Can dogs get Coronavirus? Should you panic about your dog? Is your dog contracting (COVID-19)? Even if a dog has contracted low-grade coronavirus infection but there is no authoritative word that pets spread the virus or get sick due to it.
Recently, the Hong Kong health officials provided an update on the only dog so far to have symptoms of low-grade coronavirus infection. The update said that it appears to be the case of a virus transmitting to the pet from a human.
A representative of the Agriculture department clarified that the dog has been placed under quarantine and tested many times. It’s not sick yet.
Coronavirus Symptoms in Dogs
As the coronavirus infections could cause severe acute respiratory syndrome. It has spread far and wide around the globe, thousands of people lie dead due to the virus, so far. But according to official sources, there is no reason to be concerned about the safety of your or somebody else’s pets.
Leading international health organizations for humans and animals have maintained in special advisories that there is no basis to believe that the virus can spread through companion animals. In this light, there is no need to subject companion animals to isolation or measures that compromise their safety and well-being, leading animal agencies have said.
The Hong Kong government officials have said that pet owners should maintain high standards of hygiene but there is no need to be concerned too much or abandon the animals. They have also made it clear that if a family member is down with the viral infection, they can choose to place the pets also under quarantine.
This is how the incident of a pet getting infected came to light. A dog contracting coronavirus whose owner was suffering from the viral infection was tested and some degree of infection was found in the dog’s mouth and nose. The tests were conducted many times and results have shown a weak positive level of infection. The dog will remain under quarantine and treatment until its test results are negative.
What is a Weak Positive Test Result?
The weak positive is often diagnosed among pigs and it can mean a serious threat to the farmers’ livelihood, say, veterinarians, specializing in swine virus studies. They say a low-level infection does not conclusively say that the infected animal can spread the deadly virus. It may neither become ill nor infect others because it may the dead-end host.
A professor of veterinary medicine at a renowned university who was part of a team that in 2005 discovered canine influenza says there is no surprise in the Hong Kong pet having a low-level infection. Infections do pass on from humans to animals on occasions. Usually, this is an initial stage of infection and it does not spread.
However, preventing the transmission of viruses from animals is always a step in the right direction. So, if someone has Corona infection, the pets should also be quarantined, tested, and treated like all other family members. You should try to prevent transmission of the deadly virus by wearing masks, limiting contact, and washing hands frequently.
With dogs, this is, of course, so tough. Your dog might have licked your hands 21 times since breakfast time.
Credits to the New York Times