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US - 1 new outbreak of SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 in dogs in residential household, Richmond, New York (OIE, June 02, 2020)

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  • US - 1 new outbreak of SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 in dogs in residential household, Richmond, New York (OIE, June 02, 2020)

    United States of America
    Information received on 02/06/2020 from Dr Mark Davidson, Associate Administrator, USDA-APHIS, United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, United States of America
    Report type Follow-up report No. 4
    Date of start of the event 27/03/2020
    Date of confirmation of the event 04/04/2020
    Report date 02/06/2020
    Date submitted to OIE 02/06/2020
    Reason for notification Emerging disease
    Morbidity 2 (scale 0 to 5)
    Mortality 0 (scale 0 to 5)
    Zoonotic impact Zoonotic potential currently unknown
    Causal agent SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19
    Related reports Immediate notification (06/04/2020)
    Follow-up report No. 1 (17/04/2020)
    Follow-up report No. 2 (22/04/2020)
    Follow-up report No. 3 (29/04/2020)
    Follow-up report No. 4 (02/06/2020)
    New outbreaks (1)
    Outbreak 1 Richmond County, Richmond, New York
    Date of start of the outbreak 15/04/2020
    Outbreak status Continuing (or date resolved not provided)
    Epidemiological unit Other
    Affected animals
    Species Susceptible Cases Deaths Killed and disposed of Slaughtered
    Dogs 2 1 0 0 0
    Affected population Pet domestic German Shepherd dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) in a residential household
    Summary of outbreaks Total outbreaks: 1
    Total animals affected
    Species Susceptible Cases Deaths Killed and disposed of Slaughtered
    Dogs 2 1 0 0 0
    Outbreak statistics
    Species Apparent morbidity rate Apparent mortality rate Apparent case fatality rate Proportion susceptible animals lost*
    Dogs 50.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
    *Removed from the susceptible population through death, destruction and/or slaughter
    Source of the outbreak(s) or origin of infection
    • Suspected human transmission
    Epidemiological comments 2 Jun 2020 Update—A pet German Shepherd dog from a household with known COVID-19 affected inhabitants was sampled for respiratory illness. Clinical signs included severe lethargy, diagnosed as hemolytic anemia. The dog tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 at a private veterinary laboratory. SARS-CoV-2 was confirmed in this dog based upon molecular testing (PCR and sequencing) of samples both from the initial testing laboratory and follow up samples obtained directly. Virus neutralizing antibody was detected in follow-up samples from the affected dog as well as a second pet German Shepherd dog in the household who showed no clinical signs of disease and tested negative by PCR. The first dog is progressively recovering.
    Control measures
    Measures applied
    • Quarantine
    • Disinfection
    • Vaccination permitted (if a vaccine exists)
    • No treatment of affected animals
    Measures to be applied
    • No other measures
    Diagnostic test results
    Laboratory name and type Species Test Test date Result
    National Veterinary Services Laboratories (National laboratory) Dogs gene sequencing 01/06/2020 Positive
    National Veterinary Services Laboratories (National laboratory) Dogs real-time reverse transcriptase/polymerase chain reaction (RRT-PCR) 21/05/2020 Positive
    National Veterinary Services Laboratories (National laboratory) Dogs virus neutralisation test (VNT) 01/06/2020 Positive
    Future Reporting
    The event is continuing. Weekly follow-up reports will be submitted.
    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela

  • #2
    Confirmation of COVID-19 in Pet Dog in New York

    Last Modified: Jun 2, 2020

    Washington, D.C., June 2, 2020 – The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) today announced the first confirmed case of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) infection in a pet dog (German shepherd) in New York state. This is the first dog in the United States to test positive for SARS-CoV-2.

    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.

    SARS-CoV-2 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. At this time, routine testing of animals is not recommended. State and local animal health and public health officials will work with USDA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to make determinations about whether animals should be tested for SARS-CoV-2, using a One Health approach.

    USDA will announce cases of confirmed SARS-CoV-2 in animals each time it is found in a new species. All confirmed cases in animals will be posted at

    The initial dog tested presumptive positive for SARS-CoV-2 at a private veterinary laboratory, which then reported the results to state and federal officials. The confirmatory testing was conducted at NVSL and included collection of additional samples. NVSL serves as an international reference laboratory and provides expertise and guidance on diagnostic techniques, as well as confirmatory testing for foreign and emerging animal diseases. Such testing is required for certain animal diseases in the U.S. in order to comply with national and international reporting procedures. The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) considers SARS-CoV-2 an emerging disease, and therefore USDA must report confirmed U.S. animal infections to the OIE.

    While additional animals may test positive as infections continue in people, it is important to note that performing this animal testing does not reduce the availability of tests for humans.

    We are still learning about SARS-CoV-2 in animals, but there is currently no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus. 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.

    It appears that people with COVID-19 can spread the virus to animals during close contact. It is important for people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 to avoid contact with pets and other animals to protect them from possible infection.

    For more information about COVID-19 and animals and recommendations for pet owners, visit

    For more information about testing in animals, see
    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela


    • #3

      Buddy, the first dog to test positive for COVID-19 in the US, has died
      Adrianna Rodriguez

      Buddy the German Shepherd has died. He was the first pet dog in the United States to test positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

      After months of him being ill, his owners and vet made the difficult decision to euthanize him, according to an exclusive report by National Geographic. The beloved dog died July 11 in Staten Island, New York.

      Buddy first exhibited symptoms of the virus in mid-April, right before his seventh birthday. He was struggling to breathe, lost weight and became increasingly lethargic. After multiple visits to three different veterinarians, heart medications, steroids and other medical interventions, Buddy was tested for COVID-19 on May 15.

      But it wasn’t until June 2 the New York City Department of Health called the Mahoney family to tell them that their dog had indeed contracted the virus.

      “You tell people that your dog was positive, and they look at you (as if you have) 10 heads,” Allison Mahoney told National Geographic....


      • #4
        Buddy may have been susceptible to the infection while the other dog in the household wasn't due to his pre-existing condition. The article says they can't say if cause of death was lymphoma or coronavirus.

        "On the morning of his death, Buddy was throwing up clotted blood in the kitchen. Vets discovered from blood work that he almost certainly had lymphoma and the family knew nothing could be done, according to the magazine."
        Malignant lymphoma is a common cancer in dogs. It is a progressive, deadly disease caused by the harmful growth of lymphocytes. Lymphoma most commonly arises from lymphoid tissues in the bone marrow, thymus, lymph nodes, or spleen. Other common sites include the skin, eye, central nervous system, and bone. Although it is common, the causes and origin of the disease are not well understood. Possible causes or contributing factors include viral infection, environmental contamination with herbicides, magnetic field exposure, genetic abnormalities, and dysfunction of the immune system.
        Merck mentions a viral origin theory, but I think the latency period would be longer and I can't find evidence that any virus was ever found to be causal.
        A First NGS Investigation Suggests No Association Between Viruses and Canine Cancers


        Ask Congress to Investigate COVID Origins and Government Response to Pandemic H.R. 834

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