3-month-old puppy diagnosed with COVID-19 after death, had no symptoms

The dog was the first in Connecticut to have been diagnosed with the virus.

A puppy is shown looking up. Studies have shown that oxytocin levels spike when humans and their dogs gaze into each others' eyes (photo credit: Courtesy)
A puppy is shown looking up. Studies have shown that oxytocin levels spike when humans and their dogs gaze into each others' eyes
(photo credit: Courtesy)
 A three-month-old puppy in Connecticut was found post-mortem to have contracted COVID-19, the first dog in the state to do so, according to a new study from the University of Connecticut.
 
Despite the positive diagnosis, the dog hadn't shown any symptoms of infection beforehand.
The dog was confirmed to have COVID-19 by UConn's Connecticut Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (CVMDL), who examined it after it had suddenly passed away, though the study has yet to be peer reviewed.
  
However, the findings aren't unprecedented.
Studies have shown for months that several animals such as dogs and cats are susceptible to COVID-19 - which itself is a zoonotic disease, meaning it came from animals to humans. 
But it does highlight the need for greater surveillance regarding animals being potentially infected.
“As of March 15th, only 6,723 animal tests have been reported to USDA,” UConn Assistant Professor Dong-Hun Lee said in a statement. 
“This is a really small number considering this is national data. Our data highlights that enhanced surveillance is needed and that we need more surveillance in animals since so much remains uncertain.”
Since the pandemic began, worries had emerged regarding the possibility of animals, especially pets like cats and dogs, getting infected. While they are able to catch COVID-19, it seems unlikely that they are able to transmit the virus to humans themselves. Of course, caution is still recommended, and COVID-19 patients should avoid coming into contact with animals, as per guidelines put in place by the US CDC.
In addition, the virus may manifest differently in animals. Notably, studies have shown that cats actually seem to recover from COVID-19 very quickly. In late 2020, scientists in Latvia discovered that several cats had COVID-19 antibodies but never tested positive for the virus itself, indicating that they may recover extremely fast.
One of the other most high-profile examples of animals catching COVID-19 came in the form of minks. The most notable example of this was in Denmark, when the country was forced to cull its population of 17 million minks after detecting a new, never-before-scene strain of COVID-19 - known as Cluster 5 - that had spread in mink farms and the human populations.
Other countries such as the US, Netherlands, Spain and Sweden had also found COVID-19 in mink farms.