COVID-19 Testing for Pets

The confirmation of COVID-19 in a Tiger at a New York zoo raised concerns among pet parents regarding the possibility of transmitting the virus to domestic cats. This information from the New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association breaks down the facts:

  • There have been no reports of pets or livestock becoming ill with COVID-19 in the United States. At this time, there is no evidence that domestic animals, including pets and livestock, can spread COVID-19 to people.
  • The isolated case of a COVID-19 positive Tiger in New York is being monitored and additional information is needed before complete conclusions can be drawn.
  • If your pet shows respiratory or gastrointestinal signs, your veterinarian will test for more common pathogens and conditions. With “Stay at Home” orders in place, there is a possibility pets may be exposed to increased respiratory irritants (aromatherapy products, household cleaners and disinfectants) or have greater opportunities for dietary indiscretion.
  • Routine testing of domestic animals for COVID-19 is not currently being recommended by the AVMA, CDC, USDA, or the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD).
  • If you become ill with COVID-19, it is recommended to have another member of your household care for pets until you are recovered. If this is not possible, contact with pets should be kept to a minimum, and sick individuals should wash their hands thoroughly before and after contact with pets. This may be difficult for pets that need affection and don’t understand the situation.

Have an emergency plan in place in the event you are hospitalized:

  • Identify a trusted pet caregiver, or contact your local veterinarian or potential boarding facilities to see if they can offer safe shelter for your pet during a health emergency.
  • Make sure pet identification and microchip registration is up to date.
  • Record important information about your pet so that you can easily access it during an emergency.
  • Put together a “Go Bag” for each pet with basic food, supplies, medicine, identification, a list of emergency contacts, your veterinarian’s contact information, and vaccination proof.
  • Ensure all medications are documented with dosages and administering instructions.
This entry was posted in Pets, Veterinary Medicine and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *