First dog to test positive for coronavirus in US dies, says report

WION Web Team Washington, DC, United States of America Jul 31, 2020, 07.22 AM(IST)

Coronavirus in dogs Photograph:( AFP )

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Buddy, the seven-year-old German shepherd became sick in April, around the same time his owner Robert Mahoney was recovering from COVID-19, according to the National Geographic magazine.

The first dog to test positive for the coronavirus in the United States has died, after struggling with symptoms that may be familiar to many of the virus's human sufferers.

Buddy, the seven-year-old German shepherd became sick in April, around the same time his owner Robert Mahoney was recovering from COVID-19, according to the National Geographic magazine.

Buddy seemed to have a stuffed nose and difficulty in breathing, and his condition only worsened over the following weeks and months. 

Mahoney and his wife Allison, who live in New York, eventually euthanised the dog on July 11 after Buddy began vomiting  blood clots, urinating blood and was unable to walk. 

But the family told National Geographic they had a hard time confirming their suspicion that Buddy was infected with SARS-CoV-2. 

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A clinic was finally able to confirm that Buddy was positive, and found that the family's puppy -- who was never sick -- had virus antibodies. 

Buddy's vets later discovered the dog was likely also suffering from lymphoma, raising the question of whether animals -- like humans -- with pre-existing conditions might also be more susceptible to serious illness from the new coronavirus. 

Neither public health officials nor veterinarians could offer the family much information, because there was not enough data about the virus in animals, beyond the fact that infection appeared to be rare. 

And it seemed to them that neither city nor federal health authorities were very interested in learning from Buddy's case. By the time they decided to do a necropsy, Buddy had already been cremated. 

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The official word from the World Health Organisation is that pets likely do not often transmit the virus to their owners. 

Twelve dogs and 10 cats have tested positive for coronavirus in the US, according to National Geographic.