KEY POINTS

  • The 6-year-old mixed breed dog is the second dog known to test positive for SARS-CoV-2 in the U.S.
  • The canine experienced a sudden neurological illness following which it had to be put down
  • The canine’s owners had recently tested positive for the deadly virus

The Georgia Department of Public Health confirmed Wednesday (July 1) that a dog in the state has become the second known confirmed coronavirus case in a canine in the United States.

“The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) in collaboration with the Georgia Department of Agriculture, the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is confirming SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in a pet dog. This is only the second dog known to test positive for SARS-CoV-2 in the United States,” the department said in a statement.

The canine experienced a sudden neurological illness following which it had to be put down. The canine’s owners had recently tested positive for the deadly virus.

“The 6-year-old mixed breed dog developed sudden onset of neurological illness which progressed rapidly over the course of a couple of days, and was humanely euthanized. The owners of the dog recently tested positive for COVID-19, but the dog did not have any evidence of respiratory disease. Out of an abundance of caution, a SARS-CoV-2 test was performed on the dog. The presumptive positive result was confirmed by the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratory. While the dog did test positive for SARS-CoV-2, the progressive neurological illness was caused by another condition,” the statement said.

A German shepherd in New York was the first dog to test positive for the virus in the U.S. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed in early June that a SARS-CoV-2 test was performed on the canine after it “showed signs of respiratory illness.” The dog’s owner had tested positive for the virus before the canine showed signs.

“Based on the limited information available, the risk of animals spreading the virus to people is considered to be low. There is no justification in taking measures against companion animals that may compromise their welfare,” the department had said in a statement.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 positive people with pets at home are requested to have someone else look after the animals and avoid contact with the pets, including petting and sleeping in the same bed.

dogs are trained to sniff out coronavirus in the UK and Pennsylvania Representational image. Photo: PICNIC-Foto-Soest - Pixabay