Yesterday, results from a study into Covid-19 in pets were reported widely in the media. We would like to take the opportunity to explain the findings from the study and reiterate our advice regarding coronavirus and your pets.
The study was performed by Ultrecht University in the Netherlands. It showed 54 of 310 pets in the study tested positive for Covid-19 antibodies, all of which were in households with a human who had recently tested positive for Covid-19.
Please be reassured that spread is most likely from human to animal and not the other way around. Symptoms of Covid-19 in pets are usually very mild or absent – so most pet owners would not know if their pet had Covid-19.
We appreciate the idea that your pets can catch Covid-19 might be worrying, but please be reassured that, as mentioned above, pets do not appear to pass the virus to humans, and the risk of ill health in pets is extremely low.
Advice from the British Veterinary Association in response the the findings of the Ultrecht study suggests, as a precautionary measure, to minimise contact with pets if you have tested positive for Covid-19. Obviously it’s important you give your pets the attention and care they need for their welfare, so please don’t ignore your pets, or make dramatic changes to their routine.
Here’s some simple things you can do, as a precaution, if you’re isolating due to Covid-19:
- Wash your hands carefully before and after handling your pets
- Wear a face mask around your pets, if possible
- Keep cats indoors while you are isolating – but only if they are happy indoors - if being shut indoors causes your cat stress then don’t do this.
The BBC reported that the concern is not to animals’ health (they don’t seem to get ill from having Covid-19), but because pets could act as a reservoir to reintroduce infection to humans. The good news is that, at present, it does not appear that infection passes from our pets to us.
It’s unlikely that your pet will show symptoms of Covid-19, but if you have concerns about your pet’s health, please contact us, as you would normally.
We continue to welcome one person, wearing a face mask, into our consulting rooms with their pet. If you can’t be alone or can’t wear we face mask, we ask politely that you wait outside, so please come prepared for the weather. Our reception and waiting area remains closed so, following your appointment, you will be asked to go to the front door of the practice to make payment and collect your pet’s medication. Thank you all once again for your patience while we continue to do all we can to stay safe.