Pet dog catches Covid from its owner for first time in UK
The dog is now recovering.
A pet dog has caught Covid-19, with evidence suggesting the canine caught the virus from its owner, making it the first case if its kind in the UK.
The dog was diagnosed with Covid-19 by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) laboratory in Weybridge on November 3 after its owner had previously tested positive for Covid-19.
The pooch is now recovering at home.
Chief Veterinary Officer Christine Middlemiss said: "Tests conducted by the Animal and Plant Health Agency have confirmed that the virus responsible for Covid-19 has been detected in a pet dog in the UK. The infected dog was undergoing treatment for another unrelated condition and is now recovering.
"It is very rare for dogs to be infected and they will usually only show mild clinical signs and recover within a few days.
"There is no clear evidence to suggest that pets directly transmit the virus to humans. We will continue to monitor this situation closely and will update our guidance to pet owners should the situation change."
Advice from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is for people to continue to wash their hands regularly, including before and after contact with animals.
Dr Katherine Russell, Consultant Medical Epidemiologist at UKHSA, said: "Covid-19 is predominantly spread from person to person but in some situations the virus can spread from people to animals.
"In line with general public health guidance, you should wash your hands regularly, including before and after contact with animals.
"Pet owners can access the latest government guidance on how to continue to care for their animals during the Covid-19 pandemic."
The case has been reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health. There have been a very small number of confirmed cases in pets in other countries in Europe, North America and Asia.