FOUNTAIN VALLEY, CALIF. — Throughout the development of COVID-19 as a global pandemic, Antech Diagnostics, a division of Mars Petcare, has monitored the spread of the virus through companion animals and upheld the conclusion of several leading health organizations that it is currently not being transmitted by cats or dogs.
The company reaffirmed its findings on April 10, saying it has still found no evidence of the virus in its ongoing polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing of dog and cat samples.
"As understanding about this new coronavirus deepens, our professional community and pet owners are fortunate to be guided by several highly respected human and animal health organizations," Jennifer Ogeer, vice president of medical affairs and commercial marketing at Antech. "These organizations are continually analyzing, validating and interpreting emerging data to inform and update their recommendations, which should guide our actions and increase pet owner confidence. Their diligence allows us to seek continued solace in the joyful distraction and comfort our pets can give us during this time."
Antech’s surveillance program has been and continues to track cases of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans. The company is using samples from dogs and cats around the world to conduct PCR testing and, so far, no cases of the virus in these animals has been validated.
“We are actively monitoring the situation and communicating regularly with our academic partners, veterinary customers, veterinary health organizations and government agencies internationally,” Ogeer said.
Additionally, IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. another global veterinary diagnostics and software company, has evaluated thousands of samples in its development of a new veterinary test for SARS-CoV-2, which align with the global consensus that pets are not currently transmitting the virus to humans.
"Should leading health authorities determine it is clinically relevant to test pets for the COVID-19 virus, IDEXX will be ready to make the IDEXX SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) RealPCR™ Test available," said Jay Mazelsky, president and chief executive officer of IDEXX Laboratories. "Pets are important members of our family, and we want to keep them healthy and safe. We will continue to monitor COVID-19 and pet health across our global IDEXX Reference Laboratories network as this situation evolves."
IDEXX recommended that, at this time, pets exhibiting signs of respiratory illness should consult a veterinarian to test for other common respiratory issues or illnesses.
Ogeer added, “We’re grateful to be aligned in a shared mission to protect the health and safety of both companion animals and humans, and stand ready to share data from our surveillance program to dispel misinformation, protect public health and support our veterinary customers as needs evolve.”
Organizations such as the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and a few others are also providing accurate information based on substantiated testing results.
Antech, IDEXX and other leading companion animal health organizations will continue to provide updates on the status of their surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 in companion animals and will alert any discovery of the virus in pets to health authorities immediately.
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