Covid-19 and Pets

2020 has taken the world by surprise.  Covid-19 has stormed through our lives and uprooted the ways that we were once accustomed to.   The pandemic has caused individuals and families to have extreme concerns due to the fact that we are facing something that we don’t quite yet understand.  Just how will the virus impact ourselves, each other, or even our pets? 

Although we don’t know much yet and information is fluid and ever changing.  South Town Animal Hospital wanted to share what we know so far, to hopefully provide some ease to your concerns for your pets.   Here’s what we do know.

On April 5th 2020 the USDA reported the first confirmed animal case in the United States of SARS-CoV-2. Tigers at a zoo in New York were found to be positive for SARS-CoV-2 after showing respiratory symptoms for several days.  The cats were in contact with an employee that had been tested positive with the virus.  The tigers are expected to recover and the other animals at the zoo have shown no signs or symptoms.

On April 22nd 2020 the USDA sent out a press release that confirmed two positive cases of SARS-CoV-2 in companion cats were found in New York, not from the same region.  Both domestic cats came from families where there were members that were tested positive. Clinical signs were symptoms of mild respiratory illness.   

Per the USDA and the CDC it is found that the virus can be transmitted from humans to animals in certain cases.  The information that has been collected thus far has not indicated that the virus can be spread from animals to humans.  It was reported that cats in particular have a similar enzyme to humans which the SARS-CoV-2 virus attaches to.

There has been one dog that tested positive for the virus in the United States.   The pet showed symptoms of a cough.  The reason for testing the dog was that the family members were positive with Covid-19. The dog is currently doing well.

Public officials are not recommending that veterinarians routinely test pets during this time. The animals that are exposed to members in the household that are sick are those most at risk.  The CDC is recommending the following to keep your pets safe and healthy during this time. 

  1. Keep your pets indoors if possible, including your indoor/outdoor cats.  This way it reduces any exposure.
  2. Walk dogs on a leash away from others and stay away from dog parks and other large social areas.
  3. If you or someone in your household becomes sick, isolate that person from pets. Do not share food or have physical contact with your animal if you are not feeling well. 
  4. If you are sick and must have contact with your animal, wear a mask and use sanitary precautions to protect them.

It is important to know that in this time of uncertainty we are here for you and your pets.  The information on the novel virus is constantly changing and updating as more research is performed.  South Town Animal Hospital is here to keep you safe and informed.  Any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us at 847-695-7387 or email us at The health of you and your pets is our top priority.  Stay Safe!

For further information please check the following sources:

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