The first dog to test positive for coronavirus in the United States has died, the magazine reports National Geographic, after experiencing symptoms apparently similar to those of many humans. Buddy, a seven-year-old German Shepherd, fell ill in April, around the same time his owner Robert Mahoney was himself recovering from Covid-19, the magazine said this week. He appeared to have a stuffy nose and difficulty breathing, and his condition continued to deteriorate over the weeks.
Robert Mahoney and his wife Allison, who live in New York City, finally decided to euthanize the dog on July 11 when Buddy started vomiting blood clots, blood in his urine and unable to walk.
The family told National Geographic suspecting he had the disease but it was difficult to confirm it. “Without a shadow of a doubt, I thought (Buddy) was positiveRobert Mahoney said. But not only were several vets in his area closed due to the pandemic, some were also skeptical about the possibility of an animal catching Covid-19.
A clinic was finally able to confirm that Buddy was indeed infected, and that the other animal in the family, a 10-month-old puppy who had never been sick, had antibodies to the virus.
Doctors who treated Buddy later found that the dog was also probably suffering from lymphoma, which could indicate that, like humans, animals with a medical history may be more likely to become seriously ill from the new coronavirus.
Officially, according to the World Health Organization, pets do not often transmit the virus to their owners. Twelve dogs and 10 cats have tested positive for coronavirus in the United States, according to National Geographic.