Local Leaders | Animal Health: Could coronavirus affect my pet?

Covid-19 is causing a large amount of concern and uncertainty in communities, including ours.

Coronaviruses is a group of viruses that infect birds and mammals, including humans.

In humans they are often associated with the common cold, bronchitis and pneumonia.

There are a few coronaviruses we see as vets in dogs, cats and cattle which cause diarrhoea. They do not cause infections in humans. They are NOT associated with the current COVID-19 pandemic.

There have been reports of a dog in Hong Kong that was tested positive to COVID-19 from oral and nasal swabs. This dog was owned by a person with COVID-19 and would have transmitted it from the owner.

Current evidence supports the fact that the spread of COVID-19 in the human population is due to close human to human contact and that there is no evidence that pets are capable of spreading the disease to humans. The follow-up testing has shown the dog to have no measurable antibodies to the COVID-19 virus. There is no evidence at this stage that pets are a source of infection.

We would like to appeal to all pet owners to not do anything rash that would compromise the welfare of their pet during this current situation. If you yourself are in quarantine there are ways to safely access veterinary care for your pet whilst you are in quarantine.

The first step is to make phone contact with your veterinarian so they can make appropriate and safe arrangement for examining and treating sick animals.

Quarantined pet owners who break quarantine to attend a veterinary clinic seriously risk compromising the health and welfare of veterinary clinic staff and anyone else they come into close contact with. We at Crookwell Veterinary Hospital endeavour to continue to provide animals with the best care during these trying times.