A pug dog tested positive for the coronavirus recently in North Carolina, which is believed to be the first case of its kind in the United States.
April 1, the McLean family of Chapel Hill participated in a study at Duke University in which the mother, father, and son tested positive for the virus, according to WRAL.
Researchers with the university’s Molecular and Epidemiological Study of Suspected Infection (MESSI) went to their home and took samples from each member of the family, including their pets.
“For the humans, they swabbed our noses as well as our mouths, and for the animals they did oral swabs for both dogs and the cat,” said mom, Heather, who is a pediatrician at Duke.
The McLean’s daughter, Sydney, was the only one who did not test positive for the disease.
Prior to the test, Heather said their pug, Winston, experienced mild symptoms.
“Pugs are a little unusual in that they cough and sneeze in a very strange way. So it almost seems like he was gagging, and there was one day when he didn’t want to eat his breakfast, and if you know pugs you know they love to eat, so that seemed very unusual,” she explained.
Dogs can be infected with coronaviruses, most commonly the canine respiratory coronavirus, according to the American Kennel Club’s website.
“This specific novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is not believed to be a health threat to dogs, but dogs can test positive for the virus,” the site read.
Following his diagnosis, Ben said it had not been not uncommon for them to put their faces close to Winston’s and added that the pug liked to lick their plates and sleep in Heather’s bed.
“So, it makes sense that he got (coronavirus),” he stated.
Thankfully, the family members who had the sickness recovered and Winston was only sick for a few days, according to KWCH.
“Hopefully we’ll learn more through the research study, and I think because there’s not a lot of studies and sampling pets, we just don’t know yet. My advice is not to get too worried about it,” Heather concluded.