(WHDH) — A German shepherd from New York who enjoyed cuddling, long car rides, and swimming has passed away after becoming the first dog in the United States to test positive for COVID-19, a new report said.
Shortly before his seventh birthday in mid-April, Buddy started suffering from breathing problems, National Geographic reported. On July 11, the loveable pup died.
In June, the United States Department of Agriculture issued a press release that stated Buddy had likely contracted COVID-19 from his owner who had tested positive for the virus and that he was “expected to make a full recovery.”
National Geographic says it had a pair of independent veterinarians review medical records provided by Buddy’s owners and they learned that the dog had developed had lymphoma.
“It’s unclear whether cancer made him more susceptible to contracting the coronavirus, or if the virus made him ill, or if it was just a case of coincidental timing,” the report said.
In the months leading up to his death, Buddy continued to lose weight, he grew increasingly lethargic, developed a thick mucus in his nose, and started to wheeze as he struggled to get a breath.
Buddy’s owner, Robert Mahoney, told the news outlet that he learned of his own positive test on Easter.
“Without a shadow of a doubt, I thought [Buddy] was positive too,” he said.
Buddy’s doctors initially doubted that he had the virus but in mid-May, a test confirmed he was positive for COVID-19.
The New York City Department of Health later confirmed that samples collected from Buddy were positive for the virus.
Fewer than 25 pets have been diagnosed with COVID-19 versus more than four million Americans.
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