WSAVA - COVID 19 - Update April 25, 2020

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COVID-19 - An update for WSAVA Members
April 25th, 2020

In the days since our last update on April 11, 2020, there have been many notable reports concerning SARS-CoV-2 and small companion animals. WSAVA was fortunate to have the support of the Purina Institute and Zoetis Inc. to host a webinar that covered most of the current issues at the time the webinar first aired on April 17. If you have not watched it yet, you can view it here:

View the webinar here

We will be adding translations of the content in several languages to the WSAVA’s COVID-19 resource hub over the next few days. It contains a wealth of resources on COVID-19 and companion animals to help you, with new content being added weekly so please check it regularly and urge your members to do the same.

Since the webinar, the interrelated topics that have generated the most discussion are:

  • how common are SARS-CoV-2 infections in naturally exposed dogs and cats?
  • how likely are these animals to develop clinical illness from this virus?
  • should the veterinary profession be performing wide-spread testing of dogs and cats to help to answer the first two questions?

Soon after our webinar, another serological survey paper was made available for outside review. In it, serological test results were reported for 35 species, including some dogs and cats. Data from Wuhan City, the presumed origin of the pandemic, showed that all of the 15 pet dogs, 99 street dogs, 66 pet cats, and 21 street cats were negative for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.

Read the Paper here

Junhua Deng et al. SHORT COMMUNICATION Serological survey of SARS‐CoV‐2 for experimental, domestic, companion and wild animals excludes intermediate hosts of 35 different species of animals Transbound Emerg Dis 2020 Apr 17

This week, the first two cats in the United States to test positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA by rtPCR assay were reported and the CDC and USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) subsequently posted their findings and recommendations. The cats were initially identified by a commercial laboratory doing independent surveillance work using samples submitted for testing for other pathogens. These cats both had a mild respiratory illness are expected to make a full recovery. Public health and animal health officials are still learning about SARS-CoV-2, but there is no evidence that pets play a role in spreading the virus. Therefore, there is no justification in taking measures against companion animals that may compromise their welfare.

There is more information available here:

To date, several commercial laboratories conducting voluntary surveillance work and providing their results have reportedly tested more than 7,500 dogs and cats with only the two positive feline cases detected to date.

A novel approach to identifying trends in clinical illness in dogs and cats was recently reported by pet medical insurance provider, Trupanion. The company has data from millions of dog and cat insurance claims over 20 years. In a webinar posted on April 17th, Dr. Steve Weinrauch, BVMS, MRCVS, Chief Veterinary Officer, Trupanion showed that, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, respiratory claims have not seen an upward trend. Detailed analysis of claims data is a critical part of how Trupanion operates and has been consistently reviewed for decades. The company is committed to continuing with plans to alert the CDC if any regional trends are noted.

View the webinar here

As of April 23, 2020, WHO reports 2,626,321 confirmed COVID-19 cases in people while the total of confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 in dogs and cats stands at fewer than ten. The failure to detect more positive cases in dogs and cats is undoubtedly related in part to a lack of widespread testing in these species. However, based on the experimental and natural exposure information gathered to date, infection of dogs and cats is most likely associated with exposure to an infected human. It is difficult to infect dogs and cats with SARS-CoV-2, clinical illness is unlikely and self-limited when it occurs, and long-term shedding at levels likely to infect a new human has still not been documented. This means that the results of testing of individual animals is unlikely to be of clinical benefit. However, well-designed epidemiologic studies are needed to further define the role of cats and dogs in this pandemic.

Public health and animal health entities around the world continue to review the cumulative data on companion animals daily and to update recommendations frequently. For example, the new CDC guidelines for veterinarians were published on April 23, 2020 and will be updated frequently as new information is gathered. Please also refer to guidelines published in your countries.

Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance
for Veterinary Clinics During the COVID-19 Response

Information on keeping both people and animals safe and healthy is also available

We thank you too for all you are doing to continue to care for your patients and reassure their owners. Please keep yourselves and your families safe in these difficult times.

Michael R. Lappin, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (Internal Medicine) The Kenneth W. Smith
Professor in Small Animal Clinical Medicine, Colorado State University

Chairman, WSAVA One Health Committee

Visit the WSAVA COVID-19 resource hub here



WSAVA Free Webinar: COVID-19 and Companion Animals – What we know today

Written by ΕΛ.Ε.Κ.Ζ.Σ. on .



COVID-19 - An update for WSAVA Members
April 11th, 2020

WSAVA Webinar: COVID-19 and Companion Animals – What we know today
Friday April 17, 2020 14.00hrs GMT {10.00hrs (EST); 15.00hrs (London); 22.00hrs (Hong Kong)}

The Covid-19 pandemic is causing distress and uncertainty for us all. It also poses a significant and real threat to companion animal welfare, particularly given conflicting media reports on whether pets can spread the virus. As part of our effort to keep you up-to -date with the latest information on COVID-19, we are hosting an hour-long webinar next Friday April 17. The expert speakers are:

  • Dr Vanessa Barrs, Professor of Companion Animal Health, City University of Hong Kong
  • Dr Michael Lappin, Chair of the WSAVA One Health Committee
  • Dr Shane Ryan, WSAVA President

During the webinar they will address what the evidence actually tells us about COVID-19 and companion animals, as well as how to provide optimal preventative care for pets in the face of the pandemic. They will also discuss the important role that veterinarians can play in promoting pet welfare and supporting the human-companion animal bond during this difficult time.

We hope that the information our speakers will give you will help you to reassure your clients, your co-workers and your communities based on the latest evidence. We also hope our recommendations support you in continuing to provide the highest standard of care to your patients.

Join the webinar here

wsava webinar covid

We are grateful to WSAVA Diamond Partner the Purina Institute and WSAVA Industry Partner Zoetis for their generous support of this webinar.

We hope that you and many of your members will be able to join the webinar live so please share this information with them urgently. If you are unable to watch it live, you will also be able to watch it on demand when it is added to the WSAVA’s COVID-19 resource hub. We have again added new content this week, much of it available in a range of languages, for which we we extend our grateful thanks to the WSAVA One Health, Scientific and Translation Committees.

Visit the WSAVA COVID-19 resource hub here

Please keep yourselves and your families safe in these difficult times.

On behalf of the WSAVA Secretariat,

Emma van Rooijen
Executive Assistant



WSAVA - COVID 19 - Ενημέρωση 6 Απριλίου 2020

Written by ΕΛ.Ε.Κ.Ζ.Σ. on .



COVID-19 - An update for WSAVA Members
April 6th, 2020

We started this week with the news release by the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo in New York, USA reporting a resident four-year old female Malayan tiger that has tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 after being presented with cough and decreased appetite. The positive SARS-CoV-2 test for the tiger was confirmed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA’s) National Veterinary Services Laboratory. The likely source of infection was a person caring for them who was asymptomatically infected with the virus. Although three other tigers and three African lions also had a dry cough, only one tiger was tested because of the risk associated with collecting samples under anesthesia. Though they have experienced some decrease in appetite, the tigers and lions are otherwise doing well under veterinary care and are bright, alert, and interactive with their keepers. The four affected tigers live with one Amur tiger that has not exhibited any clinical signs. Three other tigers from the same zoo, as well as snow leopards, cheetahs, clouded leopard, Amur leopard, puma or serval are not presenting any signs of illness.

Assuming the other three lions and tigers with signs were ill due to SARS-CoV-2, this may support the findings of a domestic cat experimental study we commented on in our e-shot of April 3. In this study, some cats inoculated with a high dose of SARX-CoV-2 developed clinical signs of disease and some were able to pass the virus to other animals housed in close proximity.

Further studies will be required to determine whether exotic cats are more susceptible to the SARS-CoV-2 virus than domestic cats.

Read the USDA's statement here

Another preprint study published since our last e-shot investigated the presence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in cats from Wuhan. Results from samples from 102 cats collected during the COVID-19 outbreak (January to March 2020) were compared to those from 39 cats collected prior to the outbreak in 2019. Antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, were detected in 15 (14.7%) of the cat samples obtained after the outbreak in an experimental indirect enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Eleven of the 15 samples had antibodies detected by virus neutralization. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was not amplified by specific qRT-PCR from any of the cats assayed. The results of this study suggest that cats can be naturally exposed to SARS-CoV-2 and mount a serological response. Similar to previous reports of the cats quarantined in Hong Kong, shedding of virus in naturally exposed cats is either of short duration or of low levels.

We have been asked this week if and when countries will start suggesting testing clinically ill cats or any cat that was housed with a person known to have COVID-19 associated illness. The WSAVA does not currently have information from each country and recommendations or requirements are changing rapidly. We suggest contacting public health authorities for your region or country for this information. Comments from the USDA are included in the document cited above. The OIE and CDC websites are also excellent sources of updated internationally relevant information.

oie cdc
OIE Information on COVID-19 CDC Information on COVID-19


Others have questioned whether WSAVA will recommend ivermectin for the treatment or prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection of companion animals based on another pre-print, in vitro manuscript that was just made available. At this time, there is not enough information to make recommendations of how to use this information in clinical practice. To date, illness in dogs or cats potentially related to SARS-CoV-2 from natural infection has been non-existent or apparently self-limited.

Read the following article for more information:
"The FDA-approved Drug Ivermectin inhibits the replication of SARS-CoV-2 in vitro"

The WSAVA One Health and Scientific Advisory Committees emphasize that pet owners sick with COVID-19 should avoid direct contact with animals in their household, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If they need to care for their pet or be around animals while they are sick, they should wash their hands before and after they interact with them and wear a facemask.

Again, we’d like to end by reminding you that, if you haven’t checked it for a few days, please re-visit the WSAVA’s COVID-19 resource hub as we are adding further content regularly.

Visit the WSAVA COVID-19 resource hub here

Please keep yourselves and your families safe in these difficult times.

Michael R. Lappin, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (Internal Medicine) The Kenneth W. Smith
Professor in Small Animal Clinical Medicine, Colorado State University

Chairman, WSAVA One Health Committee

Professor Mary Marcondes, DVM, MSc, PhD
Professor (retired) of Small Animal Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases - School of Veterinary Medicine, São Paulo State University, Brazil Co-chair of the WSAVA Scientific Committee



WSAVA - COVID 19 - Update April 3, 2020

Written by ΕΛ.Ε.Κ.Ζ.Σ. on .


**Σύντομα μεταφρασμένο και στην Ελληνική Γλώσσα

COVID-19 - An update for WSAVA Members
Week ending April 3rd, 2020

Our COVID-19 update of March 27 ended with a STOP PRESS note about reports of a cat living in Belgium that was reported to be RT-PCR positive and clinically ill.

Following the publication of a manuscript showing cats and ferrets to be theoretically susceptible to infection by SARS-CoV-2 based on in vitro receptor binding, a naturally exposed cat in Belgium was reported (18/03). The cat was living with a family member with COVID-19, was PCR positive for SARS-CoV-2, and had clinical signs of transient vomiting, diarrhea, and respiratory disease. The cat recovered uneventfully and monitoring is on-going to determine whether it develops serum antibodies to the virus. It cannot be determined with certainly that this cat was ill because of SARS-CoV-2.

Data from SARS-CoV-19 experimental infection models in cats, ferrets and other species have started to appear in the literature and a pre-print of a SARS-CoV-2 experimental model currently undergoing peer review has been widely discussed on social media. In this work, SARS-CoV-2 infection was induced in a number of species by inoculation of a high viral dose and some of the animals with primary infection, including cats, were able to pass the virus to other animals housed in close proximity. Clinical signs of disease were recognized in some of the animals.

This type of work helps us to understand the host range of COVID-19, the pathogenesis, and to develop further models for treatment and prevention studies. However, the WSAVA One Health and Scientific Advisory Committees strongly emphasize that these types of studies cannot be directly correlated to what happens in the field. Most importantly, we do not yet know whether the doses of SARS-CoV-2 used to initiate the primary infections of cats, ferrets, and dogs in the experimental studies would be achieved in a natural setting, where an infected owner is the source of infection.

It should also be remembered that public health services around the world monitoring the spread of SARS-CoV-2, have again ended this week steadfastly stating that there is no evidence of transmission from companion animals to people. As recommended in our Advisory, however, individuals who know they have COVID-19 should minimize direct contact with their pets to avoid potential transmission.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) released ‘interim recommendations for intake of companion animals from households where humans with COVID-19 are present’ late this week. The document contains a reminder to house SARS-CoV-2 pets in the home if possible. It also says that bathing is not needed and that healthy exposed pets should be housed with minimal contact with others (pets and people) for 14 days while further information concerning the prevalence and duration of natural infections in cats is gathered.

wsava webinar

A webinar on this topic was released on April 2, in which I represented the WSAVA and Colorado State University with Mr Jim Tedford the President & CEO of The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement and Dr Julie Levy from the University of Florida. Dr Levy is actively involved in the American Association of Shelter Veterinarians which worked closely with the CDC and AVMA on the recommendations.

Watch the webinar here

us order

In the United States, more of our regulatory agencies are announcing relaxation of telemedicine restrictions to aid veterinarians in helping companion animals while maintain social distancing for more routine cases. The announcement for Colorado veterinarians came just yesterday. You can read it here: We hope that other states and countries will follow suit.

Read the full announcement here

These were the key developments this week so I’d like to end by reminding you that, if you haven’t checked it for a few days, please re-visit the WSAVA’s COVID-19 resource hub as we have added content in new languages this week. With this in mind, I should of course thank our hard-working Translation Committee for its magnificent work to translate content, sometimes overnight, to make it as accessible to as many of our members as possible.

We thank you too for all you are doing to continue to care for your patients and reassure their owners. Please keep yourselves and your families safe in these difficult times.

Michael R. Lappin, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (Internal Medicine)
The Kenneth W. Smith Professor in Small Animal Clinical Medicine, Colorado State University
Chairman, WSAVA One Health Committee

Visit the WSAVA COVID-19 resource hub here



WSAVA - COVID 19 - An update March 27, 2020

Written by HCAVS on .


COVID-19 - An update for WSAVA Members
Week ending March 27, 2020

We recognize the additional strain that the COVID-19 pandemic is putting on our members and hope that this e-shot will be helpful in updating you on new developments and highlighting useful information.

The COVID-19 emergency gives us, as veterinarians and as a global community, a unique responsibility to uphold animal welfare and to support our medical colleagues. Let’s work together to share our knowledge and skills for the betterment of both human and animal health.

Dear Member Representatives

We are living through an extraordinary event impacting the lives of people and their pets globally. In many countries across the world, life is changing daily as governments combat the COVID-19 pandemic. We recognized the potential impact on veterinary practices, pets and pet owners early on and our One Health, Scientific, Vaccination and Animal Wellness and Welfare Committees have been working hard to keep you informed via our Advisory and the creation of our COVID-19 Resource Hub – details below. We have also communicated with the media globally, reinforcing the message that there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be caught from our pets. Going forward we will also provide updates via e-shot when there is important news to share.

This week, a key issue faced by our members has been achieving recognition that our services fall into the category of essential medical care. Colleagues around the world report that they are delivering only emergency care under protocols for client and pet access to veterinary premises. In countries under ‘lock down’ it is vital that veterinary practices remain accessible for urgent medical care and we have joined other veterinary bodies in calling for governmental recognition of the essential service that we provide.

The science of COVID-19 progresses with the publication of papers describing the virus and its receptor and hypothesizing on the likely animal origin of SARS-COV-2 into the human population. In Hong Kong, where pets belonging to owners diagnosed with COVID-19 have been precautionarily quarantined, information has been released on the second dog diagnosed as positive after contact with an infected human owner. In an excellent response by Professor Malik Peiris, Chair in Virology, Hong Kong University, it has become clear that the second dog has also now tested negative for the virus by PCR. Professor Peiris has emphasized that although these two dogs might have been infected by the virus, neither had COVID- 19 disease or was clinically ill. Professor Peiris has re-iterated the advice given previously that there is currently no evidence that dogs can transmit the virus to other dogs or to humans.

In response to questions from many of our colleagues, the Vaccination Guidelines Group has released a document giving advice the implications of not being able to access routine vaccination.

For colleagues in Brazil, where there has been confusion over the canine enteric coronavirus vaccine, Co-chair of our Scientific Committee and VGG member, Professor Mary Marcondes, has produced a short video in Portuguese, explaining the differences between coronaviruses and why it is inappropriate to consider that the enteric coronavirus vaccine might be relevant to SARS-COV-2.

Both of these resources are available in the COVID-19 Resource Hub.

To end on a positive note, this week has also seen stories emerging of the veterinary profession co-ordinating the transfer of ventilators from veterinary to human hospitals to increase their capacity to deal with COVID-19 patients. This heart-warming response is an excellent example of the One Health philosophy that is so strongly supported by WSAVA.

I would like to thank my colleagues for their hard work in preparing the Advisory and COVID-19 Resource Hub and we hope they are useful to you in these challenging times.

Emeritus Professor Michael J. Day
Chairman, WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines Group
Executive Board Liaison, WSAVA One Health Committee
WSAVA Honorary Treasurer



The WSAVA One Health and Scientific Committees are collecting more information about the cat in Belgium living with a person with COVID-19 that was reported to be RT-PCR positive and clinically ill. Please look out for a more detailed update on this next week. To date, we confirm that there is still no information proving that SARS-CoV-2 infection in a dog or cat can be passed on to other animals or to humans.


COVID-19 - Resources to help you

Advice and educational content are available to download in a variety of languages Our COVID-19 resource hub contains a wealth of resources to help you and your clients. We encourage you to check back often because we are updating it regularly.

Visit the WSAVA COVID-19 resource hub here


COVID-19- Share your story
We want to know how it is affecting your practice

If you have a COVID-19 story you’d like to share – perhaps an example of One Health in action or of how your practice is adapting to the crisis - or if you’d like to explain how the virus is affecting veterinary practice in your country, please tell us.

Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your story.


On behalf of the WSAVA Secretariat,

Emma van Rooijen
Executive Assistant

World Small Animal Veterinary Association
t: +447897975363
e: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



WSAVA Press Information about COVID 19 - Update

Written by ΕΛ.Ε.Κ.Ζ.Σ. on .


Press Information

WSAVA Moves to Reassure Pet Owners
‘No evidence that COVID-19 can be contracted from pets

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) has moved to reassure pet owners following the news that a dog in Hong Kong, quarantined after it had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 has died. The dog had been released after two weeks of quarantine having subsequently tested negative for the virus.

The dog, a 17-year-old Pomeranian, had shown no clinical signs of COVID-19. However, it did have significant unrelated health problems including cardiac and renal issues and is believed to have passed away from these and old age, possibly exacerbated by the stress of quarantine away from familiar surroundings. The WSAVA confirms that there is no evidence that the dog contracted COVID-19, nor that it could have passed the viral cause to another human or animal.

On March 19, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) in Hong Kong announced that a second dog, a German Shepherd, had also tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. The dog was quarantined after its owner was confirmed with COVID-19. Although the dog has tested positive, it has no clinical signs of disease. Another dog from the same residence has tested negative for the SARS-CoV2. It also has no relevant clinical signs and has been quarantined. The dogs will continue to be tested for the remainder of the quarantine period.

WSAVA President Dr Shane Ryan said: “While there is still much we don’t know about COVID-19, we do know that the Pomeranian dog did not die from the virus, and the second dog is also showing no signs, either of the disease or of being able to transmit it to other pets or people. The current evidence still strongly indicates that COVID-19 cannot be contracted from pets.”

The WSAVA says its priority is to support its member veterinarians who care for companion animals around the world and it urges pet owners not to panic and, instead, to continue to care for their companion animals and to enjoy their company. In difficult times, such as these we face today, says the WSAVA, pets can play a very positive role, providing companionship to the isolated and lonely.

The WSAVA’s Scientific Committee and One Health Committee have worked together provide Advice to its members and pet owners, which can be found here: https://wsava.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19_WSAVA-Advisory-Document-Mar-19-2020.pdf 

Dr Michael Lappin, chair of the WSAVA’s One Health Committee and Dr Mary Marcondes, Co-Chair of the WSAVA Scientific Advisory Committee, recommend that veterinarians remind owners to:

  • keep their companion animals with them if they are self-quarantined
  • maintain good hygiene practices, including washing hands when interacting with their pets
  • arrange care for any animals left at home with family or friends should they be hospitalized
  • contact their veterinarian immediately if they have questions or concerns.

On March 13, IDEXX Laboratories, an international provider of veterinary diagnostics and software, announced that it had evaluated thousands of canine and feline samples during the validation of a new veterinary test system for SARS-CoV-2 and seen no positive results.

Dr Ryan continued: “We remain very concerned at reports of many animals being abandoned, killed or taken to shelters because their owners fear that they might carry the virus when this is not supported by evidence. In addition to the suffering this causes to the animals concerned, their owners will also cease to benefit from all the positive aspects of owning a pet which are even more important as so many of us are now having to limit contact with other people.

“We urge pet owners to listen to their veterinarian’s advice and to follow our recommendations to keep themselves and their companion animals safe.”

The WSAVA represents more than 200,000 veterinarians worldwide through its 113 member associations. Its core activities include the development of WSAVA Global Guidelines in key areas of veterinary practice, including pain management, nutrition and vaccination, and the provision of continuing education.

wsava rightFor further information:

Contact WSAVA PR Consultant, Rebecca George
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: +44 (0) 7974 161108/+44 (0) 1449 737281

March 20, 2020




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