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First coronavirus positive pet dog in US dies: Report

Prior to the dog showing signs, one of its owners, Robert Mahoney, had tested positive for COVID-19, and another had symptoms consistent with the virus.

July 31, 2020 / 02:07 PM IST

A German shepherd, 'Buddy', which was the first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus infection in a pet dog in the US has died, according to a report.

In June, the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) had announced the dog being the first pet in the US testing positive for the virus SARS-CoV-2 behind the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior to the dog showing signs, one of its owners, Robert Mahoney, had tested positive for COVID-19, and another had symptoms consistent with the virus.

The owners told National Geographic that Buddy developed breathing problems in mid-April after Mahoney had been sick with the novel coronavirus for several weeks.

According to the report, Buddy's health declined steadily after he developed breathing problems and thick nasal mucus in April, and he was euthanised on July 11 after he started vomiting clotted blood.

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While it is unknown whether the SARS-CoV-2 virus played a role in Buddy's death, blood tests indicated the dog may have had lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system.

According to the USDA, there is currently no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the coronavirus.

However, the novel coronavirus may spread from people to animals in some situations.

The evidence for this was reported in a study of two dogs in Hong Kong, published in May in the journal Nature, showing evidence of infection with the virus.

Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.

first published: Jul 31, 2020 01:55 pm