The company says it has made the test available in response to customer demand and growing evidence that in rare cases pets living with COVID-19-positive humans can be at risk of infection.
The test will be available to veterinary surgeons in North America this week and will roll out across most of the world in the coming weeks, via the company's worldwide network of laboratories.
Jay Mazelsky, President and Chief Executive Officer of Idexx Laboratories said: "We have continued to monitor the rapidly evolving public health crisis worldwide, paying special attention to the effects on pets.
"While there is currently no evidence that dogs or cats play a role in transmitting the disease to humans, it became clear offering the test was the right thing to do when we saw clinical evidence that pets—especially cats and ferrets—can in rare cases be at risk for infection. And, we heard from our customers around the globe that veterinarians needed a testing option."
Idexx recommends the test is used when three specific criteria are met:
Idexx says leading health authorities agree with the company that transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is primarily person-to-person and advise against testing asymptomatic pets. Since mid-February, the company has tested over 5,000 specimens for the virus, from cats, dogs, and horses with respiratory symptoms in 17 countries. To date, it has found no positive results, suggesting that dogs and cats living with infected people generally remain uninfected, except in rare and isolated cases.
For information about the Idexx SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) RealPCR Test for pets, visit idexx.com/covid19-pet-test.
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Now I see what samples they need glad they didn't take me up on it! Cat looked like 'kidney cat' but kidneys weren't painful and wasn't drinking a lot. He didn't present like pneumonia. He had runny nose very mildly at one point. Cough right at end when getting better for one morning only. Did not show fever. My own temp went low day before I felt viral. Temp did go up a bit but only 37.4C (36.8 my usual highest) Fatigue seems to be the most consistent sign of sars-cov-2 as far as I can make out and breathing diff starts about 7 days later if its going to. Just saying as think there's an over reliance on cough and fever as being the symptoms of infection, cf those possibly being the ones that most likely may lead to requiring treatment. Hope this helpful. I am acting as if I haven't had it to be on safe side but anosmia isn't something I've ever come across in cats with no obvious cause. Interesting to know if anyone else has seen it (other than bunged up stuffy nose cat). Because of timings I think they got it from me.
I offered my cat, as had smell loss for 2 weeks and got nowhere. Symptoms in cat were mainly gi. Both cats showed symptoms but one v v mild. Resp was only 18, tiredness fatigue and one cat seeking heat. Can't think it was anything else. Coughed one morning only. Symptomatic adding fluids to food only and tlc. Good to see them offering it now. Would advise not to let cat sleep on bed if human feeling viral. Almost certainly transmitted I'd say. I didn't lose smell but someone I'd been in contact with did. She was health worker.
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