A bit about animal coronavirus

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I decided this week to research animal coronavirus! After much reading and several cups of coffee,it seems I found proper reference !

Several years ago I visited friends in Sacramento that are puppy raisers for Canine Companions For Independence out of Santa Rosa. During my stay I was given a tour at U.C. Davis Veterinary Medicine. A wonderful interesting campus.

I will use mainly reference from their information and a bit from just internet information.

Research shows that lots of animals are vulnerable to coronavirus, a large, hardy and sprawling family of pathogens. Birds get avian coronavirus. Pigs get porcine coronavirus. Cows get bovine coronavirus. Horses get equine coronavirus.

Dogs are sickened by canine coronavirus disease. It’s a quick but miserable disease, causing diarrhea, vomiting and intestinal distress. It spreads through feces, when your pup eats poop.

Dogs can also be infected by a respiratory form of coronavirus, which causes coughs, sneezes and mobs of mucus.

When cats get coronaviruses, it’s usually not a big deal. They may suffer flu-like symptoms or feel perfectly fine. But ever so often, in 5 to 10% of infected cats, the virus mutates and causes Feline Infectious Peritonitis — which is progressive and almost always fatal. It’s a heartbreaking disease, usually striking kittens.

The virus gets its name from the fact that when viewed from above under an electron microscope, the virus has a ring of projections that appear like a coronet, or a small crown made of ornaments fixed on a metal ring.

Coronaviruses from various animals can swap genes, making them more easily interchangeable. Some of the cat coronaviruses, for example, have incorporated genes from pig and dog coronaviruses, according to Dr. Niels C. Pedersen of UC-Davis. This gene-swapping happens when they infect the same animal simultaneously.

Infection from some animals is possible when we share similar receptors on the surface of our cells, according to Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance, which studies the origins of viruses. If an animal virus can bind to a human cell receptor, it makes us sick.

That’s probably what’s behind the current outbreak; we share similar cell receptors with bats, known carriers of the new virus.

But cats, dogs and humans are just too different.

There have been no reported cases of pets getting the new human virus. And there don’t seem to be any cases of people giving the human virus to their pets.

Email Brenda: petnews73@gmail.com

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