Coronavirus and Pets: What Symptoms to Look For

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( — May 15, 2020) — When the coronavirus came on the scene, scientists were saying that there were no risks that animals could get or transmit it. Turns out they were wrong after all. There have been reports of pets around the world testing positive for the coronavirus. What are the symptoms to look for if you think your cat or dog might be infected?

Cats and Dogs Owners Are Worried

At this point, we’ve all heard different stories of COVID-19 infected pets. There was a German shepherd in Hong Kong, two cats in New York and the first case to be confirmed in the U.S. was a pug from North Carolina. A veterinarian from California explained that like humans, the animal was coughing and sneezing and that he had also stopped feeding himself. Lots of animal owners were really worried when they first heard the news that one cat had been diagnosed with the coronavirus. Not knowing what they should do to protect them, they often searched online for a pets magazine looking for counsel as well as the latest news on the epidemic. Some decided not to let their cats go out anymore, which did not make their furry friend very happy. It has been discussed that family pets have also been suffering from the lockdown, just like us, for various reasons. One thing is sure; changing a cat’s routine is not the best remedy to make them feel better.

The simple fact that we are suddenly home all the time is enough to cause distress in the animal. This can be reflected in different ways. Some animals may get nervous and be hyperactive while others may look for a place in the house where they can find some peace and quiet. The best way to deal with the situation is to let them be. Keeping a strong routine is also very important so that they feel secure. If your pet wants even more attention than usual, then he is just happy that you are in lockdown! 

What to Look For and What to Do to Prevent Them from Getting Sick

Dr Antin (veterinarian) says that pet owners should look for a few different symptoms. If your animal starts coughing, it should entice you to be more aware of potential other signs of the COVID-19. These would be a difficulty in breathing and a decrease in appetite. To prevent them from getting sick, if anyone in the house either has coronavirus symptoms or been diagnosed with it, they should not be tending to the care of the animal. They should also refrain from petting the animal or letting them get in their bed. But if you live alone with it, wear a mask and wash your hands before and after interacting.

So far, no animals have been hospitalized because of the virus and all have recovered well. It would seem like cats are more vulnerable than dogs to the virus. But let’s not take unnecessary chances by taking the dog to a dog park. Like humans, it is better to keep them in lockdown and to take them out only when they need to.