Pug in North Carolina becomes first dog to have contracted COVID-19

Officials say most of the dog’s family tested positive for COVID-19 last month.

News 12 Staff

Apr 29, 2020, 10:26 AM

Updated 1,518 days ago

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A pug in North Carolina is the first canine to test positive for coronavirus.
Officials say most of the dog's family tested positive for COVID-19 last month. The family says they were shocked to learn their dog Winston also had the virus.
"We think he had a mild cough and one morning he wouldn't eat his breakfast, other than that it wasn't remarkable," says Heather McClean.
Winston is fine now, but his family hopes his experience reveals more about the virus' effect on pets.
The family joined a Duke University study that tested people and their pets. The CDC suggests not letting your pets interact with people or animals outside the home.
But some Long Island veterinarians are skeptical.
"We don't actually know if he was actually infected - we know he had the virus in his mouth, that doesn't necessarily mean he was infected with it," says Dr. Lauren Smith. "There have been no reports of pets giving it to people, so there is no concern at this point that they are a transmission risk to us."
Dr. Jeff Garretson, of Greenlawn Animal Hospital, says owners can take some precautions.
"Certainly you can wipe down the leashes, wipe down the collars," he says. "I would not be concerned you are going to touch their hair and get the coronavirus.


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