News No Evidence That Covid 19 Can Be Contracted From Pets

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‘No evidence that covid-19 can be contracted from pets’
20th March 2020

By Karen Pickwick

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association has moved to reassure pet owners following the news that a dog in Hong Kong – quarantined after it had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 – has died. The dog had been released after two weeks of quarantine having subsequently tested negative for the virus. 

The dog, a 17-year-old Pomeranian, had shown no clinical signs of covid-19. However, it did have significant unrelated health problems including cardiac and renal issues and is believed to have died from these and old age, possibly exacerbated by the stress of quarantine away from familiar surroundings.

The WSAVA confirms that there is NO evidence that the dog contracted covid-19 nor that it could have passed the viral cause to another human or animal.

On March 19, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) in Hong Kong revealed that a second dog, a German shepherd, had also tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. The dog was quarantined after its owner was confirmed with covid-19.  Although the dog has tested positive, it has no clinical signs of disease.

TESTED NEGATIVE

Another dog from the same residence has tested negative for the SARS-CoV2. It also has no relevant clinical signs and has been quarantined. The dogs will continue to be tested for the remainder of the quarantine period.

WSAVA president Dr Shane Ryan said: “While there is still much we don’t know about covid-19, we do know that the Pomeranian dog did not die from the virus, and the second dog is also showing no signs, either of the disease or of being able to transmit it to other pets or people. The current evidence still strongly indicates that covid-19 CANNOT be contracted from pets.”

The WSAVA says its priority is to support its member vets, who care for companion animals around the world, and it urges pet owners not to panic and, instead, to continue to care for their companion animals and to enjoy their company.

“In difficult times, such as these we face today, pets can play a very positive role, providing companionship to the isolated and lonely,” a spokesman said.

The WSAVA’s Scientific Committee and One Health Committee have worked together provide Advice to its members and pet owners, which can be found at https://wsava.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19_WSAVA-Advisory-Document-Mar-19-2020.pdf