People who test positive for Covid-19 should protect their pets

This is a developing situation. Nobody wants to create alarm but the focus thus far has been on people and how many are infected and how many die. Companion animals are an afterthought but the picture is developing. It seems clear to me that people who have been infected with Covid-19 should consider their companion animals and the possibility that they have transmitted the disease to them.

Cat in lab

Cat in lab. Picture: Getty Images.

We know that this can happen. It is completely clear that people can transmit this zoonotic disease to companion animals and indeed wild animals. The Bronx Zoo story illuminates that.

Today, MSN News reports that two domestic cats have tested positive for coronavirus in Texas. Until now we have had the odd, rare report of a domestic cat or dog acquiring the disease from people. Only a handful of pets, according to the media, have acquired the disease worldwide and the symptoms have been mild and the animals have apparently cured themselves without intervention. There is no indication at the moment that pets can transmit the disease to people.

So, to read about two cats in one state of the USA contracting the disease, is slightly concerning. Both cats are or were asymptomatic (no symptoms) and they both live with owners who have tested positive. Although the cats had mild symptoms or have been asymptomatic, there are reports in the online media which strongly indicates that the coronavirus infection can have long lasting effects on people who have contracted it such as: brain fog. There is a difficulty thinking after an acute infection. It is thought that Covid-19 may damage brain cells and inflammation may cause these complications. Shortness of breath is another after-effect. Heart and lung complications have been noticed by doctors. This includes lung scarring. And arrhythmia caused by damage to the heart is a further consequence. Hypertension is another possible long lasting effect and hair loss. It appears that the virus can cause temporary but excessive hair shedding.

The point is that some people you don’t just get over Covid-19. This prompts me to ask whether some companion animals might suffer the same consequences.

The tests on the cats were carried out by researchers at the Texas A&M University. They say that they are one of the few veterinary research groups across the country endeavouring to enhance our understanding of Covid-19 infections in pets. I agree that there is a need for this kind of research because, as mentioned, pets have been de-prioritised until now.

There is a need to actively screen dogs and cats living with people who have suffered with the disease. It would be nice to know the prevalence of the disease amongst companion animals in an area of the USA. Texas has quite a high level of Covid-19 infections amongst people according to reports. It’s a suitable place therefore to do some tests on pets. It might be possible to extrapolate the results to a wider area.

People should factor in, the researchers say, the possibility of pets becoming infected and take suitable precautions. In other words, the rules that apply to people-to-people interactions should also apply to interactions between people and animals.

Some more on pets and coronavirus

Cat alleviates the unease of getting vaccinated against Covid in Manila, the capital of the Philippines

How do I know if my cat has Covid?

This page is in two parts. The first part was written and published on January 14, 2022. An update was ...
Read More
3 snow leopards die of Covid at Lincoln Children's Zoo

Tragedy: 3 snow leopards die of Covid

NEWS AND COMMENT: Lincoln Children's Zoo in Nebraska have announced on their Facebook page at November 12, 2021 that three ...
Read More
China is killing pets unnecessarily when they contract Covid

China: when pets get Covid they are killed. When people get Covid they are treated. Unfair and immoral.

China is engaged in Draconian anti-Covid measures which are cruel and bewildering to outsiders and animal advocates. They have a ...
Read More
Amusing mockup of a book cover

Don’t F***k**g Breathe on My Kitten you unvaxxed selfish POS

I just got this book from the library ?. Judging by the response to this tweet, this mockup of a ...
Read More
Miss Liu's Exotic Shorthair one of three cats owned by her that were euthanised

CHINA: Harbin authorities euthanized three domestic cats who contracted Covid

HARBIN, CHINA - NEWS AND COMMENT: This story is all over the Internet and I have written about it before ...
Read More

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *