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At YuMOVE, we are hearing that pet owners are also concerned that Covid-19 coronavirus could affect their pets. With that in mind, we wanted to share a piece that our friends at PawSquad have put together around Covid-19 and people's pets. Please see the common questions they are currently getting asked and their guidance on this below.

Can pets be infected with the Covid-19 coronavirus?

The spread of Covid-19 is a result of human to human transmission, according to the World Organisation or Animal health (OIE), and currently there’s no evidence suggesting companion animals can spread the disease. On 1 March, it was reported that a Pomeranian dog in Hong Kong had tested positive for Covid-19 and further testing suggested that the dog has a low-level of infection and that this is likely to be a case of human-to-animal transmission. The dog has not shown any clinical signs of disease and is still under quarantine. The OIE states that “There is no evidence that dogs play a role in the spread of this human disease or that they become sick.”

On 27 March it was reported that a cat in Belgium, whose owner has Covid-19, had tested positive for coronavirus and showed mild clinical signs. The infection appears to be an isolated case and the animal’s health is understood to be improving.

I am self-isolating. Should I also isolate myself from my pet?

According to government guidance, anyone with coronavirus symptoms should stay at home and self-isolate for 7 days. Anyone else in the household should also do so for 14 days. The British Veterinary Association has issued the following advice for pet owners with coronavirus symptoms:

If you have coronavirus symptoms, you should limit contact with your pets as a precautionary animal health measure until more is known about the virus. If your pet requires care, wash your hands before and after any interaction with them and wear a face mask if possible.

Keep cats indoors if possible and try to arrange for someone else to exercise dogs, taking care to restrict any contact with the person walking your dog and making sure they practice good hygiene. This is to reduce the likelihood of your pet spreading the disease through environmental contamination on their fur – there is no evidence that pet animals play a role in the spread of the disease or that they become sick themselves.

If your pet is unwell or showing any signs that concern you, you should not take your pet to a veterinary surgery. Contact your vet first or speak to a PawSquad vet now for advice.

My pet is unwell but I am practicing ‘social distancing’ and I’m not sure if I need to go to a vet clinic. What should I do?

Following the Prime Minister’s address on Monday 23 March everyone must stay at home. All veterinary practices have also been instructed to reduce face-to-face contact and switch to only providing emergency care in person. PawSquad are likely to able to help your pet through any minor issue using a video consultation and can help decide if a face to face consult with your vet is needed, as an emergency.

I am worried about a change in my pet’s behaviour

The current social restrictions are stressful for us all and can affect your pets too. This can be particularly true for cats and for pets who are not used to having their human family at home during the day. Signs of anxiety in cats include spraying, scratching, hiding, fighting, not eating and overgrooming. In dogs, signs include panting and pacing, shivering, running away and/or cowering in the corner of the house, digging, destroying the furniture and self-harm (excessive licking/chewing). If you are concerned about your pet, PawSquad vets are available to help you manage their anxiety and reduce everyone’s stress levels in the household at this difficult time

I have another question

If you have any other questions about Covid-19 and your pet, the PawSquad vet team are here to answer your concerns at any time of day or night, 7 days a week. Speak to a PawSquad vet now.

Want a £10 online consultant with a vet from PawSquad?
Use the code COVID19

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