Can Pets Get the 2019 Coronavirus?
We now know there are cases of cats and dogs catching Covid-19 from people but the numbers reported are still low. Keep in mind that they can catch it from us but they don’t appear to be able to pass it to us. This is not well studied yet but there is little if any evidence to suggest pets can pass it to humans. Therefore, people should be aware they do not need to worry about getting infected from their cats, think they should get rid of pets or otherwise abandon them. In fact, we are the ones who can infect them and should take greater care to ensure their safety. There are a few other species of animals who have contracted Covid-19 as well such as racoons, mink and rabbits.
While we believe pets will NOT get the 2019 Coronavirus, there is one report in Hong Kong of a dog testing “mildly positive” for it. That may be simply because of the virus being in the air so it was found in the dog’s nose and mouth. It was not found in the dog’s system. The dog may not get sick and is likely NOT infected. The dog is currently quarantined and being tested. This post will be updated when results of the quarantine are known.
The current strain of COVID-19 Coronavirus should not be very apt to transfer from humans to pets due to the type of virus so it is unlikely that transmission between pets and humans is a concern. Do not change how you care for your pets. There should be no cause for concern.
Original Post 2/7/2020:
The 2019 Novel Coronavirus which originated in Wuhan China cannot be spread to cats, dogs or other pets. This strain of coronavirus can only be transmitted between people. There are many strains of coronavirus however and some of those strains infect pets on a regular basis. Following is information on the other strains of coronavirus that affect pets regularly and some home remedies for treating them.
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What Strains Of Coronavirus Can Infect Pets?
Some coronavirus strains can cause mild infections in pets but some can cause more serious problems like Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP). The new coronavirus that came out of China in December of 2019 called the Novel Coronavirus is not a danger to pets at this time.
Coronaviruses in Cats
Most coronavirus infections in cats only produce mild symptoms such as watering eyes and running nose.
Feline coronavirus cannot be passed to people.
On rare occasions (about 5%-10% of cases) a coronavirus in cats can turn into Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) which is usually deadly since it destroys white blood cells. It is caused by a mutation in the coronavirus or a reaction by the immune system.
Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) Symptoms can include:
Loss of appetite,
Ulcers in eyes,
Conjunctivitis/Feline Pinkeye (redness, swelling and discharge from eyes).
This is not a complete list of potential FIP symptoms.
How Do You Know if a Cat has FIP, Conjunctivitis or an Upper Respiratory Infection?
Conjunctivitis is a painful condition that can be caused by a foreign body in the eye, a bacterial or viral infection or an auto-immune condition. A cat with conjunctivitis should be checked out by a vet.
Feline Upper Respiratory Infections are extremely common and are usually caused by the feline herpesvirus (FV1) or the feline calicivirus (FCV).
Feline Upper Respiratory Infections can include the following symptoms:
Discharge from eyes,
Squinting of eyes,
Loss of appetite,
Pneumonia can develop
Cats who are infected may become carriers of a virus for the rest of their lives. They may not have any symptoms or symptoms may appear periodically. Symptoms are usually brought on during illness or stress. Moving, travel, bringing new pets or people into the home or other disturbances may bring on symptoms.
Cats may need topical treatments for the eyes and antibiotics if a secondary bacterial infection emerges. If your cat is seriously ill always take them to a veterinarian for treatment. The same symptoms could indicate a number of other more serious conditions such as feline leukemia, though this is rare.
A vet check is always the best course of action but some cats would be in and out of the vet every few weeks for mild upper respiratory symptoms. If a dog or cat has a mild upper respiratory infection they can be helped at home with this recipe using common a common ingredient you likely have in your home already. How to Treat An Upper Respiratory Infection in Cats.
There are vaccines to prevent upper respiratory infection if a cat has not been exposed to the viruses that cause it already.
Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) is a serious condition that may be caused by a mutated coronavirus with symptoms including those listed above and range from sneezing and runny nose to conjunctivitis, loss of appetite, diarrhea and fever. If your cat has serious symptoms please see a vet. FIP is rare but often deadly.
Coronaviruses in Dogs
Canine coronavirus (CCV) is found all over the world in both domestic and wild dogs and can infect any breed of dog. It is very contagious and causes intestinal problems but is generally mild unless it affects young puppies or is found along with another virus such as canine parvovirus.
Canine coronavirus may have no symptoms at all or include:
Loss of appetite
CCV is caught from other infected dogs and may remain in a dog’s system for up to 6 months after infection.
The symptoms of canine coronavirus can be similar to parvovirus, distemper, parasites and other conditions so take your dog to the vet for a check up and possibly testing.
There is a vaccine against canine coronavirus but it is usually included in vaccines for other conditions such as distemper or parvovirus.
Canine coronavirus is highly contagious among dogs so clean affected areas with diluted bleach to kill it.
How Can You Treat a Pet With Coronavirus?
You may not know if your dog or cat has coronavirus if they have mild symptoms. If they are sick with mild symptoms or the vet has checked them out already, you can try the following home treatments.
Dr. Andrew Jones, DVM recommends the following home remedies for coronavirus in his weekly newsletter:
- Honey (that is local and unpasteurized if possible). Dr. Jones recommends 1/2 tsp per 10 lbs of body weight twice per day.
- Juice from Elderberry. He recommends 1/2 a tsp per 10 lbs of body weight twice per day.
- Licorice Root Tincture. He recommends 1/2 mL which is 1/2 of a tincture bottle dropper per 20 lbs of body weight twice per day.
Make sure your dog or cat with coronavirus does not become dehydrated.
In dogs the canine coronavirus is mostly an intestinal condition and can cause dehydration from diarrhea and vomiting. If necessary you can use a plastic syringe to get some liquids in a puppy or dog who isn’t drinking.
In cats, dehydration is always dangerous since cats (especially neutered males) are very susceptible to UTIs and blockages that can quickly turn deadly.
Get your cat to drink water in any way you can. Keep bowls clean! Cats like cleanliness. I change my cat’s water every day and also wipe out the water bowls as slime can build up quickly. Some cats prefer a drinking fountain, or a glass or ceramic bowl over plastic. How Can I Get My Cat to Drink More Water?
Keep Your Pet Warm, Comfortable and Stress Free
Pets are sensitive to stress. This is especially true of cats. A stressed cat often becomes a sick cat as the viruses the cause feline upper respiratory and other infections can activate when a cat is stressed and their immune system weakened. Help your pet get better by keeping them stress free. No loud noises, don’t scare them, yell or make them feel unsafe or unsure.
Try to Get Your Pet To Eat
They may not feel hungry. A cat with an upper respiratory infection or coronavirus may not eat because they can’t smell. Try to tempt your cat with a smelly treat.
Use Diluted Apple Cider Vinegar on Fur
This may sound strange but it works. Check out the details and recipe here. Apple Cider Vinegar For Upper Respiratory Infection in Cats and Dogs.
Apple cider vinegar is naturally antibacterial and antiviral and helps a pet’s immune system. It can be diluted with water and used to treat ear infections and skin infections in dogs and cats as well as for fighting viruses.
How Can I Protect Myself From Coronavirus?
You can protect yourself from coronavirus by washing your hands frequently and not touching your face when out in public. The coronavirus can be spread through your eyes, nose or mouth.
You can also check out these amazing anti-viral supplements which have been clinically tested to kill many viruses including SARS which is another strain of coronavirus as well as drug resistant staph infections like MRSA and hundreds of other viruses and bacteria. Supplements for Coronavirus Protection.
I take some of these supplements everyday to prevent colds and flus so I was thrilled they can protect against more dangerous viruses as well.
Note: I am not a veterinarian. Please see a veterinarian if your pet is sick to rule out serious illness.
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