Waking up every morning and hearing the news about the Ebola crisis, it may make you wonder if it could spread to our dogs, cats or other pets. For example, the nurse, hospitalized in Dallas, has a one-year-old Spaniel named King Charles and is being monitored and taken care of at the local naval air force base.
Unfortunately, authorities in Spain euthanized the dog of a nursing assistant who came down with the Ebola virus. They were concerned that the dog might have the virus and it could spread to others. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the CDC and U.S. Department of Agriculture, the risk of spreading Ebola in the United States is quite low since dogs are not eating infected animals or near any corpses. ¹
Can My Pet Transmit Ebola?
Primates (apes and monkeys) were affected by outbreaks of the Ebola virus however, in the current epidemic, animals are not a factor in transmission. The Ebola virus is spread through direct contact through blood or bodily fluids of a person that is sick with Ebola. Needles and syringes that have been contaminated with the virus can also spread the disease. It is not spread through air, water or food, and only known in Africa to spread through wild animals including infected bats. ²
At this point in time, there are no reports of dogs or cats spreading the Ebola virus to people or other animals. In areas of Africa where the virus appears to be running rampant, dogs infected with the virus, do not develop the disease. Though concern continues to increase about the Ebola virus in the U.S., the risk is is said to be low both to people and pets. Both would have to come in contact with body fluids and blood of an infected person.
Guidelines & Recommendations
It is very important to make sure animals do not come in contact with body fluids and blood of any person with symptoms of Ebola. The CDC recommend veterinarians and public health officials collaborate any pet’s risk to determine how each situation should be handled. Currently, there is no Ebola testing available for a dog or cat. ³
However, if you import a dog or cat into the United States, the CDC requires that it is healthy and dogs be vaccinated against rabies before being imported. Monkeys are not allowed to be imported whatsoever because they are at risk for Ebola.
Symptoms include decreased appetite, fever and sudden death. Monkeys, living in the U.S. currently and are healthy are not at risk for spreading Ebola, unless they come in contact with an infected person. The Ebola virus is found in Fruit bats in Africa, however it is not found in bats of North America.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, the American Veterinary Medical Association and other partners are working closely with the CDC to develop important guidelines for all pets in the United States. As more information becomes available, it will be posted on wagbrag.com.
Reviewed and approved by Dr. David L. Roberts, DVM