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But despite a dog in Hong Kong testing positive for COVID-19, Dr. Steve Weinrauch, chief veterinary officer for Trupanion, a Seattle, Washington-based company that provides health insurance for pets, is seeing no changes or increases of illness patterns in the company's extensive data base.
"There is no evidence to suggest dogs or cats can contract it," Weinrauch said.
In a news release from Trupanion, Mary Rothlisberger, vice president of analytics, offered further reassurance.
“We monitor our data on a very granular level; daily, weekly and monthly and by breed, country, city and even at a neighborhood level to make sure we understand and are on top of any health-related trends that might be out of the norm," she said in the release.
Furthermore, the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s website said, "there is no reason to think that any animal or pet in the United States could be a source of infection with this new coronavirus."
So why did the dog in Hong Kong test positive for COVID-19?
Weinrauch speculated the dog might be a "dead end host."
"Meaning the dog can pick up the virus from the environment but the virus cannot replicate in the dog," Weinrauch said.
In addition, while the dog may have tested positive, Weinrauch said it was a "weak positive."
"This dog was showing no signs of illness," Weinrauch said.
(Above, if you companion animal is showing signs of illness, there is no evidence to suggest it might be COVID-19. But cats and dogs can acquire other viruses and infections, so be sure to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian).