Dog dies after testing positive for coronavirus, but vet says no reason for panic

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — State officials have reported the first case of coronavirus in a dog that died. They confirmed Tuesday the owner brought the animal to North Carolina State’s Veterinary Hospital where it died just hours later. It happened back on Aug. 3.

The development was the talk of the dog park Tuesday evening.

“I know dogs can get it, but its rare,” Wade Hayhurst said.

“I’m not too worried, but I did think about it because sometimes we bring a bowl, they do share the water sometimes,” Dolores Cobb said.

Dr. Steve Marks, the Associate Dean and Director of Veterinary Medical Services at N.C. State, said they’re still looking into it.

He explained that the dog in question showed signs of respiratory distress back on Aug. 3. Later that day, the owner brought the dog in. Following protocols, they alerted staff that a family member had tested positive for coronavirus. The dog was put in isolation and died soon after.

“We don’t have a definitive cause of death, but we do have tests that show the coronavirus that has been associated with COVID was present in some of this dog’s tissue,” Marks said.

He stressed they don’t know if coronavirus killed the dog. He said it was a young adult, but wouldn’t disclose the breed or gender.

“There’s a very, very low risk of animals spreading this disease to people. So, we don’t really want people to be in a panic,” he said.

He’s urging pet owners to follow the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and stay away from their animals if they have COVID-19.

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