BATON ROUGE – The first case of canine coronavirus in the state of Louisiana has been confirmed.
The dog in question tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, which is the disease that causes the coronavirus in humans, according to Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain.
“Initially, it was believed pets could not get the disease, but the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is now learning that animals can be infected,” Strain said.
Strain said that there is limited evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted from a dog to a human. The rate of that transmission is considered to be low.
“It appears that people with COVID-19 can spread the virus to animals during close contact,” Strain said. “It is important for people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 to avoid contact with pets and other animals to protect them from possible infection. At this time, routine testing of animals is not recommended.”
If you are infected with the coronavirus, or if you believe your pet has been infected, Strain said the best thing to do is limit exposure to other people. Do not abandon your pet or turn it over to a shelter, he said.
“If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, allow a family member or close friend to care for your pets,” Strain said. “If no one is available, maintain a safe distance from your pet and frequently wash your hands before and after contact with your pet, their food and supplies. Remember, in the event of any emergency, it is wise to have a pet plan as you would have a game plan for your family.”