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A Helpful Guide from the
Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association

According to the AVMA, “it appears that dogs and cats are not readily infected with SARS- CoV-2, we have little to no evidence that they become ill, and no evidence that those that may be naturally infected spread SARS-CoV-2 to other pets or people.

”What are Coronaviruses?

The CDC defines coronaviruses as “a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people.”
The Best Way To Protect Your Pet
•Wash your hands often with soap and water.
•Avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth with unwashed hands.
•Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
•Stay home when you are sick.
•Cover your coughs and sneezes.
•Disinfect all surfaces that are frequently used.
•Vaccinate your pets for all other potential diseases as recommended by your veterinarian.
•Limit contact with your pets if you or someone you are close to contracts the coronavirus.

How is COVID (coronavirus) spread?

The CDC says the disease is spread to humans through person-to person contact.
There have been no reports of pets spreading this novel coronavirus. However, two dogs (Hong Kong), one cat (Belgium) and a tiger (Bronx Zoo in New York) have tested positive for COVID-19, these cases are believed to be instances of human-to-animal transmission.

Can I Contract COVID-19 From My Pet?

While this virus seems to have emerged from an animal source, the CDC believes there is no reason to think any animals, including pets in the U.S., might be a source of infection.

While there have been instances of two dogs (Hong Kong), one cat (Belgium) and a tiger (Bronx Zoo in New York) testing positive for COVID-19, to date, there is no evidence that a dog, cat or any pet can transmit COVID-19 to humans. However, since animals can spread other diseases, it’s always a good idea to wash your hands after being around them. Currently, there is no vaccine for COVID-19 for people or pets. Any animal showing serious illness needs to be seen by a veterinarian.

Can My Pet Contract The Coronavirus From An Infected Person?

The CDC says anyone who is sick with the coronavirus should restrict contact with any animals just like you would around other people. If you or another family member contracts the virus, the CDC recommends having another member of your household care for your animal.

Avoid petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a facemask.

Do We Need To Take Extra Precautions With Recently Imported Or Exotic Animals?

All animals imported from infected countries will need to meet CDC and USDA requirements for entering the U.S. At this time, there is no evidence that animals can spread the coronavirus. Any animals recently imported from China or other countries affected by the coronavirus should be observed daily for signs of illness.

In regards to the tiger at the Bronx Zoo, according to the AVMA, “On April 5 [2020], the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratories confirmed SARS-CoV-2 in one tiger in a zoo in New York… Public health officials believe the large cats became sick after exposure to an employee who was actively shedding virus.”

If any animal becomes ill, the CDC recommends bringing the animal to a veterinarian. Call your local clinic before bringing the animal in and let them know of any contact the animal might have had with an infected human.

Produced by the Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association.

The KVMA Mission: To Promote, Improve, and
Advocate for the Veterinary Profession.
All information comes from online
resources made available by the CDC, WHO, and the AVMA.

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