A German shepherd in New York has tested positive for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19—the first confirmed case of a dog contracting the virus in the United States, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced on June 2.
The dog is believed to have been infected by its owner, who also tested positive for the virus, and is expected to make a full recovery. There is no evidence to date that pets can spread the virus to people.
“This case further highlights the importance of pet owners with COVID-19 avoiding contact with pets and other animals during their illness to prevent spreading the virus to them,” says Kate Grusich, a spokesperson for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
The dog had been showing signs of respiratory illness after his owner tested positive for the virus. A private veterinary laboratory initially tested the dog and got a presumptive positive result. Additional testing by the National Veterinary Services Laboratories of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed the lab’s result—the standard procedure to officially ascertain a positive case of COVID-19 in an animal.
A second dog in the same home tested negative for the virus but did have antibodies in its system, indicating that it may have been exposed, according to the USDA.
The running count of animals that have tested positive in the U.S. stands at five tigers, three lions, three domestic cats, and—now—one dog. The big cats, all at the Bronx Zoo in New York, tested positive in April, as...