“Don’t Let Anyone Pat Your Dog” Scientists Warn Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
A vet has issued an urgent warning to pet owners as researchers look into the link between domestic animals and coronavirus.
Dr. Anne Fawcett, from the University of Sydney’s School of Veterinary Science, advised against strangers patting pets after two cats and two dogs tested positive for COVID-19.
‘Out of an abundance of caution, don’t let anyone pat your dog,” in a report by The Daily Mail.
She said it is important to maintain social distancing when it comes to your pets as they are ‘part of your family unit’.
Vets have been declared an essential service so they can stay open during coronavirus lockdown, but they had changed their way of doing business to avoid the risk of human-to-human transmission according to Dr. Anne.
Changes include owners waiting outside while their pet is checked over, and some vets are doing appointments online.
Professor Jacqui Norris, also from The University of Sydney’s School of Veterinary Science, said the animals that had tested positive for coronavirus had not been involved in spreading it to humans. In her words:
Globally, there have been two cats and two dogs that have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. These pets were living with infected human owners and the timing of the positive result demonstrates human-to-animal transfer. Virus culture on these pets was negative, meaning that an active virus was not present.
The RSPCA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) Australia reiterated claims that there was no evidence to suggest COVID-19 in animals could be passed onto humans.
However, it has been advised that social distancing should also be maintained with animals and they should not be touched by anybody just like humans.
The first dog in the world to catch coronavirus died in Hong Kong last month after it was declared disease-free and returned home to its owner.