Antech: no sign in pets of SARS-CoV-2

April 10, 2020
dvm360 Staff

Ongoing monitoring of samples submitted to the company underscores current evidence that pet dogs and cats are unlikely to become infected with the novel coronavirus.

Experts in both human and animal health agree that at this time, there is no evidence that pet dogs or cats can transmit SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, to people or other animals. Today, Antech Diagnostics, part of Mars Veterinary Health, reports that its ongoing surveillance of canine and feline samples submitted for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis concurs with that statement.

In its surveillance program, Antech is routinely testing cat and dog samples that veterinarians submit for PCR analysis. (The analysis is specifically for veterinary use and does not consume resources for human COVID-19 testing.) Thousands of samples from pets in the U.S. and Canada have been tested to date.

Antech will continue to monitor samples and report any discovery of positive cases to local, federal and veterinary authorities. Out of an abundance of caution, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Department of Agriculture recommend that people diagnosed with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known.

“As understanding about this new coronavirus deepens, our professional community and pet owners are fortunate to be guided by several highly respected human and animal health organizations,” says Jennifer Ogeer, BSc, DVM, MSc, MBA, MA, vice president of medical affairs & commercial marketing at Antech, in a press release.

“These organizations are continually analyzing, validating and interpreting emerging data to inform and update their recommendations, which should guide our actions and increase pet owner confidence. Their diligence allows us to seek continued solace in the joyful distraction and comfort our pets can give us during this time.”