Here’s one for the “not surprising but freaking people out” files.

A dog in the North Carolina (US) has tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The dog was in a household with infected people, and was tested a part of household surveillance study coordinated by researchers at Duke University.  The other dog, cat and lizard in the family tested negative. It’s the first reported infected dog in the US (but probably not actually the first infected dog).

The dog is a pug named Winston.  The owners reported Winston had some mild respiratory signs for a few days; however, such signs aren’t exactly uncommon in pugs so it’s probably hard to be confident that the dog had clinical signs due to infection with SARS-CoV-2 (especially since dog’s don’t seem to be particularly susceptible to the virus based on everything we’ve seen – and not seen – so far).

Does this change anything?  No. The same messaging applies:

  • There’s a chance for human-pet transmission of this virus.
  • The animal health implications are probably limited.
  • The human health implications are completely unknown at this point (but are probably quite low in the grand scheme of things).

I’m lazy so I’ll cut and paste the same messages as before:

  • Socially distance your pets, just like you and the rest of your family. Keep them inside with you, and when outside, keep them under control so they don’t interact with anyone else (or anyone else’s pets).
  • If you’re infected, limit contact with people and animals
  • If you’re infected, keep your pet in the house with you.