SCIENTIFIC DATA
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PROMED: COVID19 Update (88): Germany , animal, research, pig, chicken, bat, ferret

Susceptibility of ferrets, cats, dogs, and different domestic animals to SARS-coronavirus-2 

SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing serum antibodies in cats: a serological investigation  

Infection and Rapid Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in Ferrets

Key Considerations: 

  • Use caution in and do not overinterpret data published as preliminary reports that have not been peer-reviewed. Preliminary reports “should not be regarded as conclusive, guide clinical practice/health-related behavior, or be reported in news media as established information.” - www.biorxiv.org
  • Avoid regarding any data reported from the experimental studies in animals as conclusive, or to guide clinical practice/health-related behavior, or to report in news media as established information, as there are still several unknowns in regards to the role, if any, animals play in COVID-19.

  • Experimentally-induced infection does not mirror naturally induced infection. Just because an animal can be experimentally infected with a virus does not mean that it will be naturally infected with that same virus.

  • The numbers of animals used in these experiments were very small and the conclusions drawn are based on data points collected from these very few animals—in some cases, as few as two animals were included.

  • It is important not to regard any data reported from the experimental studies in animals as conclusive, or to guide clinical practice/health-related behavior, or to report in news media as established information, as there are still several unknowns in regards to the role, if any, animals play in COVID-19.

COVID19_K9_FAQ_05282020.pdf

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KEY TAKE-AWAYS

  • COVID-19 is a clinical disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, a betacoronavirus.
  • To date, COVID-19 is considered a human-specific disease  and the spread of SARS-CoV-2 is considered to occur primarily via human-to-human transmission.
  • SARS-CoV-2 is considered to replicate poorly in dogs. Although, it seems possible that SARS-CoV-2 may infect K9s, there is currently no evidence that K9s can spread the disease to people or other animals or that K9s become clinical sick with COVID-19.
  • If your K9 develops flu-like signs, it more likely due to other respiratory pathogens that are more common to K9s. Contact your veterinarian by phone to develop the best plan for testing and treatment. 
  • Although still early in our understanding of SARS-CoV-2 and animals, at this time, there is no evidence to suggest that any animals, including pets or livestock, can spread COVID-19 infection to people.
  • Nothing from the current experimental animal models provides conclusive evidence that cats, ferrets, or other domestic animals can be readily infected with SARS-CoV-2, nor do they demonstrate that cats, ferrets or other domestic animals transmit the virus under natural conditions.
  • Since there is currently little to no evidence that domestic animals that are naturally exposed to SARS-CoV-2 become sick with COVID-19 or spread the virus to other domestic animals or people, then, there is no reason to remove pets from homes or abandon pets even if COVID-19 has been identified in members of the household. Only consider removing a pet from the home if there is risk that the pet itself is not able to be cared for appropriately.

This is an ever-evolving situation, what we know and print today, may change tomorrow. Please use the references provided to stay abreast of the situation.