Pets and COVID-19

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BERWICK, COLUMBIA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Experts know that coronavirus can be spread from human to human. But now research is finding that coronavirus may be spread from humans to animals, including some of your pets.

After reports of the Bronx Zoo having a tiger test positive for COVID-19, that has left many questioning at home whether their pets could be at risk.

Coronavirus has spread rapidly from human to human over the past few weeks, but studies are finding animals may also be at risk from contracting the virus from humans.

“Current research is showing that COVID-19 can be passed to animals. They are seeing it more in tigers and cats. Not so much in dogs yet,” Dr. Geri Ellet, DVM Berwick Veterinary Care Center, said.

Dr. Ellet says while there is no evidence animals can pass the virus back to humans, however any human with coronavirus can put an animal at risk.

“We can pass it to our animals, so if we are exposed to it, we can expose our pets to it as well,” Dr. Ellet said.

Dr. Ellet says with this growing concern, social distancing may not just include human distancing.

“If there is anyone sick in the house, try and keep them distant from the animals, so in separate rooms, separate areas of the house. If you can, try to keep them as far away just as you would people so social distance your animals as well as you would yourself,” Dr. Ellet said.

Research finds cats may have symptoms including upper respiratory signs, coughing, and nasal discharge.

“They are suspecting cats are a bit more sensitive to it than dogs are. As to why, we honestly don’t know yet,” Dr. Ellet said.

Dr. Ellet stresses keeping your distance from your pets and other animals in the neighborhood when going for a walk outside.

“If you’re walking your pet and you see someone out on the streets or on the sidewalk, stay six feet apart as far as you can and don’t let them interact with your animal at all because we are not sure if that human is a symptomatic carrier that could potentially be passing it,” Dr. Ellet said.

Experts say if you do have any questions regarding your furry friend, you can always contact your local veterinarian doctor for more.

Dr. Ellet also adds she doesn’t see the need to wear a mask around your pets while you are home at this time.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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