Billings vet discusses how COVID-19 affects pets

Posted at 8:28 PM, Apr 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-06 22:28:57-04

Since a tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York was diagnosed with COVID-19 , there has been increased concern for the safety of domestic pets.

Experts believe the tiger contracted coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, from a handler at the zoo.

Edie Best, a veterinarian at Billings Family Animal Hospital, said that it is not clear whether domestic animals like cats and dogs can contract the virus.

It is also unclear if animals can transfer the virus to humans.

“I think the concern is there, that our pets can test positive for the presence of the virus, even though they may not be sick,” said Best.

Best encourages people to limit contact with their pets if they are feeling any of the symptoms of COVID-19, just as they would with other humans.

“Have someone else in your household do the feeding, the grooming, the maintenance, all of that. Try to stay separate as much as possible,” said Best.

Best said that in the meantime, if you are healthy and have no symptoms of the virus, to spend time with your pets and love them as you normally would.

Medical experts are still studying the effect of COVID-19 on domestic pets.