It was announced last week that a tiger at the Bronx zoo was found to be infected with COVID-19. Several other big cats are coughing but only the tiger was tested, as it requires a general anesthetic to collect the samples.
Big cats are similar to our house cats in many ways. Cats were infected during the SARS epidemic, so there is potential for this new Coronavirus to infect them. There is no evidence that they can pass it on to people.
There is conflicting evidence about whether dogs can be infected with the current Coronavirus, but again no evidence that they can pass it to people.
What To Do
Basically, social distancing should include your pets.
If you are sick do not have any contact with your pets, particularly cats.
If anyone in the house is sick keep them away from your pets.
Keep cats indoors if someone in the house is sick. Cats are sometimes not good at social distancing themselves.
Keep dogs away from all other dogs and people if someone in the house is sick. When you are walking your dog, practice social distancing for your dog as you would with people. Keep them away from other dogs and people.
If your pet has been in contact with anyone with COVID-19, be it in your home or out and about, and needs to come into the hospital you must inform us when we arrange the appointment. We need to take extra safety precautions for our team.