Ralph Veterinary Referral Centre cardiologist Luca Ferasin, who co-authored a new report on Covid-19 infections in pets, warned this week that they “have a strong suspicion of transmission from human to pet, but not vice versa.”
Ferasin said that he did not “want to spread panic unnecessarily,” as the suspicions have not yet been confirmed, but added, “vets ought to be aware of this so that they can start testing if they suspect a potential case of Covid infection” in pets.
In the report, Ferasin documented “a sudden increased number of domestic dogs and cats presented with myocarditis” at his veterinary center between December 2020 and February 2021, and noted that the surge coincided with the rise of a Covid-19 variant in the UK.
“None of these patients with myocarditis had a previous history of heart disease,” revealed Ferasin, however he urged further studies to investigate the “likelihood of pet-to-pet transmission, as well as pet-to-human transmission of the B.1.1.7 [coronavirus] variant.”
In January, at least three gorillas in an American zoo tested positive for Covid-19 in what was suspected to be the first case of human to animal transmission, while in February at least one South Korean cat tested positive for the virus – prompting Seoul to start testing pets.
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