It is unclear whether Buddy died from coronavirus complications, which he most likely contracted from his owner, Robert Mahoney, who tested positive this spring, or whether he died of lymphoma.
Two veterinarians who were not part of his treatment, but who reviewed Buddy’s medical records for National Geographic, told the publication that the dog certainly had cancer.
“It’s unclear if the cancer made him more susceptible to coronavirus contraction, or if the virus made him sick, or if it was just a case of random time,” the magazine reported.
The dog got sick in April and Mahoney suspected he had the virus, but it was not until mid-May that the family finally found a vet who would test him and who confirmed that Buddy was infected.
“You tell people your dog was positive, and they look at you (as if you have) ten heads,”; Robert Mahoney’s owner and wife, Allison, told the magazine.
“Samples from the dog were taken after showing signs of respiratory disease,” the USDA reported at the time. “The dog is expected to make a full recovery.”
But that did not happen. Budi’s health continued to deteriorate. By July 11, Allison Mahoney told National Geographic she had found Buddy shed blood clots.
“It looks like his insects were coming out. He had it all. He was coming from his nose and mouth. We knew nothing could be done from him from there. What are you going to do about a dog with that? But he had “the will to live. He did not want to go,” she said. Mahoneys decided it was time to euthanize their beloved dog.
There is no mandatory testing requirement for pets living with Covid-19-positive people, so it is unknown how many pets in the US can be infected and whether those with basic health conditions, similar to people, may be at greater risk.
“The second dog to test positive in the US, Georgia and the sixth dog, in South Carolina, both have died, for example, and their deaths are attributed to other conditions,” National Geographic reported.
The Mahoney family is outraged by the loss of Buddy, National Geographic reported, and irritated by their struggle to diagnose and care for the dog.
“(Buddy) was the love of our lives. … He brought joy to everyone. I can not wrap my head around him,” said Allison Mahoney.