Animals have their own coronaviruses

Local Veterinarian Breaks Down Pets and COVID-19
Posted at 6:38 AM, Mar 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-11 11:51:49-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — So what about COVID-19 and your pets?

One local veterinarian says there's a lot of misinformation out there and he wants to clear things up.

"Haven't even thought about that cause we keep her pretty well," said pet owner Charles Tenpeny.

In many cases, most people don't really give it much thought when it comes to coronavirus and our pets. In late February, a dog tested a weak positive to the COVID-19 virus in China.

"There could be several explanations for that. What the CDC says is that there's no evidence that it's in the animal population," said Tejas Veterinary Clinic co-owner and veterinary doctor Robert Perkins.

Perkins said that while there's no concern with animals catching COVID-19, they're still at risk.

"Dogs have coronavirus," he said. "It's a respiratory form of coronavirus and there's also a gastrointestinal form of the coronavirus, systems sort of like parvo, but not as severe as parvo. There are lots of coronaviruses out -- they are not COVID-19," said Dr. Perkins.

COVID-19 symptoms in people hit the respiratory system, causing coughing, difficulty breathing, sneezing, and even death.

If your dog is showing similar symptoms, Perkins says it may be kennel cough or bronchitis.