As the CoVid-19 pandemic ensconces itself into our everyday lives, with daily, if not hourly updates and news breaks, there is a segment of American residents suffering from an additional amount of worry—that of their furry pets and companions.
For weeks we were reassured by the veterinary community that our furry companions were indeed safe from CoVid-19, a deadly respiratory illness whose origin has been traced back to the province of Wuhan in China. It was believed that cats and dogs were not susceptible to the virus, or were potential carriers.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has stated:
“If you are not ill with CoVid-19, you can interact with your pet as you normally do.”
Following on the hills of this stated was the reports that a dog in Hong Kong that had indeed been tested for coronavirus and had a “weak positive” in late February died on Monday—causing much alarm amongst the pet owner population.
In response to this newest development, the AVMA has offered a few suggestions on keeping your pet safe during the pandemic
Take measures to prevent exposing your companions to the virus. If you, yourself, are sick with CoVid-19, you should restrict yourself from any close contact with your pet, just as is being advised with humans. If you can not find someone to care for your pet, make sure to use a face mask and gloves when you do yourself.
Just about everything in nature, and around us, are fomites. To put it simply:
“A fomite is a surface that can transmit disease—anything can be a fomite.”
If you are sick with CoVid-19 and are covering your mouth when you cough, then pet your companion, you may very well transmit the virus to the pet. It has continualy been reported that the virus can live for up to nine days on most surfaces. So, it is crucial that you wash your hands thoroughly and frequently before touching your pet.