Is Covid-19 test essential for your pet?

Is Covid-19 test essential for your pet?

It could be that you are the owner of a pet dog or cat. The present pandemic caused by Covid-19 virus has led pet owners to ask different types of questions. It is quite natural for pet owners to be concerned about the health and safety of their beloved pets. One question that is asked commonly by pet owners across the globe is there a need to test your pet for Covid-19?

Expert talk

According to vets, if you notice you dog/cat coughing, it does not mean they have contracted Covid-19. OIE (World Organization for Animal Health) along with CDD (Disease Control & Prevention) experts are of the opinion that Covid-19 virus affects mainly human beings. Pets are not likely to get infected or sick with this coronovirus that the world is presently suffering from. However, several other types of viruses exist which may make your pet get sick.

Changing Covid-19 testing options for pets

With more knowledge being gained about the Covid-19 strain, testing methods used for pets is fast changing. Vets and public health authorities have come together to determine if there is a real need to test animals. No evidence is found till date that the virus may be carried by cats or dogs and spread among humans. However, growing evidence shows that in some rare cases, people might infect animals with this virus. Sporadic reports were heard from different parts of the world like a cat and two dogs in Hong Kong, a tiger at New York City’s Bronx Zoo and a feline in Belgium have been infected. Researchers also found out that these animals were infected from individuals contracted with Covid-19 virus.

The first cat that had tested positive for Covid-19 had exhibited difficulty in breathing, vomiting and diarrhoea. It showed positive after a week of its owner being diagnosed of this virus. The number of animals that has been diagnosed with this strain tends to pale when compared to humans. The CDC along with other experts stressed on the fact that cats and dogs did not pose much of a risk to people. There is still no evidence found that pets have developed the ability to spread the strain among humans. Hence, based on the current information, pets are not an infection source.

More information is required to determine the truth. Although animals may avail of human tests, these are however, stated to be in short supply. Moreover, vets prefer conducting species specific tests. Many labs have come up with SARS-CoV-2 test exclusively developed for tests. But still, it is yet to start for administering purpose. Besides this, the USDA (U.S. Agriculture Dept.) has warned against administering it as they are concerned with spreading unwanted fear. There have been reports of owners abandoning their pets during this peak cold winter season.

If your pet exhibit any such signs or symptoms, then contact your vet immediately to check thoroughly your pet and determine what is causing such symptoms. This can probably be other health related issues and will require proper and timely treatment, something that should not be avoided.


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