Local veterinarian urges testing to know more about pandemic impact on pets

Posted at 8:31 PM, May 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-07 08:14:13-04

SOUTHFIELD (WXYZ) — Dr. Lucretia Greear of the Woodhaven Animal Hospital is concerned that there isn't testing for coronavirus on sick pets where other respiratory illnesses have been ruled out.

"We don't have access to run these tests," said Greear, who urges people to keep their pets clean with grooming much like public health officials are urging hand-washing and showers for people.

According to the CDC, a small number of pets have been reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after contact with people with COVID-19.

On Wednesday, 7 Action News also talked to Dr. Annette O'Connor from Michigan State University where she is a professor of Epidemiology and chairperson of the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences.

Dr. O'Connor said there are few reports of pets getting COVID-19 from their owners and no reports of people getting the virus from their pets.

"Although the chances of your pet catching the coronavirus from another animal are low, if you take your dog or cat outside, have your pets follow the same rules as everyone else - keep them away from other people and animals," Dr. O'Connor recently wrote in an article about pets and the virus in which she urged pet owners to "avoid approaching dogs on leashes - not because of the dog, but because there is usually a human on the other end."

If you suspect you have COVID-19 or you've tested positive, you should restrict contact with your pets and other animals as you would with people and have someone else care for them to keep them safe.

Click on the story above to watch Kimberly Craig's report.