NEWS/OPINION – SOURCE: THE JERUSALEM POST: This is a further update on whether domestic cats and dogs can transmit the novel coronavirus disease called Covid-19. There is a real concern about this and people are nervous generally about becoming infected. However, there is, in my opinion, too much hype by the news media. This promotes fear and panic which is unhelpful. UPDATE: the information here has been superseded by more recent reports. Covid-19 has been found in wild cats (tigers and lions) and domestic cats in a Chinese study which is not peer reviewed and in two domestic cats in day to day life, one in Belgium.
A Pomeranian dog in Hong Kong tested positive for Covid-19. The reason is that the dog ‘carried’ the virus. This means that the virus had not entered the dog’s tissues and bloodstream but had entered the dog’s oral and nasal area where it was ‘resting’ and doing nothing. As a result a week positive test was made. The dog did not show any symptoms.
Despite this, the dog was quarantined and will be tested repeatedly until the test is negative. Apparently, the dog in question belongs or belonged to a patient who had contracted Covid-19. As a consequence, the Hong Kong’s Health Department sent the dog to the care of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department for quarantine.
A statement was issued in which it was said that companion cats and dogs belonging to humans with confirmed coronavirus infections should be sent to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department where they will be quarantined.
The virus can survive on external services for a period of time. I have read that it can survive for a week but this needs confirming. Therefore the virus will be on surfaces i.e. inanimate objects where they can be transferred to people’s hands and it seems companion animals. Perhaps the dog sniffed a surface on which the virus was ‘resting’. The inhaled the virus and it lodged in their oral and nasal area. Ask you doctor but my research indicates that at present the experts believe that cats and dogs can’t get the disease.
I suppose the fact that animals can carry the disease means that they can transmit it, if for example they sneeze and the virus is inside their nose.
IMPORTANT: DON’T DO ANYTHING STUPID WITH RESPECT TO YOUR COMPANION ANIMAL AS HAS OCCURED IN WUHAN, CHINA. SEE YOUR VET. THERE IS POSITIVELY NO REASON TO (1) PANIC (2) QUARANTINE YOUR CAT OR DOG UNLESS YOUR VET OR THE AUTHORITIES SAY SO.
P.S. A person who contracted the disease said that there are 3 phases: cold symptoms, flu symptoms and pneumonia. The lungs become inflammed causing rapid breathing.