A family in South Carolina made the difficult decision to put down their beloved family dog after the animal tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes Covid-19 in humans, according to Clemson University.
According to Dr Boyd Parr, state veterinarian and director of Clemson Livestock Poultry Health (LPH), a private veterinarian decided to test the dog – a 9-year-old shepherd mix – for SARS-CoV-2 after one of its owners was confirmed to have Covid-19.
While the family's pet did test positive for the virus, veterinary findings also indicated the dog had a chronic health condition.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratories confirmed the virus in the dog on July 9, according to reports.
An investigation into this case is ongoing, headed by Clemson LPH and the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) along with the USDA and the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
"Based on current knowledge, there continues to be no evidence that pets play a significant role in spreading SARS-CoV-2 to people," Parr said.
"It remains a good idea to restrict contact with your pets and other animals, just like you do with other people if you are infected with Covid-19 in order to protect them from exposure to the virus as recommended by the CDC."
Similar reports surfaced at the height of the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year. Sydney vet Dr Sam Kovac says he was being asked by some clients if they should euthanise their pets amid growing fears about the spread of coronavirus.
Kovac, a veterinarian who treats animals in the Sydney's inner-city and inner west, said there had been a spike in pet owners questioning whether the virus can be transmitted from their animals.
"These are people who are so hysterical about the virus they were considering euthanasia as a way to protect their family," Kovac said.
"Coronavirus in dogs is actually really common and highly contagious, but only normally causes mild gastro symptoms like diarrhoea and vomiting (if any symptoms at all)."
"While there have been no human cases of coronavirus being transmitted from their pets, mutations in all viruses can happen that allows the virus to cross the species barrier, however, in all the hundreds of years of monitoring, this hasn't happened with the dog or cat coronavirus," Kovac confirmed in a post on Southern Cross Vet blog.