Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Scott Weese on COVID-19 and Pets; Remembering Dr. Peter Sakas on WGN Radio
When it comes to pets and COVID-19, one of the most respected sources on the planet is Dr. Scott Weese. I officially proclaim Dr. Scott Weese the Dr. Anthony Fauci of veterinary medicine.
Truly when veterinary professionals get up in the morning, the blog they check is Worms & Germs Blog. I am honored to talk with Dr. Weese, professor Ontario Veterinary College and an infectious disease specialist who is world renown. Warning: Before listening to our conversation about transmission of COVID-19 and pets, he’s a total science guy and an absolute straight shooter.
We begin by discussing the big cats presumably infected – one tiger confirmed – at the Bronx Zoo. How did they become infected? What about the possibility the big cats spread the novel corona virus to one another.
He talks about his concerns, though, regarding cats and also ferrets – and their potential susceptibility to the SARS (Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome) – as COVID-19 is caused by a SARS virus (SARS-CoV-2). Dr. Weese explains how and why this may be the case. “This is a human disease, we’re trying to see if there are a small component of animals we need to pay attention to.”
I counter Dr. Weese just a bit talking about how now well over a million (we know about and many more we don’t know about) around the world have been positive for COVID-19, yet only a handful of dogs and cats (we know about) positive for COVID-19. Dr. Weese responds like the scientist he is – seeking more data.
Dr. Weese comments on the diagnostic lab, IDEXX and their study in which thousands of animals have been tested and not a single positive for COVID-19. More recently, another diagnostic lab, Antech conducted a similar study, and also not a single positive for COVID-19.
He offers recommendations, many consistent with the American Veterinary Medical Association.
No – there’s absolutely no reason to give up on your pets, and he explains why – based on science.
Tribute to Dr. Peter Sakas
Chicago and the world of veterinary medicine lost a rock star, as Dr Peter Sakas of Niles Animal Hospital recently succumbed to COVID-19. HEAR my conversation with Peter’s brother Bill and his daughter Dr. Courtney Sakas.
Dr. Courtney is a human health physician who has treated many with COVID-19, as we discuss the course that COVID-19 sometimes takes.
Dr. Courtney says she actually recalls when she was a kid visiting WGN radio with her dad when he appeared on my show.
Bill discusses where Peter’s love and passion for avian medicine came from. And how from a young age, he wanted to be a veterinarian – and he turned out to be a great one, even for Elizabeth Taylor.
No Rabbits Now
Impulse pet purchases are never a good idea – but especially not getting a rabbit just because it’s Easter. If you really want a rabbit, the Red Door Animal Shelter – after Easter – might be a good idea.