In mid-April, a seven-year-old German Shepherd dog named Buddy developed breathing problems in Staten Island, New York. He became the first dog in the United States to be confirmed positive for the novel coronavirus. It seems like Buddy contracted the virus from his owner Robert Mahoney who was just recovering from COVID-19.
In an exclusive interview with Buddy’s family, Robert and Allison Mahoney told that their 7-year-old developed a breathing problem in the mid of April and had been suffering from the coronavirus for more than a few weeks. On May 15, a month after his death he started wheezing and developing thick mucus in his nose a veterinarian tested him positive for the virus.
Later by May 20 he indicated no symptoms of COVID-19 and so was tested negative for the virus despite the fact that he did have the pathogens for it. After some time, all of a sudden Buddy began to lose weight and had trouble walking. Later on June 11, he started to vomit clotted blood. Buddy’s family and the veterinarians stood helpless as there was nothing more they could do to help Buddy, so they were pushed to agree on the fact that only euthanizing him would end his sufferings. Due to this action, Buddy passed away on June 11.
As we are not yet fully aware of the risks humans face because of COVID-19 we had zero knowledge or experience of the virus on dogs before Buddy. What we do know now is that pets can contract the virus from its owner but they most likely do not often transmit the virus to their owners.
On the grounds of this Kate Grusich, a spokesperson for the Centers for Disease Control says “This case further highlights the importance of pet owners with COVID-19 avoiding contact with pets and other animals during their illness to prevent spreading the virus to them”.