A dog in North Texas was confirmed positive for Covid-19, becoming the first dog in Texas to test positive for it, though experts do not recommend regular animal Covid-19 testing and pets are not considered a major threat for spreading the disease.
The domestic canine was tested for Covid-19 as a precautionary measure after its owners were confirmed positive for the disease, according to the Texas Animal Health Commission.
The two-year-old dog, who lives in Tarrant County, remains healthy.
TAHC and CDC do not recommend routine Covid-19 testing for animals, but do recommend that pet owners with Covid-19 “resist contact” with their pets and other animals, including “petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food or sleeping in the same bed.”
Pet owners with Covid-19 who need to care for their pet, should wear a mask and wash hands before and after animal interaction.
“If your pet is showing signs of a respiratory infection, consult with your veterinarian so they can assess the animal for common respiratory illnesses before looking into possible SARS-CoV-2 infection,” a TAHC spokesperson told Forbes.
The Texas dog is the fifth canine in the U.S. to test positive for Covid-19—the others were confirmed positive in June in New York and Georgia, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. In addition to the dogs, five cats, one lion and one tiger have tested positive for the disease in the United States. In a study of domestic pets and Covid-19, researchers concluded dogs are less susceptible to the disease than cats and other animals, per Nature.
The researchers found ferrets to be highly susceptible to the disease, reports Nature, which could make them promising subjects for vaccine and therapeutic testing.
Animals & Covid-19 (CDC)