COVID-19 could be quite common for cats, dogs to catch
COVID-19 is prevalent in pet cats and dogs whose owners have already been infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, according to research. In the yet-to-be-published research, the researchers at Utrecht University in the Netherlands analysed pet dogs and cats of people who have tested positive for COVID-19.
A portable veterinary clinic visited owners’ homes to conduct and collect oropharyngeal, rectal swabs and blood samples of the pet cats and dogs.
The swabs obtained were used for PCR tests. These tests provided enough evidence of present infection, and the blood samples obtained were tested to create antibodies, which gave evidence of the previous infection. Approximately 156-dogs and 154-cats from 196 houses were tested in their entirety.
The researchers observed that 6-cats and 7-dogs (4.2 per cent) have tested positive in PCR tests, including 31 cats and 23 dogs (17.4 per cent) have tested positive toward antibodies.
“If you have tested positive with COVID-19, you have to avoid contact with both animals and humans,” stated Els Broens of Utrecht University.
“The primary attention, nonetheless, is not the animals’ well-being — they have had none or mild signs of COVID-19. However, there’s a potential risk that animals can act as a medium of the virus to reintroduce it to humans,” Brown stated.
11 of every 13 keepers who had pets has tested COVID positive and have agreed for them to undergo a 2nd course of examining for 1 to 3 weeks after their first test.
Total 11 pets were tested positive for antibodies, affirming that they’ve had COVID-19. Out of them, three cats are yet to test positive in PCR tests and were examined again for the third time.
All the animals that were tested positive eventually got better and were tested negative for the virus. 8 cats and dogs in the same houses tested positive. Pets were also examined again on the second stage to monitor for virus transmission amongst animals.
The research observed that none were tested positive, hinting the virus was not being passed amidst animals that were living together with one another. The research shows that COVID-19 is highly prevalent in pets of people who have had the disease, with pets in 40 out of 196 households (20.4 per cent) having antibodies for the virus.
The research was performed at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases operated online this year due to pandemics.
The researchers stated that including other theories showing COVID-19 flows to be higher in animals that have been in close contact with infected humans than in animals without such contact, the usual, likely direction of transmission is from humans to pets, not the other way around.
“Favourably, till date, no animal-to-human transmission has been informed. So, despite the somewhat high prevalence between pets from COVID-19 positive families in the investigation, it appears doubtful that animals play a part in the pandemic,” Brown continued.