At least 1 captive tiger 🐯 in a zoo in New York tested positive for Covid-19 and had respiratory illness this week.
There has been some evidence of infection with Covid-19 in cats and ferrets who were experimentally exposed to the virus. Cats were known carriers of SARS, which is a virus closely related to COVID-19. A few dogs have tested positive for Covid-19, but were not symptomatic for respiratory disease.
HOWEVER. Infected does not mean contagious, at at this point, we just really don't know enough about this brand-new virus to say for certain whether you can catch it from your pets (they could be dead-end hosts for the virus).
THAT BEING SAID; DO NOT PANIC about your pet dog🐶/cat🐱/horse🐴/lobster🦞/T-Rex🦖, etc giving you Covid-19. It's possible, but not likely, based on the evidence so far.
The USDA (who oversees animal disease control in the USA), recommends the following:
"You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would with other people. Although there have not been reports of pets becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including 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."
As we have mentioned before, if you are sick, living with someone sick, have been exposed to someone sick, or have traveled in the last 2 weeks, PLEASE let our office know before you schedule an appointment so we can make arrangements to determine how best to help your pet and protect our staff.
Stay safe, stay healthy!