Can Ferrets Get COVID?

COVID-19, also known as the novel coronavirus, has been a topic of concern for humans worldwide. As pet owners, we naturally wonder about the potential impact on our beloved furry friends. In this blog post, let’s explore whether ferrets can contract and transmit COVID-19.

Research studies have shown that ferrets are indeed susceptible to acquiring SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for causing COVID-19 in humans. These studies have observed that when exposed to high viral loads or direct contact with infected individuals, ferrets can become infected themselves.

It is worth noting that while ferrets can contract the virus, they may not always display clinical symptoms. Some studies suggest that they might present as asymptomatic carriers or exhibit mild respiratory signs similar to those seen in human cases.

Just as with humans, transmission of COVID-19 among animals primarily occurs through respiratory droplets expelled by infected individuals. Therefore, if a person carrying the virus were to cough or sneeze near their pet ferret or handle them after touching their face without prior handwashing, there is a chance for transmission.

However, it is important not to panic unnecessarily. Human-to-animal transmission remains relatively rare and isolated incidents rather than widespread concerns involving pets such as cats and dogs during this pandemic.

If you suspect you have been exposed to COVID-19 or test positive for it yourself:

1. Isolate from your pet: It would be best if someone else could take care of your ferret until you have recovered and tested negative.

2. Avoid close contact: Practice social distancing even within your home; maintain physical distance from your pets just like you would with other family members.

3. Hand hygiene: Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after interacting with your ferret or handling their belongings.

Additionally, it is recommended to keep your ferret indoors during the pandemic to minimize the risk of potential exposure from outside sources.

If you suspect that your ferret may have been exposed to COVID-19 or if they are showing signs of respiratory distress, it is crucial to consult a veterinarian promptly. They will be able to provide guidance on testing options, treatment methods, and necessary precautions specific to your situation.

Remember, while we need to stay informed about COVID-19 concerning our pets’ health, excessive worry can lead to unnecessary stress. Following proper hygiene practices and being cautious in high-risk situations will help ensure the safety of both humans and their furry companions.