Buddy, a 7-year-old German shepherd from Staten Island in New York, was the first dog to be positive for coronaviruses in the United States. According to National Geographic, he died on July 11 after a three-month illness.
It is unclear whether Buddy died of coronavirus complications, which he most likely caught from his owner Robert Mahoney, who was positive this spring, or whether he died of lymphoma.
Two veterinarians who did not take part in his treatment but re-evaluated Buddy’s medical records for National Geographic told the publication that the dog was likely to have cancer.
“It is not clear whether the cancer has made it more susceptible to contraction with the coronavirus, or whether the virus has caused it, or whether it was just a case of accidental timing,” the magazine reported.
The dog fell ill in April and Mahoney suspected he had the virus, but it was not until mid-May that the family finally found a vet who tested it and confirmed that Buddy was infected.
“You tell people that your dog was positive and they look at you (as if you had) ten heads,” Robert Mahoney’s Allison owner and wife told the magazine.
On June 2, the US Department of Agriculture confirmed that Buddy was the first dog to be positive for coronaviruses in the United States.
“Dog samples were taken after showing signs of respiratory disease,” he told the USDA at the time. “The dog is expected to be completely healed.”
But it didn’t happen. Buddy’s health continued to deteriorate. By July 11, Allison Mahoney had told National Geographic that she had found that Buddy had thrown the clotted blood.
“It was as if his insides were coming out. He had it everywhere. It came from his nose and mouth. We knew there was nothing that could be done for him from here. this? But he had the will to live. He didn’t want to go, “she said. Mahoneys decided it was time to spend his beloved dog.
According to the USDA, less than 25 dogs and cats are infected with coronavirus in the United States.
There are no mandatory requirements for testing animals living in households with positive Covid-19 people, so it is not known how many pets in the United States may be infected and whether they may be at greater risk to those with basic human-like health conditions.
“The second dog with a positive test in the USA, Georgia and the sixth dog in South Carolina, for example, died and his deaths were attributed to different conditions,” National Geographic reported.
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide advice on pet care with the Covid-19 program, but do not include information on testing or gathering information for veterinarians, as there are still no reliable data on the effects of the virus on pets.
The Mahoney family is damaged by the loss of Buddy, National Geographic reported, and frustrated by their struggle to diagnose and care for dogs.
“(Buddy) was the love of our lives. It brought joy to everyone. I can’t wrap my head around it, “said Allison Mahoney.