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Veterinarians: Don't be too worried about your pet getting coronavirus

Meredith Spelbring, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Cats & Dogs News

DETROIT -- As coronavirus case numbers climb, another COVID-19-related concern has come to light: What about my pets?

A pug in North Carolina tested positive for the virus after several of its owners did as well. It is potentially the first dog to be confirmed positive with the virus.

But veterinarians say there isn't too much for owners to worry about when it comes to the family pet and coronavirus.

Jessica Romine, DVM specialist in small animal internal medicine at Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital in Southfield, Mich., said if any household pets are at higher risk of exposure, it is cats due to the similarity in lung enzymes between humans and felines.

But even then, the risk of any pet having a severe case of coronavirus, the way humans are experiencing, is low, Romine said.

"The cats that they've seen, and this includes the tigers that they've found at the zoo, other cats in New York City that have come back positive and shown mild signs, seem to be much, much more mild than people," she said.

 

Think of it numerically: To date, there have been more than 981,000 confirmed cases in the U.S., yet just one dog and a few cats are confirmed to have the virus.

"The likelihood your pet is going to get sick or come down with coronavirus is so small," said Keith Cook, co-owner of Southgate Animal Hospital. "Right now, fortunately, that doesn't need to be one of our worries, there are much more important things to worry about."

Here's what you should know about pet health in the age of coronavirus:

What symptoms should I look for in my pet?

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