University of Guelph researchers studying Coronavirus infection in pets
Why do some pets get infected with the new coronavirus and others do not?
That’s one of the key questions researchers with the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College hope to answer in a new research study.
The study is one of the first of its kind to examine what risk COVID-19 in humans poses to pets and why some animals become infected while others do not.
Profs. Scott Weese and Dorothee Bienzle from the Department of Pathobiology are currently seeking volunteer participants with cats, dogs or ferrets in which at least one household member has symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or has had a positive test result.
“We’re trying to understand how often human-to-animal spread happens. We already know it can happen; we’ve seen it in various instances. Now we’re trying to find how common it is,” Weese said.
Weese has emphasized that COVID-19 is predominantly a human disease. Human-to-pet transmission can occur, but appears to be rare. This study will investigate what factors contribute to pets becoming infected and which types of households are at highest risk of having human COVID-19 infections spread to pets.