What is known about Pets and Monkeypox so far?
With Monkeypox so prominently in the news, many pet parents have started to wonder about intra-species transmission, which involves two questions: “Can Monkeypox travel from Humans to Pets?” and “Can Monkeypox travel from Pets to Humans ?”
Monkeypox infections have been detected in rodents and other wild animals, which can spread the virus to humans.
The CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has stated that animals can spread monkeypox virus to humans and that “it is possible that people who are infected can spread Monkeypox virus to animals through close contact.”
Now we have the first reported case of a Human to Pet transmission. A dog in France has tested positive for the monkeypox virus. The greyhound’s owners had the virus, and the dog “began exhibiting symptoms 12 days after they did,” The Hill reports. They dog’s symptoms included lesions on the abdomen.
The case is suspected to be the first known case of human-to-dog transmission, CBS News reports. The case was reported in the the The Lancet, a medical journal. The authors wrote that their findings “should prompt debate on the need to isolate pets from monkeypox virus-positive individuals.”
Pets that come in close contact with a symptomatic person should be kept at home and away from other animals and people for 21 days after the most recent contact, the CDC advises.
For pet parents who contract monkeypox, the best option is to isolate pets in a different location. If this is not an option, it's important to avoid any close contact with your pet and always wash & sanitize hands before & after caring for them. Check the latest CDC guidance for additional recommendations.
What Are Signs of Monkeypox in Pets?
According to the CDC, not all symptoms of infected animals are known. But there are a few signs to watch for, especially if your pet might have come into contact with the virus. These signs include: lack of energy, reduced appetite, coughing, runny eyes or nose, fever, or a skin rash. Of course these are common symptoms for a variety of issues, so consult with your local veterinarian or a virtual vet service such as Hello Ralphie if you have questions.
How to Care for a Pet with Monkeypox
The CDC provides up-to-date recommendations for caring for a pet with monkeypox. Those guidelines include:
- Keep the infected pet isolated from other pets and humans
- Wash your hands often and use gloves and other personal protective equipment when caring for your pet.
- Properly disinfect any bedding, dishes, or other items that come in contact with your pet.