Ecovet Blog

COVID-19 and Animals

From Dr. Tim John, a veterinarian and Ecovet founder:

As a practicing veterinarian in the Seattle area, one of the questions I am getting a lot these days is "Are my pets going to give me COVID-19?" And it is an understandable and good question.

To the best of our knowledge, the answer is it is extremely unlikely.

Some of you may have heard about the dogs testing positive in Hong Kong for the virus. It is true that they did isolate the virus from the nasal cavity of two dogs. Here’s where the question gets a little trickier: The original dog was diagnosed with PCR (polymerase chain reaction). This methodology is extremely sensitive to picking up RNA strands of the virus and can detect the presence of even the smallest amount of the virus. Unfortunately, PCR cannot tell if the virus is dead or alive. The question is whether the dog was infected or if the dog happened to be carrying the virus on his nose or around it. However, he was tested multiple times over a few days so it is unlikely that is was contamination from stray virus particles. There is a strong possibility then that in rare circumstances, dogs can be infected, but there is no evidence that they will become sick with this disease. In fact, Idexx Labs, a national veterinary laboratory, did blood tests on a variety of dogs and cats and they did not show any of them mounting an immune response to COVID-19 – they did not seroconvert. This could mean that either they do not convert or that they were not exposed.

So what species can be infected? We are not sure, as there has been conflicting evidence. Some is based on work from the SARS virus, which is structurally closely related. Humans, cats, ferrets and pigs are predicted to be the most susceptible. Recently, a cat from Belgium was diagnosed with COVID-19. The cat’s signs were vomiting, diarrhea and respiratory issues. The virus was detected in the stool, but we do not know what test was done to diagnose this cat. The virus is usually shed in respiratory secretions but can be shed in the stool also.

An even harder question to answer is “What is the difference in being infected vs. being infectious?” Likely, there is an amount of virus that needs to be shed from an animal to be truly infectious to another animal or person. Again, there is no evidence now that the virus is shed in high enough numbers to be infectious to people or other animals.

So what do we need to be concerned about? As with spread from other methods, the biggest threat is from virus being carried on a pet's coat from an infected person. Treat this threat as you would any surface: Wash your hands and don’t touch your face.

So there it is. Clear as mud but, using reasonable precautions, we should all be safe from this form of transmission. I’ll keep my ears open for more details as they become available. I’ll also be enjoying our farm full of animals as I always do.

Independent Study: Ecovet Outperforms All Other Repellents* in Both Efficacy and Duration

Watch the study results in action, and read more below:

A 2019 research study published in the Journal of Economic Entomology confirms that, in head-to-head comparisons with other fly spray products,

Ecovet is the most effective at inhibiting flies AND Ecovet lasts the longest.

 According to the study, and as illustrated by the graph above:

“All products marketed as fly repellents decline in inhibiting flies with time. Natural A [Ecovet] appeared to inhibit flies longer ... ”

The study included a wide range of commercially available repellents, including those marketed as natural and those with synthetic pyrethroids as active ingredients.

Ecovet is the only repellent that lasted more than two days, which means that ... with Ecovet, a little goes a long way.

The additional benefit of Ecovet is that it also helps improve insect-related skin sensitivity.


The natural products outperformed the synthetic (pesticide repellents) at all dilutions and times.

In a survey of horse owners, more than 80% requested more information on nontoxic pest control solutions.

“ ... Natural A [Ecovet] continued to perform at over 75% inhibition at 1 d [day] post-application, even at 50% dilution.”

See the findings for yourself by clicking on the report below:

*Of repellents included in the study: “Behavioral Inhibition of the House Fly (Diptera: Muscidae) When Exposed to Commercial Equine Fly Repellents,” Elizabeth V. Tuorinsky and Erika T. Machtinger, Journal of Economic Entomology, September 2019

Repellents studied: Natural A = Ecovet; Natural B = Equiderma; Natural C = Outsmart; Pyrethroid A = Bronco; Pyrethroid B = Endure; Pyrethroid C = Optiforce; Pyrethroid D = UltraShield Red. Quoted material is directly from the study; graphs were created by Ecovet to illustrate the study data.

Ecovet: Before and After


This fly season, stop spraying toxic pesticides and start spraying the only pesticide-free solution that works and even helps improve insect-related skin sensitivity.

Ecovet is a totally different type of fly spray for horses - it is not a pyrethrin/pyrethroid derivative (which can be toxic), or an essential oil product.

Instead, Ecovet is the first fatty-acid fly repellent for horses, and it now has an updated scent: an herbal blend of lavender with a hint of tea.

Learn more about Ecovet fly spray for horses.

New Scent Is Here!

Just in time for another dreaded fly season, Ecovet fly repellent for horses now has an improved scent based on customer feedback.

Ecovet founder and veterinarian Dr. Tim John describes the new fragrance as an "herbal blend of lavender with a hint of tea."


A totally different type of fly spray, Ecovet is not a pyrethrin/pyrethroid derivative, nor is it an essential oil product. Instead, Ecovet's formulation is 5% each of three different food-grade fatty acids, 84% volatile silicone oil and 1% fragrance. After Ecovet is applied, the three fatty acids evaporate at different rates and create a vapor barrier around the horse. This barrier prevents insects from locating the horse as a potential victim by confusing and overwhelming the bugs' normal directional ability, their "GPS." 

"For our new fragrance formulation, the challenge was to find something that blends nicely with the inherently musky scent of natural fatty acids. We tested many things, but we believe this new herbal blend is a game changer!" explains Dr. John.

The new scent does not impact Ecovet's well-known effectiveness in the battle against flies. 

Ecovet protects horses from flies, gnats, mosquitoes, ticks and lice. Ecovet also improves insect-related skin sensitivity by stopping bugs from finding and landing on horses in the first place. "If a horse isn't bitten, there's less chance for hypersensitivity, aka the dreaded sweet itch," says Dr. John.

An EPA-registered product, Ecovet comes in an 18-oz. bottle and 1-gal. refill, as well as a travel size. Horse owners can look for Ecovet containers with gold "new scent" labels to try the updated fragrance.


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