A second dog tested positive for coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in Hong Kong, reported the South China Morning Post. Doctor’s diagnosed the dog’s owner with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Health officials analyzed oral and nasal swabs from the dog, a 2-year-old German Shepherd, and another dog from the same home in Pok Fu Lam, a residential district of Hong Kong. The German Shepherd’s results confirmed the presence of the coronavirus, but the dog remained asymptomatic. The other dog’s tests came back clean. The dogs remain in quarantine. Hong Kong’ Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department health officials told the South China Morning Post that they believed this to be another case of human-to-dog transmission.
In late Feb., another dog in Hong Kong, a Pomeranian, tested positive for the presence of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the first worldwide. Health officials used real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to find signs of the virus's genetic material. This dog also showed no symptoms of COVID-19.
The results were described as a “weak positive” by Hong Kong’ Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. The American Veterinary Medical Association stated in a FAQ that no evidence suggests dogs or cats can become sick from this coronavirus. Likewise, the Centers for Disease Control, World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and World Health Organization have no evidence that pets can be a source of SARS-CoV-2 infection or spread COVID-19 to people.
“There is no evidence that dogs play a role in the spread of this human disease or that they become sick…,” according to the OIE Questions and Answers on the 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). “While there is no evidence of a COVID-19 infection spreading from one animal to another, keeping animals that test positive for COVID-19 away from unexposed animals should be considered best practice.”
View our continuing coverage of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.
New shelter data casts doubt on whether the pet population and pet ownership are truly growing.
While the pandemic caused unprecedented suffering worldwide in 2020, the disruptions to dogs, cats and other pets adoption numbers may normalize in 2021.