First canine COVID-19 case confirmed in North Carolina Pug

Canine COVID-19 (Photo by Shirlaine Forrest/Getty Images)
Canine COVID-19 (Photo by Shirlaine Forrest/Getty Images) /

The first canine COVID-19 case has been confirmed in North Carolina.

The first canine COVID-19 case has been confirmed in North Carolina.

This news was reported by NBC News, and came to Dog O’Day‘s attention through the Dog Writers Association of America.

While it’s not for certain that Chapel Hill resident Winston the Pug is the first canine COVID-19 patient in the US, it’s likely that it the case, as he and his entire family were part of a test conducted by Duke University.

Winston, the mother, the father and the son all tested positive for the coronavirus, while the daughter, a different dog and the cat all tested negative.

“Pugs are a little unusual in that they cough and sneeze in a very strange way,” the mother, Heather McLean, told NBC News. “So it almost seems like he was gagging, and there was one day when he didn’t want to eat his breakfast, and if you know pugs, you know they love to eat, so that seemed very unusual.”

Winston has recovered, however, so that is a good thing.

The DWAA has some suggestions on how to keep yourself and your pets safe.

According to the American Veterinary Medicine Association (AVMA), the first pets in the US to test positive for COVID-19 were two cats on April 22, and animals (including pets) should be treated in the same manner as other humans when there is a possibility that you or someone in your household may be a carrier.

But there is “no evidence that domestic animals, which includes pets, can spread COVID-19 to people,” the AVMA says. While that doesn’t mean that they can’t (there simply isn’t much known about this coronavirus strain yet), it’s a good sign.

If you have the coronavirus, the AVMA recommends not coming into contact with animals that are not part of your household, and if possible, having someone else take care of your animals for you. If that is not possible, then they recommend wearing a face mask, refraining from petting their fur, and not sharing food, in addition to immediate washing of hands before and after coming into contact with the animal.

Sharing anything, including blankets or towels, with animals is highly discouraged.

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For more information on the coronavirus, see the websites of the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control for the latest information and guidelines.