Are There Any Known Cases Of Canine Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
The entire globe is currently waiting with bated breath to find out the extent of the damage that will be caused by the newly discovered worldwide virus.
Recent reports suggest that there may be more at stake here, and this potentially fatal virus has now been identified in a dog.
Although the primary concern at this time is for humans, the elderly and immunosuppressed in particular, this virus has now been found in a dog.
It is essential to note that despite the fact that the virus may have been discovered “on” a dog, specialists argue that animals cannot get sick by being exposed to it.
However, there are still many things about the Coronavirus that are unknown to us, therefore it is essential that we remain watchful.
What Exactly Is (COVID-19) Coronavirus?
Since its discovery in December 2019, the COVID-19 coronavirus has been making waves in the media and has been the subject of numerous articles over the past few months.
It was found for the first time in China (in the municipality of Wuhan), but it has since spread rapidly throughout the world and is currently present in a large number of nations, including France, Canada, and Australia.
Although we have seen Coronaviruses in the past, this particular strain of the virus has never before been identified in a human patient.
Coronaviruses are members of the huge family of viruses known as Coronaviridae and are known to cause illness in both animals and humans.
Their name comes from the way they seem when viewed via an electron microscope; the word “corona” can indicate either a crown or a halo, and it can be observed that they have a fringe that surrounds them.
They are the cause of a wide variety of ailments, one of which being the common cold. This unique virus was only given its complete name a few weeks ago.
It is now known as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Corona-Virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), and the disease that it causes in humans is being referred to as COVID-19.
When a completely new strain of a virus appears, there is always cause for alarm because medical professionals are unable to forecast what the consequences will be, and there is neither a vaccination nor a treatment available for it.
Symptoms in Human Beings
Nearly every day, fresh information comes to light, and as a result, our understanding of the virus continues to deepen. We have no doubt that it was contracted from an animal, and we also have no doubt that it can be passed on from one human to another.
In people, the first signs of the disease are typically a fever, a cough, and difficulty breathing. It should come as no surprise that the symptoms of a great number of different diseases, including influenza, can be very similar.
Maintaining good hand hygiene, avoiding persons who are suspected to have the disease, and sneezing and coughing into a tissue or a sleeve are the measures that can lower the chance of contracting the virus at this time. It is estimated that just about 2% of people who have COVID-19 will wind up passing away as a result of their illness.
Isolating From Others
“Self-isolation” for a period of at least two weeks is recommended for the majority of those who are either confirmed to have the virus or are suspected of having it. This is done in order to decrease the risk that the virus poses to other people.
Those who are infected need to get plenty of rest and allow their bodies to battle the virus on their own because there is no special treatment for it. Tests can be done to confirm or disprove the diagnosis, and a sample of mucus or blood may be taken as part of the process.
Is There Any Evidence That Dogs Have Already Been Diagnosed With Coronavirus?
It is common knowledge that many viruses belonging to the family Coronaviridae are zoonotic, which means that they can be transmitted from animals to people.
Despite this, specialists are of the opinion that this particular strain does not present a threat to the canine companions that we share our homes with.
However, the majority of people who read this post are probably aware that (at the time when this article was being written) there is just one dog in Hong Kong, a Pomeranian, who has tested positive for the disease.
The dog’s nasal and oral cavities were swabbed, and the swabs were sent to the Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation Department in Hong Kong.
They reported a positive result, albeit a poor one. In spite of this, the dog had not shown any signs of illness at any point. It has been placed in isolation as a precaution, and further testing will be performed to ensure that the results remain negative before the item is removed from isolation.
The Risk Of Infection Is Highest At The Surface Level
It is intriguing to note that despite this result, scientists continue to hold the consensus that dogs cannot become infected. They contend that canines can test positive in the same way as other things, like as table tops and bank notes, can test positive; the virus may be present on the surface of the dog, but it may not be causing him to become ill.
In spite of the reassurances that have been provided by professionals, it is recommended that pets that have been in close proximity to infected individuals be isolated in a quarantine facility so that they can potentially undergo additional testing and be monitored. At this point, it is only a preventative measure.
Is It Beneficial To Give Your Dog A Face Mask?
Many pet owners are unsure of what, if anything, they should do differently to ensure the wellbeing of their animals, and some have even resorted to providing their cherished companions with protective face masks (something which is far easier said than done).
In point of fact, it is generally accepted that these masks worn by dogs do not give any advantages, with the possible exception of providing the concerned owner with some degree of peace of mind.
The majority of health professionals now recommend that people wear masks in public locations such as stores and interior spaces when it is difficult to maintain an appropriate distance from other people, such as when there is an outbreak of an infectious disease.
Although it is perfectly safe for humans to wear them, it is not advisable that a dog be coerced into doing so because it is likely that the dog will find it unpleasant and uncomfortable.
Instead of having their dog wear a mask, owners should maintain a high level of hygiene around their dog and follow the necessary precautions, such as wearing a mask in public areas and washing their hands frequently. Getting your dog to wear a mask would be counterproductive.
Infection With The Canine Coronavirus
It is essential to emphasize that dogs, along with other types of pets, are capable of and do in fact contract strains of the Coronaviridae family of viruses; but, as of yet, none have been shown to have contracted COVID-19.
Canine Coronavirus is an example of one of these strains; it was originally identified in 1971 and stands in stark contrast to COVID-19 in that it affects the dog’s gastrointestinal tract and results in symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and a diminished appetite.
This virus, thankfully, only results in a relatively mild illness, and there is protection against it in the form of a vaccine.
The Coronavirus vaccine is not often administered by veterinarians on a routine basis; nevertheless, it is a tool that can be utilized in the event of an outbreak or in populations that are particularly vulnerable, such as those in rehoming centers or shelters. Canine Coronavirus is not a disease that may be transmitted to humans.
How to Treat Your Pets and Yourself If You Have Coronavirus (Covid-19)
As was previously mentioned in this piece, even if you are afflicted with Coronavirus, you do not put your pet at risk even if they are exposed to you. However, there is a possibility that the virus could be found on them; hence, it is a good idea to quarantine them alongside you because there is a possibility that they could spread the infection to another individual. The act of isolating a dog can, without a doubt, present a number of difficulties.
Spending Time Alone with Your Pet Dog
In situations where dogs are required to be quarantined — for example, after they have traveled or when they are thought to have rabies — their owners are not permitted to be around them. However, this is not the case in the current instance.
The ability for many owners to bring their pets into the quarantine area with them would be a welcome addition. During a stressful period, they are able to offer companionship as well as a familiar and reassuring source of information.
Because the virus is capable of living on animals, we need to exercise extreme caution. During the period that they are under quarantine, it is in everyone’s best interest to prevent them from having any kind of interaction with the outside world. Because of this, there will be no excursions to the vet or walks outside.
A dog will not comprehend why all of a sudden they are not permitted to go outside, nor will they comprehend why their owner is now present at all times. Because so many dogs are creatures of routine, a shift like this could cause them a great deal of anxiety.
There are a few things that we can do to make sure that they have a good time during the few weeks that they are confined inside, including the following:
- Exercise Conducted Indoors It is recommended that as much exercise as possible be performed inside. It’s possible that you’ll need to be creative with tennis balls, runs up and down the stairs, “find the treat” games and sniffing activities.
- Stimulation of the Mind: Your dog will require a lot of mental stimulation in order to prevent boredom from setting in, which could lead to destructive tendencies if it occurs. This might involve solving food-related puzzles like Kongs and Lickimats, in addition to practicing some fundamental dog-training skills.
- Supplements for Calming Extremely anxious dogs may benefit from a course of natural calming supplements while they are inside, as this can assist to keep them on an even keel and reduce their stress levels. Plug-ins like Adaptil might also be helpful in certain situations. This is especially true for high-energy breeds like Border Collies and Springer Spaniels, like those mentioned above.
- Those who get less activity will inevitably have a lower calorie requirement. This is one strategy for preventing obesity. Because they aren’t getting enough exercise, the temptation to make up for it by giving them a lot of additional sweets can be strong, but this could lead to their waistlines increasing. Instead, choose snacks that are lower in calories, such as raw carrots, cottage cheese, and chicken without the skin. The average daily portion size for many people will need to be decreased.
- Utilize Any Balcony, Patio, or Private Garden You May Have You should utilize any balconies, patios, or private gardens that you may have. As long as there are not going to be other people walking around in the area, it should be fine to give your dog access to it for the purposes of his going potty and exercising.
- Staying Away From Contact It is very recommended for the safety of any dog sitters, walkers, or groomers that they do not come into contact with the dog at any time. If they do, for whatever reason, they are required to maintain proper hygiene by washing their hands with soap and water immediately after touching something they touched, and they must refrain from touching their faces.
Are There Any Other Diseases That Can Be Transmitted from Dogs To People?
It is said of a disease that it is zoonotic if it can be transmitted from an animal to a human. There are a lot of these diseases that may be passed from people to dogs, and some of them are pretty serious.
Some of these diseases can even be fatal. These are the following:
Rabies, due to the fact that it always results in death once it has been contracted, is considered to be the most significant of all zoonotic diseases.
This disease can be found in a variety of nations, including the United States of America and India; however, it is not seen in other countries, like Great Britain. Dogs who are infected with the virus are able to transmit it to humans through their saliva when they bite them.
It is of the utmost importance, in regions where this disease is endemic, to vaccinate dogs against it, to educate children on how to prevent being bitten by dogs, and to minimize the number of stray dogs in the population.
It is exceedingly unlikely that one person might pass on an infection to another, but it is possible that this could take place if one person bit the other or if organs were transplanted.
Bacterial Infections: Salmonella, Campylobacter & E. Coli
Bacteria are not picky and will happily infect both people and animals without any reservations. There are a variety of bacterial illnesses that are capable of moving from one species to another. When an animal that is fed raw develops sick as a result of eating tainted meat, this is one of the most prevalent instances that we observe.
Their owner is at risk of developing the infection as well, and if they do, they pose a threat to the health of anyone else with whom they come into close proximity. The risk of becoming sick is cut by a significant amount for those who practice diligent cleanliness due to the fact that these illnesses are often transmitted through the fecal-oral pathway.
Infections Caused By Fungi: Ringworm
Although ringworm is more commonly found in kittens and calves, it is possible for dogs to carry the condition on to their human owners. People who are susceptible to the condition will acquire a scaly, red, circular lesion that is itchy. Treatment for ringworm is possible, and the majority of patients will be given an anti-fungal medication.
Typically, children who stroke infected animals and do not completely wash their hands are the ones who end up contracting ringworm. However, adults can also get ringworm. Because ringworm can also be found on things and surfaces, such as towels and sheets, it is imperative to clean any items that have been handled by a person infected with ringworm.
Infections Caused By Parasites: Roundworms And Mange
However, there are some parasites that are perfectly pleased to live on anyone who would host them, despite the fact that many parasites only harm one or two species. Mites of the genus Sarcoptes, for instance, are able to call humans, foxes, and cats home.
Animals should be given regular doses of anti-parasitic medication, and the surrounding area should be carefully cleansed, in order to prevent the infection from spreading to humans.
Infections Caused By Protozoa: Giardiasis
Those who come down with an illness caused by Giardia may suffer from stomach cramping and discomfort that lasts for a number of weeks. Animals frequently taint drinking water by defecating or otherwise releasing waste into it.
Although it is possible for humans to contract the disease by eating contaminated food, this is a much less typical occurrence because heat kills the protozoa. Children are at the greatest risk for developing giardiasis, although anyone of any age can become infected with the parasite. Giardiasis can be passed from person to person through improper hygiene and sexual contact.
Those who are most susceptible to contracting a zoonotic illness are those who are young, elderly, or who have compromised immune systems in general, such as cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
The majority of the time, these diseases in dogs can be avoided by taking preventative measures, such as giving them vaccinations beginning when they are still puppies, treating them with anti-parasite medication, and avoiding feeding them raw food.
Even when their dog appears to be in good health, owners should take their pet to the veterinarian whenever there is any sign of illness and practice proper cleanliness.
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