Veterinary experts say pet-to-human coronavirus transfer unlikely

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SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — Veterinary experts are still learning new details about the coronavirus as it relates to pets, but they urge pet owners not to do anything drastic.

The coronavirus reached pandemic levels across the world, but it’s is nothing new for dogs and cats.

“Dogs have two different coronaviruses,” said Angie Zinkus, co-medical director for Germantown Parkway Animal Hospital. “Cats have one different coronavirus that we’ve known about for years. But again, it’s not the same thing.”

Pets are usually protected against the animal strain of the coronavirus during their annual checkup.

Research on the human strain of COVID-19 is ongoing.

WREG spoke with numerous veterinary experts off the record, and they said preliminary information is promising.

“There’s been no proven evidence that it can go from dog to person or cat to person,” Zinkus said.

“It makes me feel a lot better, knowing that if i take him anywhere in public that he’s not going to contract anything,” dog owner Amanda Carter said.

To be safe, the CDC recommends anyone displaying symptoms should also quarantine from any animals in their care.

“Have someone else take care of your dog or cat, it’s as simple as that,” Zinkus said.

The veterinary community also saw pet owners panic due to possible exposure.

“People are abandoning their dogs and cats for the fear that they have it, or sadly even euthanizing them,” Zinkus said.

They urged owners to follow CDC recommendations.

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