FILE – A dog in Ontario has tested positive for COVID-19. (Pixabay)

FILE – A dog in Ontario has tested positive for COVID-19. (Pixabay)

Ontario dog believed to be first in Canada to test positive for COVID-19

Officials said that the risk of infection and illness in most domestic animals is low

A dog from the Niagara region in Ontario has tested positive for COVID-19, according to the agriculture, food and rural affairs ministry.

In a Friday (Oct. 23) advisory, the animal and welfare branch in the office of the chief veterinarian said they received notice of a dog infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

“The animal was tested as part of a research study, following diagnosis of COVID-19 in several people in the same household. This dog did not have any clinical signs of disease,” the ministry stated in its release.

Officials said that the risk of infection and illness in most domestic animals is low, but that current evidence suggests that mink, ferrets, cats and rarely dogs can get the virus. What this means for the animals is still uncertain.

The World Organization for Animal Health said that there is “no evidence that animal are playing a role in the spread of this predominantly human disease.” There have not been any confirmed cases of a pet transmitting the virus to another animal or to a human under regular conditions, as this infection took place as part of a study.

“Many of the naturally infected animals that have been reported in other countries did not show observable signs of illness,” the ministry said. “Clinical illness has been reported in mink and experimentally infected cats and is suspected in some naturally exposed cats.”

Overall, coronaviruses – which include COVID-19, SARS and some strains of the common cold – can cause respiratory or gastrointestinal issues in animals.

The ministry recommends that people who have COVID-19 symptoms or are self-isolating should limit contact with their pets, and make sure the pets are not in contact with other animals or people. Outside of studies, animals are not being tested for COVID-19 at this time.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusDogsPets

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

Just Posted

Wild Wise Sooke is pushing to get local waste management companies to hop on board to provide bear-resistant bins as an option for residents. On Nov. 23, Sooke council voted to write a letter of support for Wild Wise to send to companies such as GFL Environmental Inc. and Sooke Disposal Ltd. (Black Press Media file photo)
Wild Wise Sooke continues push for bear-resistant bins as option for residents

Bins could cost anywhere from $150 to $300 or more, according to 2019 study

Goldstream Gazette is holding the first annual Local Hero Awards ceremony on the West Shore on June 18. Deadline for nominations is on May 2. (Arnold Lim/News Staff)
Nominate your West Shore hero today!

Submit your application to one of 12 different categories before Jan. 4

Island Health has reported a COVID-19 outbreak at Saanich Peninsula Hospital. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Four new COVID-19 cases added to Saanich Peninsula Hospital outbreak

Inital round of patient testing is complete, staff testing continues

A rendering of Victoria Wonderland, a drive-thru immersive holiday experience that has been cancelled due to COVID-19. (Courtesy of Transcend Victoria)
Victoria Wonderland drive-thru show cancelled due to COVID-19

Organizers hope to host a similar event, if restrictions allow, in the new year

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

(AP Photo/Paula Bronstein)
POLL: Has COVID-19 changed your plans for the holidays?

The lights are going up, the stacks of presents under the tree… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 1

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Watch Messiah at home with the Sooke Philharmonic

Concert available to stream Dec. 12

Emergency crews used a backhoe loader to clear fire debris from the scene of a fire on Wesley Street Thursday as police and firefighters gathered up propane tanks, stoves and fireplaces used by camp residents to heat tents. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
City of Nanaimo dismantles downtown homeless encampment after fire

Four to six tents burned up in Wesley Street fire Thursday, Dec. 3

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

BC Ambulance Services reassures people that the service is well staffed and ready to respond. Photo by Don Bodger
BC Ambulance assures the Island community they’re ‘fully staffed’

‘Paramedics are not limited to a geographical area.’ — BCEHS

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

Most Read