BOSTON (CBS) – There are new fears that pets can get the coronavirus after a family’s dog in North Carolina tested positive. Researchers say it appears coronavirus can spread from people to pets in some situations.
The pug named Winston is believed to be the first dog in the country to get coronavirus. The pup was tested as part of a study at Duke after his owners were infected. Researchers did oral swabs for Winston and the family cat.
The family said Winston was coughing and sneezing and one day didn’t want to eat his breakfast.
Dr. Monica Mansfield from Medway Animal Hospital says despite this case, there is little risk of spreading coronavirus to your pet.
“It’s just being studied right now and just being figured out right now,” Dr. Mansfield said. “We think it’s an exquisitely low risk of animals catching Covid from a human.”
But, she warns if someone inside your house becomes sick, isolate from everyone including your pets.
“If a human is ill with any respiratory signs or especially if they’re ill with Covid, they should just out of abundance of caution to be careful not to have their mouth near their animal’s face and their animal’s mouth just to be on the really safe side,” Dr. Mansfield said.
Winston’s family says he’s feeling better now, but hasn’t been tested again to see if he is coronavirus free.
Dr. Mansfield says for now, pet owners should take extra precautions until they can learn more about the effect of this virus.
“Just good sanitary practices,” Dr. Mansfield said. “Just don’t kiss their face and hold them close to your mouth and nose.”
The CDC also warns to not let your dog interact with people or other dogs while on walks.