Health officials in North Carolina said Tuesday that a dog that died of COVID-19-like respiratory symptoms was the first dog in the state to test positive for coronavirus.
The dog was admitted to NC State Veterinary Hospital Aug. 3 after showing signs of respiratory distress earlier that day, officials said.
“The dog, unfortunately, succumbed to his acute illness,” the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said in a news release. “The client informed staff that a family member had previously tested positive for COVID-19 and later tested negative.”
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The dog was a Newfoundland male who was about 8 years old, NC State University spokesman Mick Kulikowski told the Charlotte Observer.
The dog was referred to NC State after being seen by his veneer, Kulikowski said, according to the newspaper.
Officials did not release the dog’s name or put the place where he and his owner lived.
The notice says that a necropsy was performed to determine the health status of the animal at the time of death and the cause of death. The results were pending.
“Based on the information available, the risk of animals spreading the virus to humans is considered to be low,” said Dr. Carl Williams, State Public Health Veterinarian.
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State Veterinary Dr. Doug Meckes said there was no indication at this time that dogs could transmit the virus to other animals “so there is no justification in taking action against companion animals that could endanger their well-being.”
In April, media in North Carolina reported that a punch called Winston in Chapel Hill was positive for COVID-19 after being tested at Duke University. Winston was believed to be the first dog to come down with the virus in the US
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But further tests later showed the pit had never had the virus, according to WRAL-TV on Tuesday.