Pets and coronavirus: why one local veterinarian says not to worry

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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Over the weekend, a tiger at the Bronx zoo tested positive for COVID-19, leaving many now concerned that animals can contract the virus. 

“They do believe it was from a zookeeper that was asymptomatic that was shedding the virus,” said Veterinarian Dr. Abbi Dacosta.  

Dr. Dacosta advises pet owners not to worry, as there are still a lot of tests that need to be done with this tiger. She says they have also been doing testing of their own. 

“Right now, our laboratory that we send a lot of our samples to has tested quite a few thousand samples in pets and they have not gotten any positives for pets at this point, specifically COVID-19,” said Dacosta. 

Dacosta runs her clinic called ‘Emerald Coast Mobile Vet’ on wheels, allowing her to travel to her patients, which she says is coming in handy during the coronavirus outbreak. 

“We take our precautions with wearing masks and gloves as well so it’s just a lot of decrease in the possible contamination that you might get exposed to being out in the public,” Dacosta said.   

If your pet is experiencing respiratory symptoms, she says to give them a call. She is recommending that you take the same precautions with your pet that you are taking with yourself. 

“It is very important that you do keep your pets indoors, away from other people at this point until we have a lot more information,” Dacosta said. 

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