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The first dog to be positive for coronavirus in the United States dies: Report



WASHINGTON: The first dog to test positive for coronavirus in the United States has died, National Geographic magazine reported, after struggling with symptoms that may be familiar to most people suffering from the virus.
Buddy the seven-year-old German shepherd was ill in April, around the same time his owner Robert Mahoney was recovering from Covid-19, according to the magazine this week.
Buddy appeared to have a stuffy nose and difficulty breathing, and his condition only worsened during the following weeks and months.
Mahoney and his wife Allison, who live in New York, eventually euthanized the dog on July 11 after Buddy started vomiting blood clots, urinating blood and unable to walk.
But the family told National Geographic they were hard to confirm their suspicion that Buddy was infected with SARS-CoV-2.
“Without a shadow of a doubt, I thought (Buddy) that it was positive,” Mahoney said, but many veterinarians in their area were shut down due to the pandemic.
Some of them were skeptical about pets contracting the virus. And most of the testing supplies were being conserved for human use anyway.
At the last clinic she was able to confirm that Buddy was positive, and found that the family’s ten-month-old puppy ̵
1; who had never been ill – had virus antibodies.
Buddy’s veterinarians later discovered that the dog is also likely to suffer from lymphoma, raising the question of whether animals – like humans – with pre-existing conditions may be more prone to serious illness than the new coronavirus.
Neither public health officials nor veterinarians could offer much information to the family, National Geographic told them, because there was insufficient data on the virus in animals, beyond the fact that the infection was rarely seen.
“We had zero knowledge or experience with the scientific basis of COVID in dogs,” Robert Cohen, the veterinarian who tested Buddy, told the magazine.
And it seemed to them that neither the city nor the federal health authorities were very interested in learning from Buddy’s case. By the time they decided to do an autopsy, Buddy had already been cremated.
The official word from the World Health Organization is that pets are unlikely to often transmit the virus to their owners.
But Shelley Rankin, a veterinarian at the University of Pennsylvania, said more study is needed.
“If we are telling the world that the prevalence (of animal cases) is low, then we have to look at high numbers” of animals, she said.
Twelve dogs and 10 cats tested positive for coronavirus in the United States, according to National Geographic.
The Mahoneys say they want Buddy’s story to be heard.
“(He was) a good pumpkin. I still gave him more for a while,” Allison Mahoney said.

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