Pet Owners Urged To 'Wash Hands Regularly' As First UK Dog Tests Positive For Covid
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock
A dog has tested positive for coronavirus in a UK first.
The pooch, from Surrey, was undergoing treatment for another unrelated condition when the infection was discovered.
The news was confirmed after tests were run at the Animal and Plant Health Agency laboratory in Weybridge, and the dog is said to be recovering well.
The UK's chief veterinary officer (CVO) Christine Middlemiss has said it is 'very rare' for canines to catch covid.
"The infected dog was undergoing treatment for another unrelated condition and is now recovering," she said.
"It is very rare for dogs to be infected and they will usually only show mild clinical signs and recover within a few days.
"There is no clear evidence to suggest that pets directly transmit the virus to humans.
"We will continue to monitor this situation closely and will update our guidance to pet owners should the situation change."
People are being advised to wash hands regularly, and before and after contact with pets.
Earlier this year, research revealed that owners who have contracted covid can pass the virus on to their pets.
Scientists in the Netherlands tested 156 dogs and 154 cats from 196 households. Six cats and seven dogs (4.2 per cent) had positive PCR tests and 31 cats and 23 dogs (17.4 per cent) tested positive for antibodies.
Researchers have now urged pet owners who have Covid-19 to avoid contact with their pets while they are infected. There are fears that cats and dogs could act as a 'reservoir' for coronavirus which could then be reintroduced to humans.
Dr Els Broens, from Utrecht University, said: "If you have Covid-19, you should avoid contact with your cat or dog, just as you would do with other people.
"The main concern, however, is not the animals' health - they had no or mild symptoms of Covid-19 - but the potential risk that pets could act as a reservoir of the virus and reintroduce it into the human population.
"Fortunately, to date no pet-to-human transmission has been reported.
"So, despite the rather high prevalence among pets from Covid-19 positive households in this study, it seems unlikely that pets play a role in the pandemic."
We hope this pooch makes a full recovery soon!