Veterinarians warn of possible association between new variants of coronavirus and heart problems in cats and dogs after an increase in pets with myocarditis at a specialized veterinary hospital in Buckinghamshire during the second wave of the pandemic doing.
“We don’t want to spread panic unnecessarily, especially because there is a strong suspicion of human-to-pet transmission at this point, but not the other way around. I’m not sure. But veterinarians say Covid. You need to be aware of this so that you can start testing if you suspect a potentially infected case. ” the study, Has not been peer reviewed yet.
Highly contagious B117 variant First detected in Kent in December, it has rapidly become a major circulating variant in the United Kingdom, accounting for about 95% of infections. It has been detected in at least 85 countries around the world.
Cats and dogs are known to be infected with previous variants, but their symptoms were primarily respiratory. Runny nose, cough, sneeze, or conjunctivitis. The Buckinghamshire case is one of the first documented animal infections with the B117 mutant.
Ferracin and his team are looking for cats and dogs that are showing symptoms of heart failure and are asking their colleagues to be tested for the coronavirus, especially if their owners have recently been infected. Veterinarians hope this will help them better understand how the new variants affect the two animals and their potential role in the transmission of the virus.
Between December and February, Ferasin and his colleagues noticed a surge in the proportion of dogs and cats hospitalized in RVRC for myocarditis (myocardial inflammation). The number of cases was not very high, totaling 18 cases, but it was nearly 10 times the number normally seen in veterinary clinics during this period.
Animals were referred after developing symptoms suggestive of heart failure, including lethargy, loss of appetite, rapid breathing or shortness of breath, and severe life-threatening arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats). Two cases contained fainting episodes. Further testing revealed that they had myocarditis.
This increase in cases closely reflected the curve and timeline of human Covid-19 cases caused by the B117 mutant at the time. Also, in most cases of myocarditis, owners experienced or were positive for Covid symptoms 3-6 weeks before their pet became ill. Many pets also tested positive for the coronavirus.
However, unlike previously recorded Sars-CoV-2 infections in cats and dogs, the animals referred to RVRC had no other respiratory symptoms.
Given that these cardiac abnormalities may be associated with a surge in human Covid cases, ferrasin was used in the noses of six cats and one dog who presented with myocarditis from late January to early February. Blood samples and cotton swabs were taken from the throat and rectum. These were tested for antibodies to Sars-CoV-2, or the virus. They also took blood samples from two cats and two dogs recovering from myocarditis in the intensive care unit. Of the 11 animals, 2 cats and 1 dog were virus-positive in the rectal sample, and 2 more cats and 1 dog had antibodies to Sars-CoV-2 in their blood. It was. If these tests had been done before, more tests could have been positive, Ferrasin said.
All animals are well recovered after treatment, except for one cat that had to be killed in the end. Covid is also associated Heart damage In humans.
Margaret Hosie, a professor of comparative virology at the University of Glasgow Virus Research Center, said it is not yet clear whether the virus caused animal symptoms. “It is impossible to rule out the possibility that the loss of Sars-CoV-2 was an accidental finding, and it is inevitable that all animal population proposals will be positive. [antibodies to coronavirus] It coincides with the peak of the second wave, “she said.
At this stage, it is also impossible to say which percentage of animals infected with the B117 mutant can develop these heart problems. “There is a bit of prejudice because we only see patients with heart disease and only important patients,” says Ferrasin. “My advice is to contact your vet if you think you have any problems with your animal.”
So far, there are only three other cases of the B117 variant reported in pets.All in the last few days, cats and dogs from the same household Texas And cat Italy.. In both households, the owner also tested positive for B117.
Mick Bailey, a professor of comparative immunology at the University of Bristol, said: Ferracin’s treatise shows that B117 can also infect cats and dogs, but don’t be too surprised. Don’t be surprised if your cats and dogs are well infected, given that they appear to be susceptible to human infection.
“Although animal-to-human transmission is theoretically possible, the success of containing human-to-human social interactions strongly suggests that animal-to-human interactions are not a major issue. I will. “
Hosie said: “The message to pet owners is the same. If you have Covid-19, be aware that you can infect your pet. Avoid contact with your pet and if that is not possible , Wear a mask. An example of preparing pet food. “
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