THE LOCAL NEWS OF THE MADISON VALLEY, RUBY VALLEY AND SURROUNDING AREAS

Photo by David Detrick

WHEN TO ISOLATE FROM PETS

Dogs and cats have minimal risks to COVID-19 infection, but not a lot of pets exposed to the virus have been tested.

Two dogs tested positive for the virus in Hong Kong. Neither dog had COVID-19 symptoms, but it is believed that the owners passed the virus to their dogs. There is no evidence that dogs and cats can transmit the COVID-19 coronavirus to humans, according to the Veterinary Information Network and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC suggests people in isolation because of COVID-19 exposure should limit contact with animals until more information is known. People sick with the coronavirus should avoid snuggling and kissing their pets and regularly clean their pets’ dish-bowls.

“It’s always a good idea to practice good hygiene,” Ennis Veterinarian Stacy Davidson said.

The Ennis Veterinary Clinic has taken measures to reduce the spread of the virus. Davidson and her team care for their furry patients while owners wait in the car, inadvertently championing local pets who have waited in truck beds or on car seats for their owners’ return.

According to Veterinary Information Network’s infectious disease consultant Dr. Scott Weese, the human flu has infected pets on rare occasions. Pets are not usually an ideal host for a human virus and cannot produce enough of it to infect others. Dogs tend
to be a dead-end host. Weese said he had concerns about cats with COVID-19 strand because cats can spread the SARS coronavirus to other cats.

COVID-19 contamination is still unclear. But it is known that the virus can survive in the environment without a host for some period of time. It is unlikely to contract the COVID-19 coronavirus from a pet’s coat being contaminated, according to the Veterinary Information Network.

Healthy pet owners can safely snuggle with their pets while riding out this uncertain period of time at home.

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