Lions, Tigers, and Me! Oh, My!

Many of you have likely seen the reports about the tiger that tested positive for COVID-19 at the Bronx Zoo. The lions and tigers are sick (only one tested due to the required anesthesia for the sample collection). They are all doing fine now after developing respiratory signs.

UPDATE: The test that was run to test for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) was a veterinary test. The tiger did not use a test meant for humans.


What does this mean?

  • It is possible for animals (ferrets, cats, and possibly dogs) to “catch” COVID-19 from people.
  • There is no evidence that people can “catch” COVID-19 from household pets (or zoo animals for that matter).
  • If you are sick, minimize contact with your pets as much as possible, to be extra careful.
  • If there is someone else that can care for your pets while you are sick allow them to do so.
  • You DO NOT need to get rid of pets or kick them out of your home.
  • No animals have been shown to have developed severe disease or died from COVID-19.
  • If your pet does get sick contact your primary care veterinarian and discuss options and testing. COVID-19 testing is generally not recommended for pets at this time. If your veterinarian feels it is reasonable to do so, they will need to contact their state veterinarian for directions and recommendations.

Please feel free to ask me or your primary care veterinarian questions about this. Please do recognize that your primary care veterinarian is also working very hard, along with their staff, to take care of animals and people in a very difficult time, so if it is just a general question about COVID-19 and animals, ask me. I am in isolation and have time. Your vet probably does not.

Boots and Olaf

(My house panther does not approve of being separated while I am in isolation)

Remember to #WashYourHands #BeKind #StayHome

#WeAreTheCavalry #HelpThoseThatCannotStayHomeByStayingHome

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