, we have no evidence that owners can “catch” the virus from cats or dogs because we have no evidence that naturally infected cats and dogs shed the virus.

However, as this is a very new virus, pet owners need to continue to follow routine practices for pet hygiene recommended by the American Veterinary Medical Association. These guidelines include washing your hands after petting animals, avoiding touching your face, don’t kiss your pet, and don’t share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels or bedding with other people or pets.

So what about the tiger at the Bronx zoo who tested positive?

The detection of the virus that causes COVID-19 in the tiger is interesting, because it appears to be an example of the transmission from humans to tiger – a very rare event. This finding has highlighted the concern for our wild animal populations, and staff at zoos have adopted practices that will protect these valuable populations.

If I have – or someone I know has – COVID-19, can my pet catch it?

If an owner is ill with COVID-19, as suggested by the CDC, they should isolate themselves from the pets and have another household member care for them.

If isolation of the pet isn’t possible, continue to use frequent hand washing and avoid touching your face. Also remember: if your pet requires veterinary care, make sure you inform your veterinarian that you or a household member is ill with COVID-19. That information will allow your veterinarian to take adequate precautions.

Can my pets “catch” the virus that causes COVID-19 from other pets?

There is evidence that cats can catch COVID-19 from other cats – but there is only a small amount of evidence at this point. The largest study we have only involved 102 cats from Wuhan, China; of the 102 tested, only 11 had antibodies to COVID-19. None had evidence of the virus, so they were probably infected some time ago. In that study we also don’t know how the cats became infected, perhaps they were infected from humans, or maybe cat-to-cat transmission does occur. We need to wait for more data.

Information and resources about the coronavirus, COVID-19 and animals is available through the College of Veterinary Medicine.




Filters close

Showing results

110 of 5649
Released: 17-May-2021 5:30 PM EDT
La fatiga, el deterioro cognitivo percibido y los trastornos del estado de ánimo se asocian al síndrome posterior a la COVID-19, según un estudio de Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic

Los pacientes a los que se les diagnostica el síndrome posterior a la COVID-19, también conocido como "PCS", "síndrome de COVID-19 de larga duración" y "secuelas posagudas del SARS COV-2", experimentan síntomas como trastornos del estado de ánimo, fatiga y deterioro cognitivo percibido que pueden afectar de manera negativa el regreso al trabajo y la reanudación de las actividades normales.

Released: 17-May-2021 4:45 PM EDT
COVID-19 vaccination: Thrombosis can be prevented by prompt treatment
Medical University of Vienna (MedUni Wien)

A rare syndrome has been observed in people following vaccination against Covid-19.

Released: 17-May-2021 9:40 AM EDT
Comprehensive Mount Sinai Study Shows Direct Evidence That COVID-19 Can Infect Cells in Eye
Mount Sinai Health System

Study Has Implications for Preventive Measures to Slow Spread of Virus

Released: 17-May-2021 9:00 AM EDT
How to Win Over Vaccine Skeptics: Live Expert Panel for May 20, 3pm ET
Newswise

How to Win Over Vaccine Skeptics: Live Expert Panel for May 20, 3pm ET

Released: 17-May-2021 9:00 AM EDT
Severe COVID-19 may be linked to long-haul symptoms
University of Michigan

People who experience very severe COVID-19 illness have a higher prevalence of persistent symptoms, according to a new University of Michigan study.

Released: 17-May-2021 8:55 AM EDT
Confused About the Latest Mask Rules? Read This
Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan

A quick guide to navigating life now that the CDC and many states have said that fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks in many situations.

access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 19-May-2021 5:00 PM EDT Released to reporters: 17-May-2021 7:15 AM EDT

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 19-May-2021 5:00 PM EDT The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

Newswise: Virtual Awards Ceremony for Alexander Jane Noble Awards Honorees in Tech and Medicine on May 26, 2021
Released: 17-May-2021 7:05 AM EDT
Virtual Awards Ceremony for Alexander Jane Noble Awards Honorees in Tech and Medicine on May 26, 2021
The Novim Group

2021 Alexandra Jane Noble (AJN) Awards ceremony will be virtual, held May 26. ANJ Awards recognizes science innovators

access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 20-May-2021 2:00 PM EDT Released to reporters: 17-May-2021 7:00 AM EDT

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 20-May-2021 2:00 PM EDT The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.


Showing results

110 of 5649

close
3.05969