Canine coronavirus is responsible for causing severe gastrointestinal (diarrhoea, vomiting, and anorexia) and respiratory (nasal and ocular discharge, coughing, sneezing, wheezing etc..) symptoms. Infection is spread via sick dogs or fomites. Prevention includes administration of canine coronavirus vaccine twice 21 days apart at 3.5 months of age followed by yearly booster doses.

Feline coronavirus is responsible for causing feline enteric coronavirus that affects the gastrointestinal tract and feline infectious peritonitis which causes severe systemic disease. The disease is transmitted to healthy cats from sick cats and fomites. Intranasal Vaccinations can be carried out as 2 doses starting at 16 weeks of age followed by annual boosters.

Treatment involves fluid therapy, antibiotics, antiemetics, antacids and immuno-modulators etc. treatment may continue for a minimum of 10-15 days. Contact your veterinarian immediately in case your pet is showing any symptoms of the same.Since March, 2020 we have seen the SARS COV-2 pandemic wreak havoc in the lives of humans and animals alike. There has been an exponential rise in the cruelty cases and abandonment of animals, which brings forth the need to educate and inform people. 

According to the WHO and OIE, to this date there has been no evidence to suggest that there is transmission of infection from dogs/cats to humans.

Myth No 1:SARS CoV-2 and canine and feline coronavirus are caused by the same virus.

Fact No 1: Canine and Feline coronavirus are both caused by alphacoronavirus whereas human SARS CoV-2 is caused by a different species of coronavirus beta-coronavirus. Domestic animals may often carry coronaviruses in their respiratory and digestive tracts which are entirely different from the novel coronaviruses.

Myth No 2: Infected humans cannot transmit SARS CoV-2 to animals

Fact No 2:There have been some instances of transmission of the SARS CoV-2 from humans to animals, but there have been no recorded cases of animal to animal and animal to human transmission. A total 10 cats and 3 dogs were reported RT-PCR positive worldwide. These cases were reported in animals that were in close contact with people infected with Covid-19. All dogs and cats were asymptomatic to mildly symptomatic. Hence it may be advisable to avoid close contact with your pets if you have been infected and follow good hygiene practices.

Myth No 3:Humans may get infected by canine and feline coronaviruses. 

Fact No 3:The canine and feline coronaviruses are not infectious to humans even those in close contact with animals like veterinarians, pet owners etc.. This is because the attachment proteins are different for different viruses and these are usually specific to the host that the virus infects.

Myth No 4: Canine and feline coronavirus vaccines are the same as human Covid-19 vaccines.

Fact No 4: Each vaccine has been specifically designed keeping the host (dogs, cats or humans) in mind, hence the virus used to make the vaccine is host specific. All vaccines are carefully studied, formulated, experimented and administered under standard guidelines. 

Keeping your pets safe if you are sick -

  1. Have another family member or friend take care of your pets while you are sick.
  2. Minimise contact with your pet like snuggling or cuddling in the same bed.
  3. Wash your hands before contact with your pets.
  4. Contact your vet immediately if your pet starts showing symptoms of diarrhoea, sneezing or coughing.