Dog dies of breathing problems after testing positive for virus causing Covid-19

A dog that died after demonstrating signs of respiratory distress has tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus in humans.

The tragic incident occurred in North Carolina, US, when the animal was taken to the the NC State Veterinary Hospital in Raleigh on Monday, August 3.

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) said on Tuesday, August 11, that the animal arrived demonstrating signs of respiratory distress and unfortunately succumbed to its illness.

The beloved pet's owner alerted staff that a member of the family had previously tested positive for Covid-19 and later was tested negative.

Samples collected from the dog were tested for the SARS-CoV-2 virus with a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test in the hospital diagnostic laboratory and were then sent to the National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) for confirmatory testing.

The NCDHHS says those tests confirmed a positive result, indicating a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 case per the national case definition developed by the United States Department of Agriculture.

A necropsy was performed to try to determine the animal’s state of health at the time of death and the cause of death, and the complete investigation is still ongoing.

"Based on the information available, the risk of animals spreading the virus to people is considered to be low," Dr. Carl Williams, State Public Health Veterinarian, said in a news release.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, there is currently no evidence that pets play a significant role in spreading the virus.

"There is no indication at this time that dogs can transmit the virus to other animals, so there is no justification in taking measures against companion animals that may compromise their welfare," said State Veterinarian Dr. Doug Meckes.

According to the CDC and the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, there is currently no evidence that pets play a significant role in spreading the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Anyone concerned about the health of their dog should contact their veterinarian and discuss the dog’s symptoms before bringing them to the veterinarian office.

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