Articles COVID-19

New SARS-CoV-2 study shows that dogs do NOT shed the virus.

As such, there is no mode of transmission either to other dogs, to other animals, or to people.

I am at a loss here. I worry about people taking actions to compromise the welfare of dogs, cats, and other animals as the USDA announces positive dog and cat tests of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. So I post about studies that prove that animals are highly resistant, show few (if any) clinical symptoms, develop immunity without getting sick, can’t transmit it to humans, and, as this new study discussed below once again proves vis-a-vis dogs, can’t transmit it at all.

And yet, I don’t want to legitimize these studies as they are not only redundant, but more importantly, cruel. Animals are being harmed (including being killed) to study something that we know is not a problem by deliberately attempting to inflict on sentient, non-human animals a disease so grave in terms of potential suffering and death that we have all collectively adopted extreme measures, including shutting down the economies of the world, to avoid contracting it ourselves.

In the absence of sober information from other animal protections groups and often the press (which, with few notable exceptions, are largely superficial in their reporting), however, I feel a duty to provide analysis of those studies. So with a heavy heart:

As noted in yesterday’s post, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees the National Veterinary Services Laboratory, confirmed “the first dog in the United States to test positive for SARS-CoV-2,” the virus which causes COVID-19. The dog is expected to make a full recovery.

I offered seven reasons why there is little reason for changing our behaviors vis-a-vis dogs, including that studies not only prove that dogs are highly resistant to infection, but only one dog has tested positive in the U.S. despite thousands being tested (compared to nearly 2,000,000 people). Here’s another reason.

A new study out of Colorado State University proves that dogs deliberately infected with massive amounts of the virus do not shed the virus. As such, there is no mode of transmission either to other dogs, to other animals, or to people.

The study reaffirms that they are “dead end hosts.” That means they are not able to transmit the virus to a new host. (The study also found that once infected, cats fight it off very quickly, show few, if any, clinical signs, and develop immunity even when researchers unsuccessfully attempted to reinfect them with massive doses of the virus.)

The study is here.

Other studies have already ruled out dogs, cats, and a number of other animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, and mice as a source of human infection.


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