Blogs and Stories
March 3, 2020
Amy Wade Carotenuto

Corona You!

It’s been a topic on every single news cast for weeks – Corona Virus.

At the humane society, we are being asked “Can my pets catch the corona virus?”

On February 11 the World Health Organization named the disease first identified in Wuhan China. The new name of this disease is “Coronavirus disease 2019”, abbreviated as COVID-19. ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ ‘D’ for disease and 19 for the year it began.

There are many types of human coronaviruses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused by a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans.

COVID-19 is not affecting pets, but coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in several species of animals including cattle, horses, dogs, cats, ferrets, camels, bats, and more. There is a coronavirus that affects dogs (CCoV), and a different coronavirus that affects cats (FCoV). Both CCoV and FCoV are unconnected to the current coronavirus outbreak. According to The CDC, they have not received any reports of pets becoming sick with COVID-19. At this time there's no evidence that animals could be infected or spread the virus.

A vaccine is available to prevent canine coronavirus infection. Coronavirus vaccine is not a core vaccine, but it may sometimes be included in combination vaccines for other, more serious diseases, such as canine distemper, canine parvovirus, and canine adenovirus type 2.

While the deadly virus may have originated from a sea-dwelling mammal, it has since then mutated to infect humans. Experts say that COVID-19, in its present form, cannot infect animals all over again.

So, to the question “Can my pet catch COVID-19? Dr. Niels Pedersen, an emeritus professor at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine replies:
“The simple answer is as follows: No, you won’t get or give the coronavirus to your family pet. Coronaviruses occur in virtually every species of animal, including humans, and are commonly associated with intestinal and respiratory infections. They tend to be very species specific and cross-species transmission is uncommon.

The more complex answer goes like this: Coronaviruses have adapted themselves by mutation over a period of 50,000 years or more to virtually every species of animal, including humans. They only cause disease in their new species and tend to remain in that species in whatever genetic form that allows adaptation to their new hosts.”

While there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 can be transferred between humans and pets, we want to remind pet owners that there are other diseases that can spread from people to pets and pets to people. So it's always a good idea to wash your hands…even when there’s not a world health crisis.

To end on a happy note….The corona virus has nothing to do with Corona Beer.

So go have a drink and relax.