WEST MONROE, La (08/05/20) — Tuesday, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry announced that a dog in Louisiana tested positive for SARS-Cov-2, the same virus that causes COVID-19 in humans.
Dr. Clark Cooper says when an animal tests positive for COVID-19, it’s because of the animal’s handler.
“It’s always been a handler of the animal has been positive, like the first tiger they had test positive… it was the handler who tested positive–that was up in New York,” said Dr. Clark Cooper, Cooper Veterinary Hospital.
Cooper says this is a particle virus meaning dropped particles of COVID-19 are what cause an animal to contract the virus.
“We have to control the particulant so if a person has it and then they cough on their animal then their animal can pick it up, but the animal could also pick it up on the floor. The animals aren’t carrying it and getting sick from it and spreading the disease,” said Cooper.
And if you test positive and are worried about your pet, “If a person is sick with COVID, then another person can take care of the animal if possible,” said Cooper.
Cooper says there have only been a few cases of animals contracting the virus and there’s absolutley no reason to panic thinking that your dog or cat could spread COVID-19 to you or your family.
“The main thing is everyone just needs to stay calm, work through this and not–there’s nothing we can do about it other than get through this, so keep a positive mindset and go through this every day,” said Cooper.
The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry says pets who contract the virus don’t necessarily get sick, but rather have mild signs of respiratory tract or gastrointestinal disease.