Covid-19 novel coronavirus was declared a global pandemic in march 2020. The virus is new, and there is little to none information available about it. It has resulted in many assumptions and fears amid the public. Although, these are justified as it is a matter of concern. There has been a lot of confusion about the transmission of coronavirus from animal to human and vice versa. It is possible that coronavirus originated in bats and then spread over, but nothing can be said for sure. Humans have since been steering clear of all animals as they fear any animal might be the carrier of the disease. Pets have been affected by this too. Owners still are not sure of how to care for their pets. Whether to isolate the pets or themselves?
As the Pomeranian tested positive for the coronavirus, the doubts around the animal to human transmission of the virus have only deepened. The dog lived in a house with family members who tested positive hence the Hongkong health officials believe that this can be a case of human to animal transmission. The dog didn’t show any symptoms indicating the disease. There have been no animal deaths because of the virus. Health officials over the world began testing the pets of corona-positive owners to make sure that animals can not carry forward the deadly virus.
After testing and researching, Hongkong’s Agriculture Fisheries and Conservation Department concluded that these were rare cases. The transmission happened from humans to animals and not the other way around. The department officials asserted that animals do not play a part in spreading the virus.
What is coronavirus in dogs?
The term coronavirus is used for a group of viruses that can affect humans and animals. Three of these coronaviruses originated from animals, namely SARS COV 1, MERS, SARS COV 2. The one wreaking havoc on the world is SARS COV 2. Some other types of coronavirus can affect dogs too, but COVID 19 can’t. Veterinarians assure that dogs cannot spread coronavirus and rarely be infected by it. They stress the fact that the viruses that infect dogs typically don’t cause respiratory problems and will not be transmitted to humans.
Symptoms of coronavirus in dogs
Even though the chances are slim for your dog contracting COVID-19 from a human or another source, it is good to stay updated on the symptoms the disease might cause. Dogs can contract the virus from a positive tested human. There have been zero deaths in animals because of COVID-19. The two dogs who tested positive didn’t show any symptoms. Some symptoms that might be slightly related to the virus are- fever, cough, difficulty in breathing, sneezing, runny nose, lethargy, diarrhea. If you notice these symptoms in your dog and have been in contact with a coronavirus patient, you must consult a veterinarian.
Can I get my dog tested?
Yes. The veterinary diagnostics laboratory is equipped with the necessary things to test pets for coronavirus. As of now, testing in humans is the priority as coronavirus in animals isn’t a threat as opposed to humans. If the show dog is showing symptoms related to the coronavirus, consult your vet to get a diagnosis of your pet. If then needed, your vet may ask to get your dog tested for the virus. The tests may cost more than the normal amount due to limited capacity and resources.
Should the dogs be quarantined?
Quarantining isn’t necessary as long as everyone in the family or the regular contact persons are healthy. In case someone in the house or you tested positive for coronavirus recently, the American kennel club’s advice is to isolate the infected person from the pet for precautionary reasons.
To protect your pet from the disease the best option is to stick to the basics of dog hygiene. Some people want to cover their dog’s faces with masks but it is to cause more damage than the advantage of it. We need to understand that dogs and human bodies work differently and what is beneficial for humans may not have the same effect on dogs. The face masks are more likely to induce medical conditions like breathing problems.
World Health Organization advises pet owners to wash their hands with soap after handling pets. If you want to go a step up on hygiene, you can clean your dog’s paws with antiseptic wipes or solution after an outdoor walk. But these solutions should be used in the limit as the chemicals are not good for dog skin. Make sure to not over-do it.
The center of disease control asks pet owners to keep their pets away from strangers and outsiders. The contacts should be restricted to a minimal number until the situation is back in control. If someone in your home becomes infected with COVID-19, the patient must be isolated from all other people and animals to be cautious of them contracting with COVID-19.
What if my dog gets infected?
The center of disease control has released the measures to be taken in case your pet tests positive for coronavirus. The first step would be to isolate the pet so that it doesn’t come in contact with other animals or humans. There is no evidence of animal to human or animal to animal transmission but still, precautions are to be taken. Panicking is of no use as no casualties have been reported in cases on infected animals. If your dog is infected with COVID-19, these are the guidelines you should follow until the regular activity is approved by a veterinarian:
- Do not take your dog to public places like pet stores, shopping areas, boarding centers, or dog parks where they may interact with other humans or dogs.
- Avoid taking your dog to schools or any healthcare facilities
- Grooming centers should be avoided. The haircut can wait for health can not.
- Give your pet sitters or walkers a leave till your dog recovers.