Cedar Rapids dog first animal in Iowa with COVID-19

Eden, a family dog in Cedar Rapids, was the first animal in Iowa diagnosed with COVID-19.
Eden, a family dog in Cedar Rapids, was the first animal in Iowa diagnosed with COVID-19.(Steve Shriver)
Published: Feb. 4, 2021 at 11:39 AM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - A cough was the first sign a Cedar Rapids dog had become the first animal in Iowa to be diagnosed with COVID-19.

Steve Shriver says he first noticed the family dog, Eden, coughing while his family was dealing with their own COVID-19 symptoms. He says Eden became sluggish and didn’t eat as much.

“It was bad enough where we should probably get this looked at and my wife, Andrea, asked the vet about COVID and everybody sort of chuckled but we decided to proceed with the test anyway,” Shriver said.

Shriver says a nasal swab gave the first positive result but two other tests through the State of Iowa confirmed the diagnosis.

“They were pretty surprised but took it really seriously at that point, like ‘ok, this is real and can happen to dogs and cats’,” Shriver said.

Shriver says the vet prescribed a kennel cough treatment as well as a 14-day quarantine for Eden and the family, the same guidance as human cases of the virus.

Our dog Eden has tested positive with Covid 19. She is the first dog in Iowa so it’s not super common. Her symptoms...

Posted by Steve Shriver on Wednesday, February 3, 2021

The USDA tracks animals diagnosed with COVID-19 and shows Eden is one of 41 dogs diagnosed with the virus in the U.S. since the pandemic started. The USDA has also identified COVID-19 in 58 cats, as well as in mink, tigers, lions, snow leopards and gorillas: 131 animals total, 44 of them in Texas, by far the most of any state.

The Centers for Disease Control says it is very rare for COVID-19 to spread from animals to people, even though the virus passing from bats to humans is likely how the virus first started spreading. However, the CDC says “based on the limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low,” but adds that more studies are needed.

The CDC recommends people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 stay away from other animals, including pets or livestock.

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