No evidence animals are playing role in spread of COVID-19, following first positive test in dog in Canada

Dr. Peter Surkan, a veterinarian at Park Range Veterinary Services in Prince Albert, offered his thoughts on the report. In the household where four out of six people tested positive, the dog was shown to have particles of the virus inside its system. He said from reading the study, human to pet transmission is possible but also unlikely the dogs will get sick.

“If there’s a household full of sick people, don’t let your dog play with your neighbours or your neighbour’s grandmother, probably more importantly, or an immunocompromised person,” he said. “Just keep everyone at home and try to self-isolate whether it’s your pets or whether it’s your humans in that house.”

He added if you’re going to isolate, you isolate with your pets too.

“I think they do a lot more good in a household … To me, I would focus on the comfort that these animals are bringing to people that have to isolate themselves,” he said.

He said according to the World Health Organization there is no evidence to suggest animals can spread it to humans and until the science is out there to confirm it he said he’s not going to be the one to “sensationalize” the idea.

“To this date, I am not aware of any confirmed cases of transmission from pets to humans,” he explained.

Although he said it is logical the dog picked up some virus particles from their humans, there is no evidence saying the dog has the virus in its saliva.

“We don’t know if it gets into the animals and that’s it, it stays there or if the animals can propagate it and spread it. I don’t know that, I can’t definitively say it’s not but there’s never been any evidence in the literature that I’ve read,” he explained. “I think it would be foolish to try to think that dogs or cats are spreading these to different families or humans. You got to be calm about stuff like that you got to end up looking at it and what does the science say? Science doesn’t support that.”

On Twitter: @princealbertnow

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