Can my Cocker Spaniel catch coronavirus? Dogs are members of the family so our readers want to know if dogs can catch, transmit, or carry the coronavirus, or COVID-19.
“There have not been any reports of companion or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19 and currently there is no evidence that they play a significant epidemiological role in this human disease,” according to the World Organization for Animal Health‘s statement on the matter. The Center for Disease Control agrees that there is “no evidence that companion animals including pets can spread COVID-19.“
Here’s what we know, what the experts are saying, and what we do to keep our Cocker Spaniel protected from diseases, viruses, and with a strong immune system.
Can People Catch Coronavirus From A Dog?
Because the CDC says there is no evidence that companion animals can spread COVID-19, this is not a concern. However, it is a good practice to wash your hands regularly, especially after feeding or playing with your dog.
As of this writing, the CDC has not received any information that pets are affected by the COVID-19 strain. The general public is facing one of the biggest viral epidemics in ages. Because this blog is reality-based, here’s what the pros are saying:
|World Organization Animal Health||Q & A on COVID-19|
|World Health Organization (WHO)||Mythbusters from WHO|
|CDC (Center for Disease Control)||CDC COVID-19 FAQs|
|AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association)||What You Need to Know About Coronavirus|
|Food & Drug Administration||Supply Chain Updates|
|Science Mag||Coronavirus and Pets|
Hong Kong Dog Tests Positive For COVID-19
When they tested this dog’s nasal passages and mouth, the results came back “weak positive.” However, the dog is quarantined and being watched.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) says, “The implications of a “weak positive” test result are unclear, and it’s unknown if the presence of the virus is due to infection, environmental contamination, cross-reactivity, or even potential issues with the test itself.”
This is one dog in one location. Hong Kong’s Agriculture Fisheries and Conservation Department shared in a statement that the Pomeranian had “a low-level of infection and it is likely to be a case of human-to-animal transmission.”
They also state there is no conclusive evidence that pets such as dogs and cats can spread COVID-19 or that animals can be a source of infection. Their recommendation is good oral hygiene and not to abandon your pets.
Sadly, shelters in China cannot keep up with the sheer volume of people dumping their pets. Many people are unable or unwilling to care for their pets since the coronavirus epidemic first hit. According to some sources, there are at least 150 million pets across China today and dogs are the most popular.
One woman in China who volunteers with an animal charity in Wuhan lives in fear. She spoke to TIME and admits to caring for 65 animals in her apartment since the outbreak. She says when authorities in Wuhan learn a person has COVID-19, they kill the animals as a precaution.
Is There More Than One Type Of Coronavirus In Dogs?
There seems to be a lot of confusion around what coronavirus is and if there are multiple strains of the virus.
Canine coronavirus is an intestinal infection not to be confused with COVID-19. It is short-lived and a virus of the Coronaviridae family. Canine coronavirus spread by oral contact with infected feces. Sometimes dogs who share food bowls can get sick if the bowl itself is contaminated. This is NOT COVID-19, so if you are Googling about dogs, Cockers, and coronavirus, be clear on the results you receive.
Can your Cocker Spaniel catch coronavirus if it is the intestinal kind? Yes, like any dog, but this is not the same as COVID-19.
Medical Supply Shortages From COVID-19 Can Disrupt Veterinary Care
As the COVID-19 virus continues to spread among humans, the AVMA is monitoring developments and concerned about pharmaceutical shortages and equipment that are produced in China.
On its supply chain website, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) says there are “32 animal drug firms that make finished drugs or source active pharmaceutical ingredients in China for the U.S.”
Although as of this writing there are no shortages, six of the firms say disruptions leading to shortages are happening. The FDA is sharing updates as they become available on animal medical and product shortages with a special page on their website.
If you are concerned about a shortage in any medications or have questions, the AVMA knows pet parents will talk to their vets about this. You can follow the information veterinarians do regarding animal medical supply chain shortages here.
How To Prepare For A Coronavirus Quarantine
I am one of those people who always has more than enough on hand whether there’s a quarantine or not. You’ve probably read the stories about store shelves being depleted of basic staples including toilet paper, water, and disinfectant wipes.
The US Department of Homeland Security says to stock up on enough food and water for 2 weeks before a pandemic strikes. This includes your dog.
We keep our Cocker Spaniel’s paws cleaned off daily. Some folks use pet-safe wipes on their dog’s paw pads. You can use good old warm water and soap and then rinse your dog’s pads with clean water. I do this in a little tub. It’s just a good overall hygiene practice whether or not corona is affecting your community.
We’ve put together a handy checklist in the event you or your community goes into quarantine mode:
How To Keep Your Dog’s Immune System Strong
When a harsh dose of reality in the form of a threat to my dog’s immune system reared its ugly head, my dog mom ‘fight back ‘ mode instinctively kicked in. Rather than giving into a nasty immune system disease, here’s how I learned to strengthen my dog’s immune system and so can you.
Cocker Spaniels are a breed that is known for higher than average attacks on the immune system with diseases including IMHA and IMT. It’s worth it to talk to your veterinarian about immune system care.
Here’s what we did when IMT tried to take our Cocker Spaniel (spoiler alert: he’s alive over 2 years later).
Do not panic and just take common-sense protective measures for you and your family, which includes your dog, Cocker Spaniel or otherwise.
Are you taking any special preventative measures against COVID-19? Let us know in the comments below.
To answer our initial question we were asked via email, “Can my Cocker Spaniel catch coronavirus (and spread it)?” The above experts say no.
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