WASHINGTON (AFP) – The first dog to test positive for coronavirus has died in the United States, National Geographic magazine reported, after battling with symptoms that may be familiar to many victims of the virus.
According to the magazine this week, seven-year-old German Shepherd Buddy became ill in April, around the same time that his boss Robert Mahoney was recovering from COVID-19.
Buddy seems to have had difficulty with nose and breathing, and his condition only worsened over the following weeks and months.
Mahoney and his wife Allison, who reside in New York, finally nudged the dog on July 11 after Buddy began vomiting blood clots, unable to urinate and walk.
But the family told National Geographic that they had a difficult time confirming the suspicion that Buddy was infected with SARS-CoV-2.
“Without a shadow of a doubt, I felt that (Buddy) was positive,” Mahoney said, but many of the veins in his area were closed due to the epidemic.
Some of them had doubts about the virus, which was contracting the virus at all. And most of the test supplies were being preserved for human use anyway.
A clinic was eventually able to confirm that Buddy was positive, and found that the family’s 10-month-old puppy – who had never been ill – had antibodies to the virus.
Buddy’s vets later discovered that the dog was also likely to suffer from lymphoma, raising the question of whether animals – like humans – could also be susceptible to severe disease from the new coronovirus with pre-existing conditions Huh.
Neither public health officials nor veterinarians could give much information to the family, he told National Geographic, because there was not enough data about the virus in the animals, beyond the fact that the infection appeared rare.
“We dogs had zero knowledge or experience with the scientific basis of COVID,” Buddy’s testing doctor Robert Cohen told the magazine.
And it seemed to him that neither the city nor federal health officials had much interest in learning from Buddy’s case. By the time they decided to perform necropsy, Buddy had already been cremated.
The official term of the World Health Organization is that pets often do not transmit the virus to their owners.
But Shelly Rankin, a vet at the University of Pennsylvania, said more study is necessary.
“If we are telling the world that the prevalence (of animal cases) is low, then we have to look at the high number of animals”, he said.
According to National Geographic, twelve dogs and 10 cats have tested positive for coronovirus in the US.
Mahoney says that he wants Buddy’s story to be heard.
“(He was) a good little pumpkin. I just want us to keep him for a long time,” Allison Mahoney said.