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Are pets susceptible to COVID -19?

April 13, 2020

The quick answer here is yes – BUT the risk remains very low (with one exception- read on…). In the case of cats and dogs, to date, there has been an incredibly small number of cats and dogs where we have been able to see evidence of the virus. Dogs are far less likely to be infected with COVID, and we have not as of yet seen any exhibit clinical signs of infection. Additionally, they would be considered highly unlikely to be able to transmit the infection to other dogs or people. Cats are theoretically more susceptible given that the COVID virus has some small similarities to Coronaviruses that cats are normally prone to. At this point, the risk is still considered very low and if a cat was infected, they are unlikely to be able to transmit the virus to other people.
The pet at most risk of COVID-19 infection is the ferret. Ferrets have been shown to be fairly easily infected by SARS (a close viral cousin of COVID), with most getting sick and recovering. So, if you or someone else is sick, stay away from your ferret. If a ferret is sick, keep them away from other people and ferrets.
What should you do if you are a dog or cat owner? If you have COVID-19 and have been around your pets, keep all your pets and yourself inside and away from other people for 14 days. While the risk of transmission to or from a pet is very low, we don’t want an exposed pet tracking this virus out of the household.

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