COVID-19

Clearing Up the Confusion About COVID-19 and Cats

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Guest post by Ingrid R. Niesman, MS PhD

This past week has been a firestorm for cat parents. First we learned that cats can be infected with a large dose of live SARS-CoV-2 virus, the virus that causes COVID-19, and may be able to transmit the virus to another cat. The next day we hear that even some shelter cats, assumed feral, had neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. Then, the icing on the cake, a tiger tested positive for COVID-19 in the Bronx Zoo. But not all the news is discouraging; the latest study from France is demonstrating just how hard it may be to infect your pets¹.

This article is aimed at cutting through the confusion, offering a science-based explanation, and hopefully putting your mind at ease at least a little.Continue Reading

How Veterinarians Are Handling Euthanasia During COVID-19

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Guest post by Sarah Chauncey

Losing a pet is devastating at any time, but several factors come together to make it particularly painful during this COVID-19 pandemic. Most of us are already feeling the stress of physical distancing, and for many, a companion animal may be the only living being we’re allowed to touch right now (I’m in that situation). To have to let go at a time when all of us want to hold on is an unthinkable situation.Continue Reading

Sunday Quotes: Self Care

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Another slightly more wordy than usual Sunday post, but I felt that it’s an important topic right now that deserves more than just a quote.

In these challenging times, taking care of yourself has become more important than ever, both in terms of your physical as well as your mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Remember that the old adage of putting your own oxygen mask on first is true for a reason: you can’t help others unless you’re in good enough shape to do so.Continue Reading

A New Study Says the Novel Coronavirus Can Infect Cats, But There’s No Need to Panic

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Guest post by Ingrid R. Niesman, MS PhD

Yesterday we ran ran my piece titled One Cat Out of Million is Not a Trend: A Science-Based Look at the Unlikely Risk of COVID-19 Infection in Cats, which explained my analysis on ACE2 and cats, which supported the current belief that it is highly unlikely that cats could get infected by the novel coronavirus. The same day, Biorxiv, an open source platform for researchers to put up early and tentative results, published a paper by researchers in China that claimed that cats and ferrets can be infected. Papers published on Biorxiv are not peer-reviewed and represent data that might never eventually become published works. “Junk science” was a common response I received as I reached out to colleagues.Continue Reading

One Cat Out of Millions is Not a Trend: A Science-Based Look at the Unlikely Risk of COVID-19 Infection in Cats

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Guest post by Ingrid R. Niesman, MS PhD

Like many of you, my two Siamese buddies have been keeping me company and keeping me amused while I struggle to figure out how to convert my lab-based life to an online life. With a recent report coming out of Belgium that an owner’s cat not only tested positive, but actually got sick with COVID-19, I am worried about our pets . Yet, as a biologist, I realize that one out of millions is most likely an anomaly, not a trend. There is probably an explanation, and the answer lies buried in molecular science.Continue Reading

Sunday Quotes: Control

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Who doesn’t feel out of control these days! These are challenging times for everyone, but if you’re leaning toward being a bit of a control freak (like yours truly,) your anxiety levels can be off the charts right now.

To supplement Wayne Dyer’s wise words, I’d like to offer you two lists today: the things you can control around this COVID-19 pandemic, and the things you can’t. And I encourage you to work on letting go of what you can’t control (and I’ll offer some suggestions.)Continue Reading

When Grief Goes Viral: How COVID-19 Affects Those Who Lost Cats to FIP

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Guest post by Ingrid R. Niesman, MS PhD

Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) appears out of nowhere and leaves families heartbroken and bewildered. Cats affected are typically kittens less than a year old or young cats just gaining a foothold on maturity.

As the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, the relentless mention of the word “coronavirus” in the media can be emotionally challenging for those who lost a cat to FIP.Continue Reading

Why It’s Unlikely That You Could Contract COVID-19 From Petting or Playing With Your Pet

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The American Association of Veterinary Medicine (AVMA) has updated its FAQ for Pet Owners to reflect the current information about COVID-19 and pets. Of course, we know by now that this is a rapidly evolving situation. The AVMA will continue to update its FAQ as new information becomes available, and I’ll share it with you here as quickly as I can.

The  update includes some reassuring information about why it’s unlikely that cats (and other pets) can spread the virus.Continue Reading

Leading Veterinary Diagnostic Company Sees No COVID-19 in Pets

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Finally some good news for all of us who have been worried about whether cats can get or transmit the new coronavirus. Iddexx, a global leader in veterinary diagnostics and software, announced today that the company has seen no positive results in pets to date of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus strain responsible for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) respiratory outbreak in humans. Thousands of canine and feline specimens tested surfaced no positive results to date.Continue Reading