The USDA has issued announced the first confirmed case of SARS-CoV-2 infection in dog in the US. The affected dog was a German shepherd from New York state, and its owner had COVID-19. Interestingly, the dog had respiratory disease, something we haven’t seen reported in dogs. It tested positive by PCR and antibody testing. Another dog in the household was healthy, but also had antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, indicating it had been infected too.
This one is noteworthy for a few reasons.
- The dog was sick. It’s not guaranteed that the dog had COVID-19. It could have had some other disease and more information may come to clarify that. However, if this dog was sick because of SARS-CoV-2 infection, it would run contrary to evidence to date that has indicated dogs can be infected but are not likely to get sick.
- Both dogs were infected. While the other dog didn’t get sick, it was infected. We’ve gone on the assumption that human-dog transmission is uncommon, and that still might be the case, but finding transmission to multiple dogs in a household is interesting.
Overall, it doesn’t change our main talking points much, and it highlights the need for more study.