Testing for COVID-19 in pets is available at Rose Valley Vet. Image: Pixabay

Testing for COVID-19 in pets is available at Rose Valley Vet. Image: Pixabay

West Kelowna vet now offering COVID-19 testing for pets

An animal COVID-19 test at Rose Valley Veterinary Hospital costs about $200

While there is no evidence to support that pets play a role in transmitting COVID-19 to humans, it doesn’t mean fluffy family members can’t contract the virus.

Earlier this month a lion at the Bronx Zoo tested positive for the novel coronavirus, as did two cats in New York whose owners had COVID-19.

The Canadian Veterinarian Medical Association is working with the World Organization for Animal Health to better understand the susceptibility of different animal species to the COVID-19 virus and to assess infection dynamics in susceptible animal species.

In the meantime, keeping pets safe from COVID-19 is top of mind for some owners. This is why Rose Valley Veterinary Hospital in West Kelowna has been asking the Animal Health Centre for COVID-19 tests for animals.

Dr. Moshe Oz said he finally got a call from a lab in Vancouver that tests are available for animals and his hospital has access to them.

“We now can test pets for COVID-19 and it will take only one to three business days to get the results,” he explained.

If a pet is showing signs of respiratory distress it is possible to test them, however, Dr. Oz explained that each animal must meet certain criteria to be tested and he must discuss their symptoms with the chief veterinarian officer.

An animal can be tested if:

  • The pet is living with a human who has tested positive or displaying signs of COVID-19.
  • Other respiratory or common infection issues have been ruled out.
  • The pet is showing symptoms of COVID-19.

“I will collect swabs as well as stool samples from the animals depending on what symptoms they are displaying,” said Dr. Oz. “If the test comes back positive we will have to deal with that then, as it will be the first in Canada and this is an unprecedented issue.”

READ MORE: B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Tests for pets are available at other veterinary clinics in the Okanagan and cost about $200.

As a precautionary measure, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency recommends that people with COVID-19 symptoms or those who are self-isolating due to contact with a COVID-19 case, should follow similar recommendations around animals, as they would around other people in these circumstances:

  • Until we learn more about how this virus affects animals, treat pets as you would other human family members to protect them from a potential infection.
  • Do not let pets interact with people or other animals outside the household.
  • Keep cats indoors when possible to prevent them from interacting with other animals or people.
  • Walk dogs on a leash, maintaining at least six feet (two metres) from other people and animals.
  • Avoid contact with your pet including, petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food or bedding.
  • Practise good hand-washing and avoid coughing and sneezing on your animals.

READ MORE: More information needed after dog’s weak positive COVID-19 test result: expert


@Jen_zee
jen.zielinski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusPets

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Two cyclists traverse a closed Bernard Avenue in downtown Kelowna on June 29, 2020. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
Kelowna recognized as bike-friendly city

City earns bronze in nationwide Bicycle Friendly Communities award program

A COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Lakeside Medicine Centre Pharmacy in Kelowna on Sunday, May 2, 2021. (Amandalina Letterio/Capital News)
Almost 9K more COVID-19 vaccinations administered in Central Okanagan within a week

Close to 70,000 Central Okanagan residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine

Quails’ Gate wine bottles. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media file)
West Kelowna winery Quails’ Gate named as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies

This is the fifth consecutive year that the winery has received the national honour

The Kelowna Rockets suffered their second-straight loss on May 4, falling 2-1 to the Prince George Cougars. (Contributed)
Kelowna Rockets drop second-straight to Prince George Cougars

The Rockets were shut down in all five powerplay attempts

Mount Boucherie Secondary School. (Black Press Media file)
COVID-19 exposure identified at West Kelowna high school

Interior Health confirms COVID-19 exposure at Mount Boucherie Secondary School

FILE – Pharmacist Barbara Violo shows off a vile of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the Junction Chemist, an independent pharmacy in Toronto, Friday, March 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Looking for the nearest COVID shot? Tech entrepreneur creates texting software in B.C

Zain Manji says app took just one or two hours to create

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19

Large droplets, not aerosols had been fixture of public health messaging for many months

George Ryga, considered by many as Canada’s most important English playwright lived in Summerland from 1963 until his death in 1987. He is the inspiration for the annual Ryga Arts Festival. (Contributed)
Summerland archive established for George Ryga

Renowned author wrote novels, poetry, stage plays and screen plays from Summerland home

Grizzly bear. (File)
Malakwa man bitten by grizzly bear on dog walk

The man and dogs were not seriously injured

Mary Kitagawa was born on Salt Spring Island and was seven years old when she was interned along with 22,000 B.C. residents in 1942. (B.C. government video)
B.C. funds health services for survivors of Japanese internment

Seniors describe legacy of World War II displacement

Meghan Gilley, a 35-year-old emergency room doctor and new mom was vaccinated from COVID-19 in January, while she was pregnant. She’s encouraging others to do the same. (Submitted)
‘The best decision’: B.C. mom encourages other pregnant women to get COVID-19 shot

Meghan Gilley, 35, delivered a healthy baby after being vaccinated against the virus while pregnant

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(File photo)
Ex Okanagan man’s escorted-leave ‘beyond disappointing’: murder victim’s mother

Shane Ertmoed was convicted of first-degree murder in the 2000 death of 10-year-old Heather Thomas

Former Vernon Panthers football standout Ben Hladik of the UBC Thunderbirds (top, in a game against the Manitoba Bisons, making one of his 38 Canada West solo tackles in 2019), was chosen by the in Tuesday’s 2021 Canadian Football League draft. (Rich Lam - UBC Thunderbirds photo)
B.C. Lions call on Vernon standout in CFL draft

Canadian Football League club selects former VSS Panthers star Ben Hladik in third round of league draft

Most Read