Pet owners should not panic about dogs dying after COVID-19 infection


How do dogs respond to COVID-19?

Getty / Darian Tyner

Coronavirus Epidemics are often discussed in the context of waves. First waves, second waves. Information around the epidemic works in a similar way, especially as scientists learn more about how the disease spreads and which ones – or what – are insects.

Several companion animals tested positive for COVID-19 during the early days of the epidemic. In March, a 17-year-old dog became infected in Hong Kong. He later died, but COVID-19 was not considered the main cause. Bronx zoo tigers were also found infected, Likely by a human handler also tested positive for the disease. The animals were expected to fully recover.

Pet owners have long been concerned that their pets may catch or stretch COVID-19. After i publish A story on COVID-19 in pets Back in May, I was inundated with requests for information and help. “Can my dogs get coronavirus? And what do I do if they do it ?? How do I know and I can kill them?” A reader asked via email. Another asked if they should be wary of transferring COVID-19 between the homes and cats they care for. Based on scientific evidence acquired on stomach-related COVID-19, it appears that many people had nothing to worry about – a very small number of companion animals were infected.

But recently the story about the death of a dog in America has caused significant confusion.

On Wednesday, National Geographic published a heartbreaking story about Buddy, a seven-year-old German Shepherd who recently, months after being infected with SARS-CoV-2, caused the coronavirus that caused COVID-19 It is made. This is a well-researched, well-written and timely piece, which gives a second look at how COVID-19 can affect pets.

Reportedly, Buddy became ill with COVID-19 in mid-April. He tested positive for the disease in June, the first American dog to test positive. He died on 11 July. However, medical records have shown that Buddy was “likely to have lymphoma, a type of cancer.” Lymphoma is a common cancer for dogs that affects the lymph nodes. However, this important point was not expressed in the title of the story, which led to a flood of similar headlines to appear online.

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COVID-19 was trending on Thursday.

Twitter

The day after the story broke on National Geographic, Twitter posted with a headline “The first dog in America to test positive for COVID-19 died.”

There is nothing inherently untrue about these headlines. They are factual: Big did Test positive for COVID-19. But the cause of his death is certainly not linked to the disease. He did not test positive for the disease at the time of his death.

Glenn Browning, a veterinarian specialist at the University of Melbourne, Australia, says, “There are a lot of things that are a bigger threat to dogs and cats than COVID-19.”

But as is often the case in media storms surrounding coronoviruses, nuance is lost in the headlines, causing unnecessary fear and panic. Buddy, according to the blood work done after his death, “almost certainly” had lymphoma.

“It seems that this was a dog that was compromised very seriously at first,” notes Browning.

But as Net Geo’s piece correctly points out, there is a lack of how COVID-19 affects dogs and cats. This is the main premise of this story: We need more information about how COVID-19 can affect cats and dogs, and we need more transparent reporting of symptoms and possible treatments for infected animals.

But it was not sold that way and in an epidemic, where misinformation is constantly being thrown around with little scrutiny on social media, it is a problem as other news organizations follow suit, prompting the initial confusion Do less.

As far as scientists are aware, it does not appear that co-animals play a role in the transmission of COVID-19. Owners with COVID-19 may be able to infect their pets, but no pet-to-human transfer has been recorded.

Trevor Drew, director of the Australian Animal Health Laboratory, said, “There is no evidence that companion animals play any role in the epidemiology of the disease.” Told CNET in May. Browning agrees.

“Clearly, it can sometimes cause disease in dogs,” he says. “I am concerned that people consider dogs to be a cause of concern for human infection and this is complete nonsense.”

The CDC’s official advice is to “limit your pet’s interactions with people outside their home.” It also suggests restricting contact with pets and animals if you are ill. If your pet becomes ill, call the vet and tell them that you have become ill with COVID-19.

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