A German shepherd in Staten Island, the first dog to test positive for the coronavirus, has died, the first fatality of its kind, according to a report on Wednesday.
Seven-year-old Buddy began experiencing issues with his breathing in mid-April, not long after his owner, Robert Mahoney, contracted COVID-19, National Geographic reported.
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From April 21 to May 15, the pooch continued to lose weight and became increasingly lethargic.
His owners took him to veterinarians, who gave him medication but were doubtful he had the virus.
He was finally tested on May 15, a month after his symptoms emerged, at Bay Street Animal Hospital in Rosebank.
His test came back positive, and the results were later confirmed by the New York City Department of Health, according to the magazine.
Buddy died on July 11.
Medical records reviewed by the mag indicate that the pup likely also had lymphoma, a type of cancer.
According to National Geographic: “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.”
Buddy was one of fewer than 25 pets in the country that have tested positive for the virus.
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“You tell people that your dog was positive, and they look at you [as if you have] 10 heads,” one of his owners, Allison Mahoney, told the mag.
“[Buddy] was the love of our lives. … He brought joy to everybody. I can’t wrap my head around it.”