LAS VEGAS (FOX5) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture has confirmed a case of COVID-19 in a cat in Clark County and answers a question that plagues many pet parents: Can I give my pet COVID-19?
That cases documented by the USDA are those that are tested, then submitted to laboratories and registered by the federal government. However, the USDA acknowledges that it is impossible to speculate on how many animals may not have been tested and how many cases may remain unreported.
The CDC reports that cases of animal transmission are low, and do not currently recommend routine testing of animals.
What if you or your loved one was ill?
“Do what you would do if the kitten was a person. You would isolate yourself,” said Dr. Anna Daffara from Summerlin Cat Hospital. If insulation is not possible, she says protocols such as washing, gloves and sanitation of bedding are recommended.
Treating symptoms will be similar to treating a common cold. Owners are asked to keep their pets indoors and isolate them from other neighborhood cats.
Prevention of infection is a priority for Lion Habitat Ranch, and all employees are vaccinated against COVID-19. According to the USDA, in neighboring California, six tigers and four leopards caught COVID-19 as well as eight gorillas.
“They are quite susceptible to coronavirus and they can get quite sick from it,” said goalkeeper Alex Mendonca.
Staff are also tested regularly and wear masks. Although masks are not required, staff said it is appreciated to wear a mask, especially to protect older animals.