Global Health Organizations: No COVID-19 Detected in Cats and Dogs | Today's Veterinary Practice
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Global Health Organizations: No COVID-19 Detected in Cats and Dogs

Global Health Organizations: No COVID-19 Detected in Cats and Dogs
Thousands of dogs and cats tested for COVID-19 have shown no positive results to date. Many in the veterinary community are monitoring the situation closely. Photo: Alexander Ermolaev/shutterstock.com
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Infectious disease experts, as well as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) indicate there is no evidence to suggest that pet dogs or cats — or any other pets — can be a source of infection with the virus SARS-CoV-2, including spreading COVID-19 to people.

“There is no evidence that a dog, cat or any pet can transmit COVID-19” to humans, says WHO. “COVID-19 is mainly spread through droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks.”

WHO continues to monitor the latest research on this and other COVID-19 topics and will update as new findings are available. The NAVC will also continue to update its COVID-19 coverage as the results of more investigations currently underway become known.

Antech Diagnostics, part of Mars Petcare, announced that its data upholds the conclusions of leading human and animal health organizations. Antech’s active surveillance program is intended to detect any possible emergence of the virus among companion animals. The company will report any discovery of SARS-CoV-2 to health authorities immediately.

Antech’s surveillance program involves testing samples from dogs and cats that are submitted for respiratory PCR analysis. Dogs and cats can show flu-like signs of illness that are associated with many common viral and bacterial infections that are generally not transmissible to people. When a dog or cat presents with coughing, sneezing or lethargy, veterinarians often conduct respiratory PCR testing to help identify the cause, commonly influenza or kennel cough. Antech is validating samples to ensure there is no evidence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the companion animals tested.

“We are actively monitoring the situation and communicating regularly with our academic partners, veterinary customers, veterinary health organizations and government agencies internationally,” said Jennifer Ogeer, BSc., DVM, MSc., MBA, MA, VP Medical Affairs & Commercial Marketing. “We’re grateful to be aligned in a shared mission to protect the health and safety of both companion animals and humans, and stand ready to share data from our surveillance program to dispel misinformation, protect public health and support our veterinary customers as needs evolve.”

IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. has also announced that the company has seen no positive results in pets to date of SARS-CoV-2. IDEXX evaluated thousands of canine and feline specimens during validation of a new veterinary test system for the COVID-19 virus. The specimens used for test development and validation were obtained from specimens submitted to IDEXX Reference Laboratories for PCR testing.

“Should leading health authorities determine it is clinically relevant to test pets for the COVID-19 virus, IDEXX will be ready to make the IDEXX SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) RealPCR™ Test available,” said Jay Mazelsky, President and Chief Executive Officer of IDEXX Laboratories. “Pets are important members of our family, and we want to keep them healthy and safe. We will continue to monitor COVID-19 and pet health across our global IDEXX Reference Laboratories network as this situation evolves.”

Resources

The following organizations are providing accurate, timely information on current developments related to COVID-19 and companion animals:

American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)

World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA)

Worms & Germs blog by Drs. Scott Weese and Maureen Anderson

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