Dog With COVID-19 Did Not Transmit Virus To Second Pet

Jul 10, 2020
Originally published on July 9, 2020 3:14 pm

A dog that tested positive for coronavirus in Georgia last week did not pass the disease to a second dog in the home,  state health officials said Thursday.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Pet Dog In Georgia Tests Positive For COVID-19

The 6-year-old mixed breed dog's owners had tested positive for COVID-19, and that dog developed what health officials called a "sudden onset of neurological illness," without any signs of respiratory disease. That dog was euthanized.

"Final necropsy results confirm the dog’s cause of death was a brain tumor, not COVID-19," Georgia Department of Public Health spokeswoman Nancy Nydam said in an email. "The other dog in the home is not ill and tested negative for SARS-CoV-2."

The dog that tested positive was the first such case in Georgia and just the fourth dog in the nation with COVID-19, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

A small number of pet cats and dogs have been reported to be infected with the virus in several countries, including the United States, according to the CDC. A tiger at the Bronx Zoo tested positive for the novel coronavirus in April. At that time, the case was believed to be the first known infection in an animal in the country or in a tiger anywhere.

While little is known about COVID-19 animal infection, animals are not believed to be a source of infection for humans, the health department said.

The agency advises that people who test positive for COVID-19 should take precautions if they have pets in the household, including:

  • When possible, have another member of your household care for your pets while you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with your pet including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, sharing food, and sleeping in the same bed.
  • If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wear a cloth face covering and wash your hands before and after you interact with them.
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