Washington, D.C. (WVVA) - Officials announced the first U.S. case of a dog with COVID-19.
The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) announced the case Tuesday. The dog is a German Shepard residing in New York state.
Samples from the dog were taken after it showed signs of respiratory illness. The dog is expected to make a full recovery.
One of the dog’s owners tested positive for COVID-19, and another showed symptoms consistent with the virus, prior to the dog showing signs. A second dog in the household has shown no signs of illness; however, antibodies were also identified in that dog, suggesting exposure.
COVID-19 infections have been reported in a small number of animals worldwide, mostly in animals that had close contact with a person who was sick with COVID-19. All confirmed cases of COVID-19 in animals can be found here. So far a tiger, a lion, and two housecats have tested positive in addition to this dog.
According to the USDA, state animal health and public health officials will take the lead in determining whether animals should be tested for the virus.
According to the USDA, the COVID-19 tests for animals are different than the COVID-19 tests for people, and COVID-19 testing for animals does not take resources away from testing humans.
According to the USDA, there is currently no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus. The federal agency said based on the limited information available, the risk of animals spreading the virus to people is considered to be low.
Because people with COVID-19 can spread the virus to animals during close contact, the Centers for Disease Control recommends people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 to avoid contact with pets and other animals to protect them from possible infection.