There have been 180,784 deaths worldwide due to COVID-19. People are advised to wear face masks out in public and practice social distancing to prevent the spread of the deadly virus. Does this mean that our animals are at risk too? According to new research, it seems like the answer is yes. This comes after two cats in New York tested positive for COVID-19 making it the first cases in pets in the United States.
Both cats that tested positive in New York were showing mild signs of respiratory illness. They were tested by a veterinarian and do not live under the same roof. Both cats are expected to make full recoveries. One of the cat’s owners also tested positive for COVID-19. What does the relationship between the two diagnoses mean?
Cats And Dogs Are Being Tested For The Virus Worldwide
Researchers in labs are now looking into the possibility of dogs and cats being infected with COVID-19 and how this might have occurred. So far in Hong Kong, there were 17 dogs and cats that were living with COVID-19 patients and they were all tested. Two of the dogs that were tested were in fact positive, however, neither of them was showing any kind of symptoms or abnormal behavior. Another cat in Hong Kong that was not a part of this study also tested positive for COVID-19 after its owner started experiencing symptoms. The cat has not experienced any symptoms.There was also another case of an infected cat in Belgium.
The cat’s owner was also COVID-19 positive after traveling to northern Italy, a highly infected area. This cat actually did experience symptoms such as respiratory issues and vomiting. And finally, in Wuhan, China the epicenter of the virus, 102 cats were tested for COVID-19. Only 15 of them tested positive for having COVID–19 antibodies. This indicates that these cats were all exposed to the virus at some point but only three of the cats were owned by COVID-19 patients. This raised some questions about how the other 12 cats were exposed to the virus. Speaking of cats, a tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York also tested positive for COVID-19. She experienced a decrease in appetite and a dry cough but is expected to make a full recovery. A few other animals at the zoo were also experiencing a dry cough but are now on the mend.
Howie Mandel Trained His Dog To Wear A Face Mask
After reading all of this you may be feeling a little paranoid about the safety of your pet. America’s Got Talent judge Howie Mandel may have just found a way to prevent his dog from getting sick. He posted an Instagram video showing his dog putting on a face mask all on her own. He captioned the video “I trained her in 1 hr #amazing.” It is totally amazing how smart the dog is. She is more than capable of covering her mouth with the mask on her own. Has anyone else trained their animals to do this?
It is no secret that Mandel is a germaphobe. He even showed up to the set of ‘AGT’ wearing a hazmat suit at the start of the outbreak. Since he already had germ concerns before coronavirus even started, Mandel is now taking these extra precautions to keep the germs away. He also made it clear that shaking hands and having contact is not necessary. He thinks people should just fist pump or touch elbows even after the virus is over.
However, Mandel spoke on The View about how he was already prepared for a virus like COVID-19 because he has always been conscious of spreading germs. He already had masks, gloves and hazmat suits before the virus even began. And now it seems like he has plenty of face masks for his dog and his family to go around. Mandel’s house is certainly stacked with essential products and hand sanitizer during this time.
How To Protect Your Pets From COVID-19
Although it may be startling to read about other people’s pets becoming infected with COVID-19, researchers say not to worry so much. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people infected with COVID-19 should limit contact with their pets. This includes avoiding petting, being licked and sharing food and utensils. It is important to note that cases of COVID-19 in pets have been rare. It does not seem like making your animals wear face masks is absolutely necessary since the odds of them getting infected is very slim.
A spokesman for the Hong Kong’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said, “These findings from the COVID-19 tests indicate that dogs and cats are not infected easily with this virus, and there is no evidence that they play a role in the spread of the virus.” this further proves the fact that pets may not even experience symptoms if they have the virus which is rare in itself.
The American Veterinary Medical Association also recommends taking normal precautions when cleaning litter boxes and feeding animals. Contact should be limited if a pet owner is positive with COVID-19. Someone else could even care for the pet while the owner is on the mend.