1st suspected case of Monkeypox detected in pet Dog: What to Know
New York, Aug 17: Health officials are warning people who are infected with monkeypox to stay away from household pets, since the animals could be at risk of catching the virus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for months has had the advice in place as monkeypox spreads in the US.
But it gained new attention after a report from France, published last week in the medical journal Lancet, about an Italian greyhound that caught the virus. The dog belongs to a couple who said they sleep alongside the animal.
The two men, aged 44 and 27, were infected with monkeypox after having sex with other partners and wound up with lesions and other symptoms. They had developed anal ulcerations six days after having sex with other partners.
Twelve days after their symptoms appeared, their dog - a four-year-old Italian greyhound with no underlying health issues - developed mucocutaneous lesions, abdomen pustules, and an anal ulceration. The dog's lesions were swabbed via a PCR test and subsequently tested positive for monkeypox.
Monkeypox infections have been detected in rodents and other wild animals, which can spread the virus to humans. But the authors called it the first report of monkeypox infection in a domesticated animal like a dog or cat.
Monkeypox is primarily spread through close contact and contaminated surfaces.
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.
Signs, symptoms of monkeypox in pets
The CDC said potential signs of illness among pets include fatigue, lack of appetite, coughing, nasal secretions or crust, bloating and fever.
If a rash or two other clinical symptoms appear on a pet within 21 days of exposure, the CDC urges people to notify their veterinarian to get a professional assessment.
What should I do if my pet has monkeypox?
If a pet has probable or confirmed monkeypox, health experts recommend separating it from other animals and minimizing direct contact with people for at least 21 days, if symptoms resolve.
Owners should wash their hands frequently and use personal protective equipment like gloves, eye protection, a well-fitting mask and a disposable gown when caring for or cleaning up after sick animals, according to CDC guidance.
If a disposable gown is not available, the agency recommends wearing clothes that fully cover the skin. After handling the pet and its belongings, immediately remove and launder the contaminated clothing. Other precautions include dedicating a lined trash can to dispose contaminated waste, and disinfecting bedding, enclosures and food dishes after direct contact.
Owners should also avoid direct physical contact as much as possible but still recommends taking pets outside for exercise.
What NOT to do if a pet is infected
People should not surrender, euthanize or abandon pets with a potential exposure or confirmed monkeypox.
"We saw people surrendering their pets during COVID even though the risk was extremely low. So, we don't want to see that happen again with monkeypox
The CDC also warns against wiping or bathing a pet with chemical disinfectants, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, hand sanitizer, counter-cleaning wipes or other cleaners.