Idexx Laboratories Inc. has evaluated thousands of canine and feline specimens during its validation of a new veterinary test system for the COVID-19 virus, more commonly known as the coronavirus, and it has some good news for pet owners.

The Westbrook-based veterinary diagnostics company said it has seen no positive results in either cats or dogs, confirming earlier assessments that the most popular household pets cannot contract the disease.

“These new test results align with the current expert understanding that COVID-19 is primarily transmitted person-to-person and supports the recommendation against testing pets for the COVID-19 virus,” the company said in a news release. “For dogs or cats presenting with respiratory signs, the recommendation is to contact a veterinarian to test for more common respiratory pathogens.”

Idexx will make the tests publicly available if “leading health authorities determine it is clinically relevant to test pets” for the coronavirus, said Jay Mazelsky, the company’s president and CEO, in the release.

“Pets are important members of our family, and we want to keep them healthy and safe,” Mazelsky said. “We will continue to monitor COVID-19 and pet health across our global Idexx Reference Laboratories network as this situation evolves.”

The Idexx Reference Laboratories comprise a global network of more than 80 laboratories, the company said.


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