LOS ANGELES - We're quarantined and so are our pets. Cindy, Fido, Kitty - all of our house pets - are, according to Veterinarian Dr. Patrick Mahaney, unlikely to get COVID19, but we keep learning things about the virus that we didn’t previously know. So, has anything changed?
There have been some things that have raised eyebrows. A couple of dogs in Hong Kong and a Tiger at New York's Bronx Zoo have tested positive for the coronavirus.
When we caught up with mobile veterinarian Mahaney he was making a house call at the home of a 12-year-old mix named "Dugan" for his bi-weekly injection for osteoarthritis. About dogs possibly contracting the novel coronavirus he says, "There were dogs in Hong Kong that lived with humans that were infected that themselves would test positive when their nasal or oral swabs were done." To him it raises questions.
RELATED: CoronavirusNOW.com, FOX launches national hub for COVID-19 news and updates.
At a West Hollywood dog park, we saw a lot of people practicing good social distancing, but he doesn’t think right now anyone should go to a dog park. It's just better to be home, he says. But, could a person who is symptomatic or asymptomatic spread the virus to the coat of a dog or cat. And, what about that tiger at the Bronx Zoo... could it recently testing positive foretell something about whether our small cats can get it?
The doctor says, "Cats, which could include your house cats, have receptors that are a better match for the virus than dogs." He says a cat's receptors are "where the COVID19 virus can bind and actually cause sickness." But, he hasn't seen a single case of it in his own practice.
But, if you tested positive what should you do with your cat, dog or other pet?
Dr. Mahaney says, "Make sure that you are keeping a distance from your cats..." and check with your veterinarian to see what they recommend because, as he puts it, "There is a chance that it could sicken them so I think it's important that we treat dogs like other people or cats and keep a safe distance from them and practice good sanitary habits around them."