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COVID-19: Cats and Ferrets

Updated: Jun 14, 2020

Dr. Scott Weese published another blog post during this pandemic. I just thought I would share it here, in case you haven't seen it.

Overall, the ferret results are not surprising. Ferrets are clearly susceptible to this virus. Cats also appear to be susceptible but are less likely to get sick. No shock there either, though the fact that cats could transmit the virus without direct contact raises some concerns. It was a very small transmission study so we need to see more data from other studies. The dog results are encouraging and support a low risk of infection of, and from, dogs.
Ferrets and cats remain our main focus, both in terms of keeping infected people away from them (so the animals don’t get infected) and keeping exposed animals away from unexposed people. In a household with a person with COVID-19, the risk to others in the household is still mainly from that person. However, we want to make sure pets don’t track it out of the household if people don’t recognize the potential for animal infection. The size of the overall impact of this is completely unknown, but it makes sense to take simple steps to reduce exposure of pets and keep exposed pets away from others.

Dr. Weese says to keep in mind that the article has yet to go for peer-review. Likely pre-printed to get the word out sooner. I think ferret owners are already aware that ferrets are more susceptible to human respiratory diseases like influenza.

Here's a link to the article on cats, ferrets and dogs.

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