IDEXX Laboratories Inc said on Monday it would provide veterinarians with a COVID-19 test for pets amid evidence that infected humans could transmit the virus to their pets.
The company advised that veterinarians order the test after consulting a public health authority and only if other common infections have been ruled out in pets showing symptoms and those that have been living in a household with an infected person.
Earlier this month, researchers found that cats and ferrets could catch the coronavirus, prompting the World Health Organization to say it will take a closer look at transmission of the virus between humans and pets.
“While there is currently no evidence that dogs or cats play a role in transmitting the disease to humans… 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,” IDEXX Labs Chief Executive Officer Jay Mazelsky said in a statement.
The company said it would make the test available to veterinarians in North America this week and roll out across most of the world in the coming weeks.