17-Year-Old Dog That Tested Weak Positive For COVID-19 Dies

That’s an important fact to remember, in light of the fact that the Chief Veterinary Director of the American Kennel Club says that there is no evidence that dogs can catch COVID-19, and experts are even skeptical about this dog’s diagnosis.

According to David Hui, who is a respiratory medicine expert at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the ‘evidence’ that the dog was actually infected was weak at best. In an interview with Time Magazine, Hui said that authorities should collect TWO rounds of blood samples to positively test for COVID-19. The Hong Kong Agriculture Department took one round of blood samples when the dog was entered into quarantine after its 60-year-old owner tested positive for the virus.

Hui said that authorities did not do a second blood draw.

Related: Got the Flu? Disease Expert says it’s Safe to Cuddle with Your Dog

Additionally, the dog’s owner, who recovered well, refused to let the city’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) perform an autopsy on the dog. According to a statement from the department, they learned that the dog passed away on the 16th, but believed that the ‘infected’ dog had recovered.

The dog was returned to its owner after an isolation quarantine at a government facility. It had been quarantined since February 26, and showed no symptoms. Additionally, despite officials claiming they used oral, nasal and blood samples to continually test the dog,  the results from the serology taken on March 3, 2020 came back NEGATIVE on March 12.

Still, some confusion existed about whether the dog did indeed have the virus, and was considered the first case of human-to-animal transmission of the virus. Take note of that as well; even IF the dog had the virus (and experts agree it was not likely), the HUMAN gave the virus to the dog, not vice versa.

Related: 8 Dog Breeds that Originated in China

Health officials in Hong Kong and New York still claim that they don’t believe dogs and cats are transmitters of the virus, and again, experts fear this spread of possible misinformation can bode poorly for dogs in danger of being dumped.

Because there will be no autopsy, we may never know what the Pomeranian passed from, since it already had outlived the typical Pomeranian lifespan of 12-16 years, and since it showed NO symptoms of any illness.


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