❗Coronavirus and Animals❗
We have received the following advice from the BVA (British Veterinary Association). This is the most recent advice available to veterinary practices and pet owners. However, as Covid-19 is new and unknown, this information may change. We will keep you updated as we receive new information and advice from DEFRA. If you have concerns with regards to your pet, please call our practice where we will be able to advise.
According to the OIE, the current spread of Covid-19 is a result of human to human transmission, and, to date, there is no evidence that companion animals can spread the disease. Therefore, there is no justification in taking measures against companion animals which may compromise their welfare. Current evidence suggests Covid-19 has an animal source but this remains under investigation. Vets should continue to take the usual precautions when handling animals and animal products in line with good biosecurity protocols.
On 1 March it was reported that a Pomeranian dog in Hong Kong had tested positive for Covid-19 and further testing, including gene sequencing, suggests that the dog has a low-level of infection and that this is likely to be a case of human-to-animal transmission. The dog has not shown any clinical signs of disease. A blood test has also been carried out and has come back negative, indicating that there are no measurable amounts of antibodies in the blood at this stage. This does not rule out infection. The dog will is still under quarantine pending a further blood test. The OIE states that “There is no evidence that dogs play a role in the spread of this human disease or that they become sick.”
Full WSAVA guidance on coronavirus is available on the website.
For pet owners diagnosed with Covid-19, we are expecting updated information from DEFRA but in the meantime, our advice is:
-Restrict contact with pets as a precautionary animal health measure until more information is known about the virus.
-If your pet requires care, wash your hands before and after any interaction with them and wear a face mask if possible.
-Keep cats indoors if possible and try to arrange for someone else to exercise dogs, taking care to restrict any contact with the person walking your dog and making sure they practice good hygiene. This is to reduce the likelihood of your pet spreading the disease through environmental contamination on their fur – there is no evidence that pet animals play a role in the spread of the disease or that they become sick themselves.
-If your pet shows clinical signs, please do not take it to the vet but call the practice for advice.
If your pet requires emergency treatment, call the practice for further advice.
-Do not take your pet to the surgery unless the vet instructs you to. You may need to arrange for someone else to transport your pet for treatment.