Can Dogs Get The Coronavirus?

By now you’ve probably already heard about the Coronavirus, and you may have even had a little mini panic attack when you’ve heard someone cough in public. At times like these, you also may be worried about the health of your pet if you’re a dog owner – particularly if you’ve heard the phrase, “Canine Coronavirus.”

But don’t panic – we are here to answer the two questions every dog owner is thinking, “Can my dog get Coronavirus?” Or worse yet, “Can I give my dog Coronavirus?”

While people are largely referring to the current illness going around as the “Coronavirus,” the term in fact, is applicable to a family of viruses that have a “crown” appearance when viewed under an electron microscope, called Coronaviridae – hence the name. The current strain, which was first noted back in December, is being referred to as 2019-CoV. Other strains you may have heard of include SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. Both of these strains started a panic when they first came out, but they have since died down.

The 2019-CoV is believed to have originated at a wet market in Wuhan, China, through the consumption of snakes that were infected with the virus. As of today, there are over 2,500 confirmed cases in China. However, outside of China, there are only 56 cases of infection, including 5 in the United States – and all of these appear to have been a result of recent visits to Wuhan, China.

And yes, the current strain is being linked to snakes sold in a market, meaning that it appears that animals carrying the virus can pass it along to humans through meat consumption. However, this is still under investigation by the Center for Disease Control.

And yes, there is a Canine Coronavirus Disease – however, it should be noted that it doesn’t appear to be linked to the strain that is currently in the news.

Canine Coronavirus gets its name from the same characteristic that the human viruses get theirs from – a round, crown-like appearance when viewed under an electron microscope. Most cases of Canine Coronavirus come from a dog eating feces that carry the virus – which is just another reason to keep your dog away from any poop they might find while out at the park.

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