Shortly before a European congress on infectious diseases, figures on Corona infections of pets are already being published. According to these figures, pets are very often infected by their sick owners. There is concern that the virus is being reintroduced into the population via pets.
Dogs, and cats in particular, apparently become infected relatively frequently from their owners who are infected with Corona. This is indicated by two new studies. The Canadian veterinarian Dorothee Bienzle reports that she found antibodies in 67 percent of the examined cats and in 43 percent of the dogs, which indicates a passed through infection. The animals had lived with infected humans.
Bienzle, of the University of Guelph in Canada, will present her findings July 9-12 at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID). The data have not yet appeared in a peer-reviewed journal.
Twenty percent of dogs had symptoms, 27 percent of cats, he said. In most cases, the disease passed quickly and smoothly, he said. Symptoms range from loss of strength and appetite to coughing, runny noses, breathing problems and diarrhea in the four-legged friends.
So far no transmission from animal to human has been proven
Veterinarian Els Broens of Utrecht University also demonstrated higher levels of infection in pets of infected people. PCR or antibody tests yielded a positive result in about one in five animals from such households. The main concern was not the health of the animals – they had no or only mild symptoms of covid-19, Broens explained, according to a congressional release. Rather, he said, the concern is the potential risk that pets could become reservoirs of the virus and reintroduce it into the population. Fortunately, however, no transmissions from pets to humans have been reported to date, he said.