Pets as the Forgotten Victims: Understanding the Devastating Effects of Coronavirus


Pets and its owner

As we have mentioned in previous publications, coronaviruses are a large family of viruses capable of causing illnesses in human and pets, from the common cold to severe illnesses such as: 

At this point, the virus responsible for COVID-19 has caused more deaths than the other two diseases combined.

These viruses are generally common among different species of animals, both wild and pets, such as:

  • horses
  • camels
  • bats
  • cats
  • dogs

While it was demonstrated in the case of SARS that the virus could spread from civets, a type of wild cat, to humans, and that MERS-CoV originated in camels, the animal origin of the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19, that is, SARS-CoV-2, is still unknown.

Take care of your pets, they are important too

The coronavirus most similar to the one that causes COVID-19 was found in a bat from the province of Yunnan, China.

However, it is believed that it is not directly transmitted to humans, but that there is another animal that can serve as an intermediary, among the most likely are pigs, civets, and pangolins or any kind of pets.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States, reports so far that there is no evidence that dogs or cats are a source of coronavirus infection.

Although on February 28, Chinese authorities quarantined a dog that tested “slightly positive” for laboratory studies to detect the virus, to date the animal is asymptomatic, so new tests will be performed.

To protect your pet from respiratory diseases.

Vaccinations for pets are an important way to keep them healthy and prevent the spread of diseases that can affect both animals and humans. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends vaccinating pets, especially dogs, against Bordetella, influenza, and canine influenza to protect them from these illnesses.

Bordetella, also known as kennel cough, is a highly contagious respiratory infection that is spread through the air when infected our little friends, especially dogs, cough or sneeze.

Animals that spend time in boarding kennels, daycare centers, or other places where they are in close contact with other pets are at a higher risk of contracting Bordetella. Vaccination against this disease is recommended for all pets, especially dogs that may be exposed to other dogs in these types of settings.

Influenza is another respiratory infection that can affect our little friends, especially dogs, causing symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, and fever. Canine influenza is a relatively new disease, first identified in 2004, and is caused by two different strains of the influenza virus. Animals that are in close contact with other animals, such as those in shelters or at pet shows, are at a higher risk of contracting the disease. Vaccination against influenza is recommended for pets that may be exposed to the virus.

In addition to vaccinating our animals against these illnesses, it is important for pet owners to take other measures to prevent the spread of disease. Washing your hands thoroughly after being in contact with pets, especially if they have been sick, is an important step in preventing the spread of illness. Additionally, if you have a respiratory infection, it is best to avoid close contact with pets until you have fully recovered.

Overall, vaccination is an important way to protect pets from illness and to prevent the spread of disease to other animals and humans. By following the CDC’s recommendations for vaccinating pets against Bordetella, influenza, and canine influenza, pet owners can help ensure the health and well-being of their furry companions.

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