In response to some recent news reports that cats (and tigers and ferrets) have been shown to be positive for COVID, and there are some very early, small experimental studies that confirm this. However, Dr. Abby Clepper wants to reassure our clients, “the only way a house pet could become infected is by the owner spreading it to the pet. If you are sick, isolate yourself from your pet”.
“If you need to bring your pet in for a visit, our entire staff is using gloves and masks as we interact with your pet to protect your pet, you and ourselves from fomite spread. If someone in your household is sick, and your pet has an emergency, please advise us of this so that we can take even more precautions when seeing your pet.”
Unsure if your pet needs an exam for any symptoms you’re seeing? Call us OR use our “Pet Health Checker” resource on our website: https://spsmallanimalhospital.com/pet-health-resources/pet-health-checker/
Excerpt from a DVM 360 article by veterinarian, Dr. Jenifer Chatfield:
“The only thing we have seen have been sporadic cases of pets with positive test
results, but most of them have had no clinical signs,” she says. “If you are COVID-19
positive you could potentially infect your dog or cat, but we have zero evidence at this
point that your pet can transmit the disease to you. So, there is no reason to give up
For pet owners who are worried about this evolving situation, Dr. Chatfield advises
following the recommended precautions until more is known about this virus. For pet
owners who test positive for COVID-19:
● Restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19,
just as you would with other people.
● When possible, have someone else take care of feeding and otherwise caring for
● If you have a service animal or you must care for your pet yourself, wear a cloth
facemask; don’t share food, kiss or hug them; and wash your hands before and
after any contact with them.
Pet owners who are not ill with COVID-19 can interact with their pets as normal and
should continue to practice good hygiene before and after those interactions:
● Wash hands before and after interacting with your pet, including when handling
food, supplies, and waste.
● Ensure your pet is kept clean.
● Regularly wash your pet’s food and water bowls, bedding material, and toys.
“What we know about COVID-19 transmission right now is that most of it is happening
human to human,” Dr. Chatfield says. “Fomites could play a role because we now know
that the virus can survive for limited times in the environment.” – Jenifer Chatfield, DVM, DACZM, ACVPM, staff veterinarian at 4J Conservation Center in Dade City, Florida, and a regional commander for the National Disaster Medicine System Team
Please call us if you have questions or concerns about your pet. SPSAH is staying strong and will remain open for business to help get you and your pets through this health crisis.
-The Doctors and Staff of Sauk Prairie Small Animal Hospital