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

4.9 450 reviews

  • Avatar Sarah ★★★★★ in the last week
  • Avatar Rosie Kawala ★★★★★ in the last week
    My 5 y.o. dog just had her first health scare with some tumours, and Lynbrook Vet helped us through the testing and removal process so kindly.They laid out all our options and were transparent about probable outcomes, minimising costs where … More they could.They checked-in with me throughout her surgery day with phone calls, texts and photos (non-surgical!) and patiently answered all of my questions at pick-up.I have taken my dog to Lynbrook Vet since adopting her 3 years ago, and continue to go there after moving further away because they are so wonderful.The staff in reception are always friendly and helpful and happily assist with all of our needs.It's nice to attend a clinic with a great culture, where the animals, and their humans' peace of mind, are their top priorities.
  • Avatar Alfatihah Sateria ★★★★★ in the last week
    Very kind n friendly staff , very helpful and help my little one get solve
  • Avatar Claire Mooney ★★★★★ a week ago
    I could not recommend both Lynbrook Vet and their sister vet Berwick/Clyde Vet any more. It is the best vet you will ever experience. We were desperate to find a vet to look after out little boy (he's a ragdoll cat who stopped eating … More and is also dealing with CKD) after being unhappy with our previous vet. We were recommended by our local community to take him to Jess who is working now full time at Berwick/Clyde Vet which has recently opened and her care (along with all the other nurses there), love, how switched on they are was one of the greatest experiences we've ever had. We thought that maybe something bad had gone wrong with his kidneys, but it was immediately picked up that one of his tooth was infected which explains the no eating (this wasn't picked up by the previous vet). Our little boy had to stay over night with a drip before going under and having 4 teeth removed. He's about to be 13 so this was a stressful situation with him going under. We were sent frequent updates with photos in the morning, during the day and just before we picked him up. They called me right before the procedure, during the procedure and right after to confirm everything was okay and if there were any updates. They knew exactly what to do and how to best keep him safe during this procedure. When we picked him up we were taken through all his blood work, x-rays and documents in elaborate detail so that we understood what everything meant and what was going on. They have even put us on a 6 month plan to get him to be as happy and as healthy as he can be when we return a week later for a free dental check up to see how his mouth is healing. We were given an aftercare plan. Pain medication that they had already been pre made!! I got a Toutube link texted to me that explains what exactly happened during the procedure. We were also given a tooth fairy certificate!!! (this vet is so extra I can't deal). This vet goes above and beyond, we saw a HUGE improvement the following day (he is SO MUCH HAPPIER) it felt like our little angel was at daycare and I could not recommend going to this vet enough! THANK YOU so much. We are eternally grateful for looking after Oscar so thoroughly.
  • Avatar Alex Farani ★★★★ a week ago
  • Avatar Jade Scullard ★★★★★ 2 weeks ago
    1000% recommend!!!! This is such a stunning vet, everyone is so friendly and forthcoming, we have been seeing them for the past 4 months with our little staffy boy Stitch! He loves it there as everyone loves him and gives him all the attention … More he needs, we have had nothing but incredible service from all the staff there. Stitch went in today for a procedure and we felt so happy and safe leaving our boy there, everyone cares for your pet, like they are family. It’s truly the best experience we have ever had with a vet.It’s a definite must, as when your little ones aren’t feeling the best they make you feel better because they keep you in the loop every step of the way!We also did puppy pre-school through them which is incredible as well as he now associates the vet with such a happy feeling we never have him worried about the vet visit… and besides that all the love and care he gets when he walks through the Lynbrook vet doors!Truely amazing

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