Mahoney says that in mid-April, Buddy, their 6-year-old German Shepherd, began to have trouble breathing.
On Easter, Robert Mahoney received a call confirming that he had tested positive for the virus.
He dealt with the symptoms for a week, during which time Buddy formed a thick mucus in his nose and began to breathe heavily.
The family says so little is known about the virus in animals, and so many responses have focused on saving lives that it was difficult to verify Buddy.
When they looked for a vet to check him for COVID-19, Buddy’s condition continued to deteriorate.
He is said to have lost weight and become lethargic.
Buddy was given antibiotics, and later steroids after other tests revealed a heart murmur.
It took the family a month, but the Bay Street Animal Hospital finally agreed to give Buddy a test, which came back positive.
Another dog in the family, a 10-month-old German Shepherd named Duke, was also tested.
His results returned negative.
Additional testing only five days later showed that the virus was no longer in Buddy’s system, although he had antibodies, confirming that he had the virus.
However, even after the diagnosis, Buddy continued to deteriorate.
Mahons say a new problem arises every two weeks; he could no longer control his bladder, and his urine was bloody, his breathing became much harder, and then he had trouble walking.
On the morning of July 11, Allison Mahoney found Buddy in the kitchen, throwing clotted blood.
“It looked like his guts were coming out. He had it all. It was coming out of his nose and mouth. We knew there was nothing that could be done for him from there. What are you going to do with the dog? It’s? But he had the will to He didn’t want to go, “Allison told National Geographic.
She and her husband rushed with Buddy to the vet, and they decided to euthanize him.
New work with blood on the day of Buddy’s euthanasia showed that he most likely had lymphoma, a type of cancer.
The family says the most confusing part of it all was that no one seemed interested in learning about Buddy’s death or the role COVID-19 played in it, given how few cases have been confirmed in animals.
National Geographic also points out that Buddy’s death underscores the fact that animal testing reports are not mandatory and not widely available, so there is currently insufficient data to know whether, say, humans, animals from earlier existing conditions are more likely to be infected with the virus.
The Mahoneys say they are confident that the Bay Street team has done their best for Buddy.
“I think they’re learning too. It’s all trial and error. And they’ve tried their best to help us,” Allison told National Geographic.
The Mahons have decided to chalk Buddy, and they hope to pick up his ashes this week.
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