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African Ebola Virus Infection In Dogs

During the last couple of weeks several clients had called our veterinary center asking if it is true that a dog can be infected with the Ebola virus. The bad news is that the answer to that question is yes. The good news is that dogs do not seem to get sick or die once infected with the virus. Ebola is a zoonotic disease , which means that can be transmitted from one species of animal to another. There is great concerns within the veterinary community that dogs can act as carriers of the disease and infect humans, but so far that possibility has not been documented in the scientific literature.

What other animals are affected by this virus?  The most affected group of animals are the primates (gorillas, chimpanzees, monkeys and humans). Among this group the disease is up to 90% fatal. Other animals that can be infected by the ebola virus are the African fruit bats, antelopes, porcupines, rodents and pigs. So far there is not evidence of cats been affected by this deadly viral disease.

How a dog can be infected with this virus?  A dog can get infected by consuming infected meat or by getting in contact with urine , feces or blood of an infected animal. The possibility of a dog getting infected by contact with a sick human  is unknown or at least no documented in the scientific literature. Pet’s doctors will know more about this possibility in the years to come.

What you can do to protect your dog? While the chances of a dog getting infected with Ebola are minimal in Clayton County, there are certain precautions every dog owner should take:

  • Regular visits to the veterinarian. At Veterinary Medical Medical Center of Clayton we recommend twice a year physical exams.

  • Do not take your dogs to areas with poor sanitary conditions. Make sure that the premises of dog’s parks, pet stores , doggie day cares, groomers and even veterinary hospitals are clean and in good shape.

  • Do not travel with you dog to countries affected by the ebola virus.

  • Only feed food and treats manufactured within the USA.  Be careful while feeding food with novel sources of proteins originating from other countries.

  • If your dog develops signs of vomiting or diarrhea do not panic! Simple contact your veterinarian and schedule a consultation. Chances are those signs are due to dietary indiscretion, intestinal parasites or some kind of viral condition not related to Ebola.

  • There are not veterinary vaccines available to prevent the infection of Ebola in dogs. Also there are not protocols of treatment for a dog infected with the Ebola virus. So do not fall victim of internet scams. Always be an educated consumer for the benefits of your pets and your pocket.

Until this moment there is not documented evidence that a dog has infected a human with this virus. So do not listen to rumors in Social Media and remember that always the best source of information is your local animal doctor.  If you live in the Clayton County area please feel free to contact us at (404) 366-4370 for questions about this topic or other related health issues of your pets.

Veterinary Medical Center Of Clayton | Veterinarian | Animal Hospital | Forest Park 30297

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