Don’t be afraid of lint: your cat will not give you COVID-19

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Don’t be afraid of your pets: you’re more likely to pass Covid to them than the other way around

When a Malaysian tiger named Nadia became the first tiger in the world to test positive for COVID-19 after being exposed to an asymptomatic zoo keeper at the Bronx Zoo, she made history.

But her new celebrity has raised concerns among animal lovers: Could COVID-19 be transmitted to pets? And could domestic animals pass it on to humans?

If that’s the case, the fluffy neighborhood cat who refuses to get away from society seems a little less cute.

The tiger at the Bronx Zoo was the first example of a positive test for non-pets, “said veterinary doctor Lauren Adelman. “But there has been sporadic reports of dogs and cats positive, so people want to know if there is a risk. ”

According to Adelman, the short answer is “no”.

Although there have been rare cases of viruses passing from humans to pets, there have been no reports of transmission from pets to humans, said Adelman.

“The risk we pose to our pets is low, and the risk they pose to us is nonexistent,” said Adelman.

According to the guidelines for pets and COVID-19 published by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, it is we humans who have to protect our pets. Their guidelines recommend avoiding close contact with animals if you are sick, washing your hands thoroughly, and avoiding coughing or sneezing on your animals. Ask another member of the household to take care of your pets until your illness goes away.

Cats and ferrets are the most sensitive to COVID-19. Dogs are much less likely to contract it, and pigs not at all, said Adelman.

Although Adelman said there were not yet any case studies showing that a pet’s fur could transmit the virus, “as a precaution, we do not recommend petting dogs and cats other people at the moment »

In other words, no matter how cute this puppy-eyed furry ball can be, keep your social distance – unless he’s your own pet.

There is no commercially available veterinary test for an animal that has been exposed. At the Canada West Veterinary Hospital, where Adelman is an internist, a COVID-19 service has been specially designed for animals coming from a house with positive exposure.

Adelman said veterinarians canceled elective surgeries during the pandemic. “Because of the risk to the doctors, nurses and technicians who need it (personal protective equipment), we are doing everything we can to keep the amount of equipment we use,” said Adelman.

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