CBS 4 Miami News Reporter Brooke Shafer talked to Lakeside Animal Hospital Veterinarian Dr. Outland about what pet owners should know about the two New York State pet cats that tested positive for COVID-19 in April. Watch the TV interview below.
One cat was in the home of someone who tested positive for the virus and the other cat is believed to have come in contact with an asymptomatic carrier of the virus. The cats live in two separate areas of New York. It is reported that both had mild respiratory symptoms and are expected to make a full recovery.
Four more tigers and three lions in the Bronx Zoo were also diagnosed with the virus Wednesday. The Wildlife Conservation Society reported the cats were infected by a staff person who was asymptomatically carrying the coronavirus, and new preventive measures are in place for all zoo staff caring for cats.
Infections have been reported in very few animals worldwide, mostly in those that had close contact with a person with COVID-19.
“It is not known how this disease will develop in animals since different species can react differently to novel infections, but we at Lakeside Animal Hospital are continuing to monitor them closely,” said Lakeside Animal Hospital Veterinarian Dr. Outland. “If you are asymptomatic, you can continue to hold your furbabies close.”
However, because it is a rapidly developing situation, proper hygiene should still be practiced. Anyone showing clinical signs of COVID-19 should minimize contact with pets by having another member in the household care for the pet. If no one else is available to help, use an abundance of caution by wearing gloves and a mask while caring for them until more information is known about the virus. Please do not abandon your pet. According to the USDA, it is also important to have an emergency kit and plan in place in the event that you do get sick so you have someone who can care for your pet in your absence.