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Michael Dym, V.M.D.
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Michael Dym, V.M.D.
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Dr. Michael Dym
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Should I Get My Pet Tested For Coronavirus?

Have you been wondering if your pet may have contracted COVID-19 from you or someone in your household?
Though the virus does not seem to replicate in animals the same way it does in humans, a few pets have experienced mild symptoms and even tested positive. Experts maintain that there is no evidence that pets can transmit the virus to their human family members.
COVID-19 tests for pets are soon going to be available at veterinary offices. Since the virus' effect on pets is relatively mild and uncommon, pets will only need to be tested under certain circumstances.

Which Animals Are Susceptible To COVID-19?
A recent study suggests that the virus replicates poorly in dogs, pigs, chickens, and ducks, but ferrets and cats are more susceptible.
So far, two cats in the United States have tested positive for the virus. The first cat lives in a household with humans who tested positive for the virus. As for the second cat, it has not been confirmed whether their humans were asymptomatic, or if they may have contracted the virus from someone outside the home. Both cats have mild symptoms and are expected to make a full recovery.
A pug named Winston has tested positive for COVID-19 in North Carolina. Winston's human family members had symptoms of the virus and have since recovered. Winston had mild symptoms and has also recovered. He lives with a cat and another dog, who have tested negative for the virus.
What we know: a total of three household pets have tested positive for COVID-19 in the United States. None have had severe symptoms, and experts maintain that there is no evidence that pets can transmit the virus to humans. Even so, it's best to keep your pets away from anyone who does not live in your household while we are still learning about the virus and how it spreads.

Your pet may need to be tested for COVID-19 if:

  • You or someone in your household has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Your pet is showing symptoms, which include a dry cough.
  • Other respiratory infections have been ruled out.
A company called IDEXX has started to distribute COVID-19 tests to veterinary offices throughout the country, so your vet may soon have testing available. Call your veterinarian if you suspect your pet should be tested.