Monkeypox can spread between people and animals since it is a zoonotic illness. In Europe last month, a dog contracted monkeypox from its owners. This led other pet owners to fear that their own four-legged pals might also be in danger.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that, despite being extremely unlikely, monkeypox sufferers may inadvertently transmit the virus to their pets by close contact, such as touching, snuggling, kissing, licking, sharing a bed or a meal, and so on.
Hamsters, guinea pigs, dogs, and cats are just a few of the many species that have been infected by various orthopoxvirus strains. Monkeypox, in particular, was normally only found in rodents and wild animals prior to this outbreak. But in 2003, there were 47 cases of monkeypox documented in the country, and they were all spread via contact with domestic prairie dogs.
Research is ongoing to determine which animal species can contract monkeypox and how to recognize it. When the virus is present, not all animals get a rash.
Given what we understand about other orthopoxviruses, it would be wise to presume that pets could contract monkeypox and to take the necessary precautions to prevent infection or disease spread. Lori Teller, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association, also commented.
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What Are the Monkeypox Symptoms in Pets?
Although scientists are still learning about the symptoms that infected animals may exhibit, you should keep an eye out for things like:
- Having no appetite
- Skin rash
- Crust or nasal or eye secretions
What To Do If Your Pet Gets Symptoms?
If your pet shows signs of illness within 21 days after coming into touch with a possible monkeypox carrier, call your veterinarian right away.
You should confine your pet to your house and keep it away from other people for 21 days following the most recent interaction if your pet had close contact with a symptomatic human.
Avoid using hand sanitizer, counter cleaning wipes, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or other items, such as industrial or surface cleansers, to wash or bathe your pet.
Teller stated that those who are “immunocompromised, pregnant, less than 8 years old, and those who have a history of atopic dermatitis or eczema” should be extra careful to limit contact with possibly infected dogs and people.
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If You Have Monkeypox, How Do You Protect Your Pets?
If you have monkeypox but weren’t in close touch with your pet prior to the beginning of symptoms, attempt to get a friend or family member to care for your pet while you’re still recovering.
If you have to care for your healthy pet at home since that isn’t a choice, you should always wash your hands before and after handling them and use alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Wearing personal protection equipment, such as a properly fitted mask and gloves, as well as covering up any skin rashes with clothes, is also advised.
The CDC also suggests taking the following safety measures:
- Your pet should not wear a mask.
- Keep your distance from your pet.
- Ascertain that your pet won’t unintentionally come into touch with infected items in the house, such as linens, towels, and clothes used by the monkeypox patient.
- Do not allow animals to come in touch with bandages, bodily fluids, or rashes.
- Make sure that any food, toys, bedding, or other supplies you provide your animal while it is being isolated don’t come into touch with exposed skin or a rash.
It’s possible for humans to pass monkeypox on to their animals, although the risk is low. If you suspect that your pet may have monkeypox, you should get in touch with your local veterinarian as soon as possible to discuss the next steps, which may include testing for infection and isolating the animal.