nCoV not the same as canine coronavirus: Vet

[ Nellie N Manpoong ]
ITANAGAR, Feb 3: Veterinarian Dr Yab Mate advised pet owners not to confuse between the novel coronavirus (nCoV) and the canine coronavirus.
“The novel coronavirus is new and in humans, while the canine coronavirus is zoonotic, and the vaccine for it has existed for over two decades,” she said.
While she noted that the coronavirus, as the name suggests, is crown-shaped, she also pointed out that humans and animals share different DNA strains.
“Just as we cannot give a rabies vaccination meant for animals to humans, we cannot give a canine coronavirus vaccination to humans. Their immunology is different and they cannot share the same vaccine,” she said.
“Many pet practitioners outside the state and in the Northeast use the coronavirus vaccination, but many here in the state are yet to encourage the vaccine because the needs of pet parents are considered more,” she said.
On the other hand, the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in humans has created awareness and encouraged pet owners to get their canines vaccinated.
“It is necessary for pet owners to know about the importance of vaccination and deworming, which is important in preventing zoonotic diseases. We should take advantage of the vaccines available. Apart from coronavirus, there are several vaccines in the market for other viral diseases like parvo, canine distemper, para-influenza and leptospirosis,” Dr Mate said.
While she is yet to use a feline coronavirus vaccine, the
veterinarian informed that feline (cat) diseases also have huge zoonotic importance.
“The toxoplasmosis is a protozoan disease spread by cats and is a threat to human life, especially women. It questions our sterility too,” she said.
While she pointed out that the disease does not spread quickly, there is also no vaccination for the disease at the moment. However, she suggested keeping one’s surroundings clean, “especially cat litter (urine and faeces), keeping away from rodents (hosts of toxoplasma) and administrating other available vaccinations.”
“Have your cats tested by your veterinarian for the parasite, and make certain the test results are explained to you. Keep your cat(s) indoors and do not feed them raw meat. Do not eat undercooked meat yourself,” she suggested.
Whether one’s pet has been vaccinated or not, it is always advisable to maintain human as well as pet hygiene by practicing regular hand washing to avoid diseases, Dr Mate added.