The German Shepherd, along with a second dog in the home, a 4-year-old mixed breed, have been placed on lockdown, though the older dog has tested negative for the disease.
Neither pooch shows any symptoms and both are being monitored by China’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. The test was conducted via an oral and nasal swab.
The news comes just days after the first dog to test positive for the virus died. A 17-year-old pomeranian tested positive for the virus in late February. As The Inquisitr previously reported, the dog’s owner was hospitalized and the pooch was put in quarantine for monitoring. The dog was later declared virus-free during its 14-day quarantine, but two days after returning home from isolation, it passed away.
However, animal welfare experts caution that the dog only had a weak positive for COVID-19 and it may have died from stress or natural causes and not the disease. The owner declined to have the dog examined to determine the cause of death.
The 60-year-old owner infected with the disease has since returned home and has recovered.
The World Health Organization maintains that pets can’t transmit the disease to humans.
“While there has been one instance of a dog being infected in Hong Kong, to date, there is no evidence that a dog, cat or any pet can transmit COVID-19,” it states. “COVID-19 is mainly spread through droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. To protect yourself, clean your hands frequently and thoroughly. ”
The CDC cautions that there is no evidence companion animals can spread coronavirus but urges people to use caution around their pets, since some coronaviruses can infect animals and transfer to people, though there’s no evidence at this time that this particular virus can do so.
The WHO cautions people not to abandon or harm their animals in an attempt to control the spread of the virus. In the U.S., many people are doing the opposite. Shelters have put a call out for people to foster dogs during the crisis and many people have answered the call. Others are adopting dogs during the pandemic.
One company based in Maine testing for the COVID-19 virus said that they have seen thousands of canine and feline tests and so far none have come back positive for the disease.
“The new test results align with the current expert understanding that the virus is primarily transmitted person-to-person and supports the recommendation against testing pets for the Covid-19 virus,” the company said, according to Market Watch.