I'm sure by now that all of you have heard about the Covid-19 Pandemic. This pandemic was created or started by a betacoronavirus named SARS CoV-2. This virus is like the MERS-CoV and the SARs CoV viruses in that they all affect the respiratory system and all have origin in the bat population. The SARS CoV-2 virus originated in WuHan China and spread around the world from there very quickly.
As with most Coronaviruses they either affect the respiratory system or the gastrointestinal system. In domesticated animals there are several strains of Coronavirus that we already deal with and vaccinate for in a lot of the species. These strains have been around for years and to the best of our knowledge have never crossed the animal-human pathway.
In dogs the virus causes diarrhea, mostly seen in puppies and younger animals. As they get older their immune systems develop antibodies to handle the virus. In cats the virus causes what most of us know as Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP). In this disease there is a dry and a wet form and it can affect the lungs or the GI tract. There is no cure for this in cats, only supportive care. This is as close as it gets to the SARS CoV-2 that we are seeing today in our domesticated animals.
When the outbreak of SARS CoV happened years ago there was a population of cervid cats that developed the disease in China. These are large cats. For this reason it was not surprising when the news agency reported that the Bronx zoo had several big cats that had developed SARS CoV-2.
As for your animals contracting the Covid19 from you if you are infected – this has not been proven possible as of today. Idexx laboratories performed a study recently and tried to infect cats and dogs and found that no cats and dogs were able to be infected with the virus from a human.
There is still the question as to whether the virus can last on the fur of an animal. This has yet to be determined. For this reason, the CDC has recommended that you not come in close contact with your pets if you have the virus. This is to not spread the virus to other people in your house or in close contact with you by placing it on your animals fur, in the possibility that it could be transmitted by their fur.
So for now this is the new norm. Social distancing. One thing is for certain, it has caused Americans to spend more time with their families and their children. They really can’t go anywhere else. The office is not the home, so the late nights at the office are now the house with the kids and family. Maybe this was God’s way of getting us to find our families again.
As for me and my family, we will stay safe and social distance when possible. Curbside check-in at the clinic, and when I am home, we only leave for medicine. I have my groceries and other items delivered to the house. I hope you all are doing the same.
Do your part and hopefully this will all be over soon so we can enjoy summer and the beach! See you soon! #COVID-19PETS