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Corona-virus: Can dogs, cats and other pets transmit the Covid-19?

Updated: Apr 6, 2020

Greek and world society is being torn apart by the new corona, which has drastically changed everyone's lives. Unfortunately, in addition to the changes in work, routine and everyday life, man is also called upon to deal with the bombardment of information and information.

Some of this information often has no scientific basis and is intended to create "noise" on social media and beyond. A similar example is the news of the Hong Kong dog being found to be positive for the virus and articles suggesting the de facto transmission of the virus by pets.

The Ministry of Development of Hong Kong itself with a press release on 28/2/2020 clarified the following:

- A dog, which belongs to a positive owner of Covid-19 in Hong-Kong, was found positive for the virus after samples were isolated from his mouth, nose and anus.

- The dog never showed symptoms of infection. - It has not been proven whether the dog is actually an asymptomatic carrier of the virus or its cavities are infected due to the infected / burdened environment. - It has not been proven to be transmitted from pets to humans with the data so far. - The dog is kept in quarantine until a negative result is obtained for the virus.

Then, after 2 weeks of mandatory quarantine, the dog returned to the owner after the virus test was negative. According to a publication of a British veterinary website, the dog died 2 days after his return but the owner denied the autopsy. However, it is worth noting that the dog was 17 years old.

In summary, the dog was found positive because it likely brought the virus to its surface in the same way that surfaces such as furniture, knobs and other objects became contaminated with the secretions of the sick owner.There is no scientific evidence to suggest that pets can infect and transmit the virus.The scientific community is obviously exploring all the possibilities, but so far it has been reassuring.

It is also important to note that animals are infected with different types of coronavirus without this of course meaning that they can transmit these diseases to humans or that there is a relationship with the new COVID-19. However, because we do not know that each new virus it could behave if it came in contact with different animal species, it is important to follow the instructions of the experts and observe all the prescribed hygiene measures.

Following the advice of the World Veterinary Organisation for Small Animals, it is advisable to adhere to the rules of hygiene for good hand washing after contact with animals. In addition, people who are ill should avoid contact with their pets when possible and another close circle member should take care of them. If this is not possible, the use of a mask is recommended.

Finally, it is noteworthy that a global laboratory chain has evaluated thousands of samples of domestic cats and dogs in an effort to evaluate a new test for human coronavirus in pets.All results so far have been negative.

With the previous data, there is absolutely no concern about the transmission of the virus from pets. We continue to take care of them, following the known hygiene rules. It's a good idea not to forget that the most valid information comes from your own veterinarian. Do not hesitate to contact your vet for any questions regarding the health of your pets.

We stay informed, we stay safe.

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