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

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver. (Black Press Media files)
Judge hears Langley development case that could end in mayor, councillors booted out of council

The conflict of interest case was launched by local voters a year ago

More than 2,300 BC Hydro customers in Langley were without power as a windstorm moved through the community on Nov. 30, 2020. (BC Hydro)
UPDATE: Power restored to 2,300 hydro customers caused by windstorm Langley

Three separate outages were reported related to weather

Stacey Wakelin is running for a seat on the Langley school board left vacant by Megan Dykeman’s election as MLA (special to Langley Advance Times)
Wakelin announces run for Langley school board

Activist seeks seat left vacant by Megan Dykeman’s election as MLA

The South Surrey ‘Underground House’ includes skylights and just one side ‘window’ – this glass door that leads out to a patio. (Contributed photo)
South Surrey ‘underground house’ set to go up for sale

‘Unassuming’ John Kay-designed home include skylights, just one window

Langley RCMP attended a three-car collision on Saturday, Nov. 28 on 200th Street at 72nd Avenue. They have launched an impaired driving investigation. (Black Press Media files)
Langley driver goes into wrong lane, ends up hitting Jetta, Hummer and median

Saturday’s crash was on the first weekend of the CounterAttack campaign to catch impaired drivers

A bus shelter in White Rock is emblazoned with an ad from B.C.’s Office of the Human Rights Commissioner on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (Black Press Media files)
VIDEO: ‘Am I racist?’ campaign asks British Columbians to confront their unconscious biases

Signs asking British Columbians to think about racial injustice have been put up across the province

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka takes over as energy and mines critic for the B.C. Liberal opposition. Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick (right) moves from health critic to assistant deputy speaker. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals pick critics to take on Horgan’s NDP majority

Interim leader Shirley Bond takes seniors, long-term care

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland listens to a question from a reporter on the phone during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Spending too little worse than spending too much, Freeland says as Canada’s deficit tops $381B

‘The risk of providing too little support now outweighs that of providing too much’

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

Still from a video surveillance camera of a man alleged to have stolen from several people at knife-point in Chilliwack (Rosedale) early on Nov. 28, 2020. (Facebook)
B.C. man defends his family against intruder, saves neighbour while wielding hockey stick

RCMP looking for footage that captures violent crime spree in Chilliwack

Harbour seals rest on log booms at Flavelle Mill in Port Hardy. With recent announcements the mill will be getting rid of the log booms, Dr. David Rosen sees an opportunity to study how the disappearance of this highly-frequented refuge for the seals will alter their behaviour in Burrard Inlet. (Photo supplied by David Rosen)
What the heck is going on with marine mamals in Vancouver waterways?

UBC researcher asks why they’re returning, and what role we’re playing

Jim Neufeld, 55, was last seen leaving his home in Penticton Jan. 21, 2009. (RCMP photo)
Human remains found off U.S. coast in 2009 identified as Penticton man

Jim Neufeld, 55, was last seen leaving his home in Penticton Jan. 21, 2009

Former Pitt Meadows mayor John Becker at his former law office. (News files)
Former Pitt Meadows mayor suspended from practising law for 14 months

Statement from John Becker says anxiety and depression played role

Most Read