Can Dogs catch COVID-19?

Coronaviruses have been isolated and identified from dogs since 1971. However, the extremely rare finding of the COVID-19 coronavirus in two dogs is worrying. One dog was an aged Pomeranian and the other a two-year old German Shepherd. Neither dog showed any signs of disease.

More importantly, there is no evidence for the virus to be transmitted from dogs to people which is a huge relief for dog owners. It is far more likely, according to the President of the Australian Veterinary Association, Dr Paula Parker, that the dogs contracted the virus from humans (mechanical transmission through touch etc).

In mammals, including people, coronaviruses cause diarrhoea and respiratory disease. SARS, MERS and COVID-19 affected people show gut problems to some extent even though it is mainly a lung problem. In Hong Kong, SARS infection had 73% of people showing gut disease in one block of apartments. Experts do recommend care when handling faeces (poo) from infected patients.

Probiotics have been shown to compete with microbes in the gut and this includes bacteria, fungi and viruses. TGEV (Transmissible Gastroenteritis Virus) affecting pigs with vomiting, diarrhoea and death, and its variant PRCV (Porcine Respiratory Coronavirus) causing lung disease are two coronaviruses of pigs.

Research published in 2017 showed that Bacillus subtilis (B subtilis) had an antiviral effect against the coronavirus TGEV in the test tube through 4 different mechanisms:

  1. B subtilis produced a surfactin that decreased plaque production (areas of cell destruction)
  2. B subtilis may bind to TGEV and decrease virus particle numbers – reduced virus particles reduce chance of disease
  3. B subtilis competes with TGEV particles for cell entry – no entry means no disease
  4. B subtilis may improve the resistance of cells to TGEV – more resistance less disease

Interestingly, the study states that current vaccines, neither inactivated or attenuated, can provide full protection to pigs.

For the full research paper please follow this link:

For everyone’s information: I have doubled my German Shepherd's Dynavyte Pets MicroBiome Support dose to 20 ml per day ( she was on 10mL as she's not a big type).

From the desk of the Dynavyte Vet.

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