Our whole world as we know it has been turned upside down and these are challenging times for all of us. There are so many unknowns in relation to COVID-19 and this has an affect on us and our animals.
We can’t forget our fur babies in these times and whilst we are at home we are gaining comfort by being with them and I am sure our pets just love us being at home with them too.
This is a good time to call family, friends and neighbours to see if they have a plan for their pet if they did get sick or for you to make plans for your beloved animals should you fall ill. In times like this it is great for communities to come together and help one another.
At the time of writing this there has been no findings that dogs can get COVID-19 but we still have to be vigilant in ours and their hygiene as it could be as simple as someone handling your dog’s lead or patting your dog that could transmit the virus to you.
We have many questions during this crisis about our pets so let’s look at some of those concerns.
Can My Dog Get COVID-19?
According to the CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention), No your dog cannot contract the human COVID-19. Dogs can contract their own species related coronavirus, but this is known as CCoV and is a highly infectious intestinal infection in dogs only. Coronavirus is from the Coronaviridae family and gets its name from when viewed under a microscope the virus looks like a coronet. There are various types of coronavirus which effect different species of animals and humans but CCoV is not the same as COVID-19 and we cannot contract CCoV either. CCoV causes gastrointestinal issues in dogs and COVID-19 causes respiratory issues in humans.
What Is Canine Coronavirus - CCoV
CCoV is an intestinal infection in dogs only. Most cases of canine coronavirus are contracted by being in contact with an infected dog, oral contact with infected faeces, eating from a contaminated bowl, crowding or unsanitary conditions. The incubation period is 1 -4 days and the normal duration of the virus is around 2-10 days. Dogs can also be carriers of the virus for up to 6 months after infection.
Typical signs of CCoV are diarrhea, lethargy and decreased appetite. Your dog’s poop may be very soft/loose and may contain blood and mucous with an unpleasant smell. It may have an orange colour to it.
There is no real treatment for canine coronavirus and antibiotics are not effective with viruses, but they still can control any secondary bacterial infections that may develop.
With diarrhea can come dehydration so upon the severity of your dog’s condition he/she may need IV fluids. Withhold food whilst diarrhea is present and slowly reintroduce small amounts of food gradually.
If you suspect your dog has a gastrointestinal issue and it goes on for 24 hours, please get to your Vet as soon as possible as early Veterinary intervention will be advantageous for their recovery.
Can My Dog Transmit COVID-19?
COVID-19 can be transmitted by touching infected surfaces and then we touch our own face which transmits the disease to us. If an infected person coughed on your dog and the virus particles sat on your dog’s coat, then yes, it’s possible that the virus could be transmitted to someone that came along and patted your dog or touched their lead or collar if those particles are on them. The risk is low, but you should still remain vigilant and always wash your hands after patting an unknown dog and be aware of who is touching your pet. Wiping your fur baby down with a wet cloth or giving he/she a bath if they have been handled by unknown people would be a good idea. The same if you are bringing a new pet into your home.
Can My Dog Still Go The Vet During This Crisis?
Veterinary services are still considered as essential businesses and they are following very strict government protocols to ensure that their staff and clients are safe. Before you go for your appointment please call ahead to check what protocols are in place as you may be asked to stay in your car or drive to a particular drop off point, limit the amount of people you bring with your dog to the appointment and their social distancing rules.