How to protect your pets amid coronavirus outbreak

Updated: Mar. 9, 2020 at 4:34 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - As scientists learn more about this novel coronavirus COVID-19, they’re urging health leaders and possible patients to take an abundance of caution. That includes caution with your pets.

At Germantown Parkway Animal Hospital in Cordova, a lot of Dr. Angie Zinkus' clients are asking about coronavirus.

“People are worried about their dogs and wondering if they can catch it from their dogs,” Zinkus said.

Zinkus said many people are referring to a dog in Hong Kong testing positive for COVID-19 last month. Scientists with the World Health Organization said the dog had weak positive results of the virus, but it’s still not confirmed if the dog was infected with the virus or had it on its body’s surface.

Like humans, the dog was quarantined.

“The biggest thing we have to remember is there are no proven cases of dogs giving it to people or even cats,” Zinkus said.

Zinkus said cats and dogs can get coronavirus and show symptoms, but those strains are not COVID-19. There are no cases where dogs or cats have had symptoms from COVID-19.

“They've had these for years and it's never been something that's been transmitted to humans,” Zinkus said.

Zinkus said it comes down to treating your pets like everyone else in your lives. Wash your hands before and after playing with them and the World Health Organization even recommends refraining from kisses.

“If you do have coronavirus limit your access with your dog,” Zinkus said. “Maybe have someone else take care of your dog.”

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