COVID-19 and your pets

Lynbrook Vet Veterinarians

Pet care during Covid-19

COVID- 19 is caused by a virus called SARS-CoV-2. There is not a definitive answer about whether this virus can infect pets at the moment. However, there is no cause for panic presently when dealing with pets. There is still currently no evidence that pets can transmit the virus to people.


It has been reported that a 17-year-old Pomeranian dog in Hong Kong showed weak positives for the presence of SARS-CoV2 genetic material in samples collected from its nose and mouth. The test used to detect this was sensitive and specific and known to not cross react with other coronaviruses that dogs and cats have previously been known to contract and show clinical symptoms to. Please note that these other coronaviruses have been around in pets for years and been managed by veterinarians and importantly cannot infect humans. In dogs and cats, they have caused symptoms like vomiting and diarrhoea and in cats also occasionally a condition called feline infectious peritonitis. Again, these are caused by different viruses than the COVID-19 virus and are not known to infect people.


Whilst the testing on the Pomeranian dog indicated the presence of the virus it did not determine if it was able to be infectious at all. Subsequent tests to try to see if the dog mounted an immune response to the virus by producing antibodies was carried out. Initial tests were negative, subsequent tests did show the dog to be antibody positive. However, there is still no evidence of the dog being able to transmit the virus to humans. Another dog in Hong Kong also appeared to test positive for the virus after contact with a human owner confirmed to have COVID-19 and again showed no evidence of being able to transmit infectious virus. Finally, there has been a report of a cat in Belgium testing positive for the virus and developing vomiting, diarrhoea and respiratory signs after contact with a COVID-19 infected owner. Again, there is no evidence of the cat transmitting the virus back to humans.


These 3 cases are the only known cases presently in the world of human to animal transmission, so it remains exceedingly rare.


More recently on March the 13th IDEXX laboratories evaluated thousands of canine and feline specimens for the COVID-19 virus and obtained no positive results.


With all the current information infectious disease experts have agreed there is currently no evidence to indicate pets can spread it to other animals or humans. Direct human to human transmission remains the most likely way for the virus to spread. At this stage there is no indication that testing of companion animals is necessary in Australia.


But what about the virus surviving on a pet’s fur and the pet acting as a fomite (an object that may be contaminated with infectious organisms and serve in their transmission)? COVID-19 is most commonly spread through contact with infectious droplets in a person’s cough or sneeze but can be transmitted on fomites. Smooth surfaces like doorknobs and benches transmit viruses much better than porous materials. Porous materials, of which pet fur is one tend to be more likely to trap and absorb the pathogen. Therefore, this is a much less likely way to contact the virus.


However, as per the Australian Veterinary Association recommendations it is always important to practice good hand hygiene by washing hands for 20 seconds before and after handling your pet and their food and water bowls, particularly if you have COVID-19, are unwell or are self-quarantined.  Additionally, if you have COVID-19, are unwell with flu like symptoms or under government mandated self-quarantine and your pet becomes unwell please be assured they can continue to receive veterinary care with us. Contact our team prior to visiting the clinic to find out your options. We currently are offering video and phone consults for people unable to leave their homes.


At Lynbrook Vet we will continue to offer compassionate, flexible service to our clients in these times and will continue to update our clients and pet owners about the evolving situation. If you have any questions about this blog or your pet, please feel free to contact us on 8373 0301.






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Lynbrook Vet IconLynbrook Vet

14A/10-30 Northey Road, Lynbrook

4.9 511 reviews

  • Avatar Bernadine Lobow ★★★★★ a week ago
    I am so thankful to the wonderful n supportive staff at lynbrook Vet for taking such good care of our fur baby Lexi after her little accident yesterday. They were so amazing constantly reassuring us of well she was coping. Hands down the … More best place to have for your pets.
  • Avatar cecilia l ★★★★★ a week ago
    Lexi loves the lynbrook vet team! They always show her so much loveRecommended always
  • Avatar Leanne Barry ★★★★★ a week ago
    I highly recommend Lynbrook Vet from the front desk, nurses & vets you are all absolutely amazing! They have looked after our neally 13yr old Chloe girl from the moment she walked in the door today for her bloods and endoscopy and the … More communication via phone and text is like no other! Chloe has never had this kind of special treatment before and she’s been to a lot of vets since she was a puppy.Thank you Dr Alina and team for everything
  • Avatar Sahitha Dissanayaka ★★★★★ 2 weeks ago
    I cannot recommend this vet clinic enough! I recently took my cat in for castration surgery and the whole experience was fantastic. The staff was incredibly caring and attentive, and they kept me updated with cute messages throughout each … More step of the process. I felt well-informed and confident that my cat was in good hands. I am so grateful for the excellent care they provided and will definitely be returning for any future pet needs. Thank you for everything!
  • Avatar Jadee Knapp-harvie ★★★★★ 2 weeks ago
    Love love love this vet!!Updates all day and photos
  • Avatar Chloe ZHOU ★★★★★ in the last week
    Experiencing my little dog's first surgery, we encountered an amazing veterinary team. From the receptionist to the nurses and the doctor, they kept us updated after each check-up. They even sent text messages in the voice of my dog, … More which made it feel like the messages were actually from him. I eagerly awaited each one.From the first phone call, Chris encouraged me, saying I was doing a great job as a pet owner and The second time he saw me carrying my dog alone, he sat down beside us, gently petting my dog and reassuring me that they would take great care of him.Besides the professional attitude, I could truly feel their love for pets. Their genuine care for my dog went beyond mere professional duty; it felt like he was treating my dog as his own.Life is full of unexpected events, but within these surprises, we often find warmth and love.

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