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NewsNips™ Canine Covid-19 Case Confirmed


An 8-year-old North Carolina Newfoundland dog diagnosed with COVID 19 in August of 2020 may be first confirmed canine case.


September 7, 2020

Stella Starr, Pet Perspectives


I am a cat lover but I was concerned and upset to learn about “River” a beloved family dog in the Seven Lakes North gated community of Western NC. When the dog’s owner left for work that morning, she noted that the dog seemed a little listless but assumed he was just tired after the long weekend. He had done what the Newfoundland does best, swimming and watching over his family at a nearby lake.



Only a few hours had passed when she got back home and saw that the giant dog was ill. She rushed him to the veterinarian who noted River was in respiratory distress and that he was feverish. They drew blood, x-rayed the giant dog’s chest and quickly referred the family to the NC State Veterinary hospital in Raleigh NC.


Tests revealed the dog suffered from SARS-CoV-2 or what we call COVID-19 in people.


The dog died later that evening when his lungs shut down. The agony and fear the dog suffered and the heartbreak of his helpless owners is incomprehensible to me.


The veterinarians did everything possible but even at the state veterinary facility, there was no ventilator available. At 8 years, which I know is old for a giant breed, a miracle might have only prolonged the inevitable but I’m told he was otherwise extremely healthy.


The Newfoundland breed is not rare but the dog’s size makes him pretty much an Estate dog or outside pet. They are lovingly called “Newfies” and they can weigh over 120 pounds and measure up to 28 inches at the shoulder. Indeed, his owner described him as “a gentle giant” and said “Kids and adults flocked to him because of his size and sweet nature.


I’m a cat person but I looked up more about this dog. The Newfoundland is a specialized Working Breed made famous for its buoyancy in the water and his love for people. When it comes to water rescue, the Newf should be ranked right up there with the Saint Bernard dog that is so famous for saving people in the Alpine mountains.
I am not worried about catching COVID-19 but I wondered about animals, especially my cats and more so, feral cats. I found about 30 cases in animals including the first animal case in the U.S. which was a tiger in the Bronx Zoo back in April. And I found this great picture of a WHITE tiger!



We are told by State Veterinarian Doug Meckes that “There is no indication at this time that dogs can transmit the virus to other animals, so there is no justification in taking measures against companion animals that may compromise their welfare.


That said, other sources advise we take sensible precautions such as limiting our pet’s contact with people outside of the family. That means preventing them from straying off the property or coming in contact with other animals. I know, that means your kitty can’t go out at night…


If YOU are diagnosed with COVID 19, take the same precautions to protect your pets as you do to try to prevent passing it to your family. Use hand sanitizers, wear a mask to cut down on aerosol spread, and maintain at least 6 feet of space between yourself, family members, and your pets.


I just heard that the latest recommendation is to increase that distance to 8 to 12 feet because we are learning that the air-borne particles can travel farther than previously thought.


I don’t know if that applies to letting your dog sniff some other pet and then come lick your face or hand but sadly, we do know this Chinese disease can be very contagious! EST 2002 © 2000





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