COVID-19 , News

WSAVA: Pets aren’t a coronavirus threat

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association issues advice for veterinarians amid the global outbreak.

WSAVA: Pets aren’t a coronavirus threat

Dogs and cats do not pose a known threat of transmitting the new coronavirus, which has killed more than 1,000 people worldwide, the World Small Animal Veterinary Association is reminding veterinarians.

The advisory, issued Feb. 11, was an attempt to allay the fears of pet owners who think their dog or cat is a coronavirus carrier and who then might abandon or kill the animal.

“The WSAVA’s Scientific Committee and One Health Committee have [confirmed] … that there is currently no evidence that pets or other domestic animals can be infected with 2019 n-CoV or that they may be a source of infection to people,” the organization reported.

Acknowledging that the coronavirus outbreak is a “rapidly evolving situation,” WSAVA urged veterinarians not to use “vaccines against canine enteric coronavirus available in some global markets in the hope that they may offer some cross-protection against 2019-nCoV.”

“There is no evidence for this, as the new virus is a distinctly different coronavirus variant,” WSAVA added.

The chairman of WSAVA’s One Health Committee, Michael Lappin, DVM, Ph.D., DACVIM, recommended that veterinarians tell owners to:

  • Keep their companion animals with them if they are self-quarantined.
  • Keep cats inside.
  • Arrange care for any animals left at home if family or friends are hospitalized.
  • Contact their veterinarian immediately if they have questions or concerns.

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