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Dog with respiratory distress dies in North Carolina, tests positive for coronavirus

Dog with respiratory distress dies in North Carolina, tests positive for coronavirus
Posted at 12:34 PM, Aug 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-12 12:40:16-04

RALEIGH, N.C. – The state of North Carolina has reported its first case of a dog testing positive for the novel coronavirus and the canine sadly died.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) says the dog’s owner brought it to the NC State Veterinary Hospital on Aug. 3 after it showed signs of respiratory distress earlier in the day. It then succumbed to its "acute illness."

The owner told staff that a member of the family had previously tested positive for COVID-19 and later tested negative, according to NCDHHS.

Officials say samples were then collected from the dog and tested for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The tests later confirmed the pup was positive for the virus.

A necropsy has been performed on the dog to try to determine the animal’s state of health at the time of the death and the cause of death, but the investigation in ongoing.

“Based on the information available, the risk of animals spreading the virus to people is considered to be low,” said Dr. Carl Williams, State Public Health Veterinarian.

NCDHHS says if pet owners are concerned about the health of their dogs, they should contact their veterinarian and discuss the symptoms before bringing them to the veterinarian office.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says there currently is no evidence that pets play a significant role in spreading the coronavirus.

“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.

The CDC says it’s still learning about the virus, but it appears that it can spread from people to animals in some situation, especially after close contact with a person with COVID-19. There are still only a small amount of reports of this happening.

Click here for information about protecting your pets from possible SARS-CoV-2 infection.