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Can Dogs Get Monkeypox?

Updated: May 31, 2022

Monkeypox is a rare viral infection that is similar to smallpox. It is most commonly found in Africa, where it is believed to be transmitted from squirrels to humans. The disease gets its name from the fact that it was first observed in monkeys. Symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, and a rash that spreads from the face to the rest of the body. The rash develops into pus-filled blisters, which can eventually lead to scarring.

Monkeypox is usually not fatal, but it can be deadly in young children and people with weakened immune systems. There is no specific treatment for monkeypox, but early diagnosis and supportive care can improve the chances of recovery. vaccination against smallpox can also help to prevent monkeypox.

Common household disinfectants can kill the monkeypox virus, according to the CDC.

A study into monkeypox in 2013 by the Center for Food Security and Public Health, Iowa State University, reads:

"The complete range of animal species that can be infected by the monkeypox virus is still not known; other wild and domestic animals may be susceptible."

From the World Health Organization.

Various animal species have been identified as susceptible to the monkeypox virus. This includes

  • Rope squirrels,

  • Tree squirrels,

  • Gambian pouched rats

  • Dormice

  • Non-human primates and other species

Also from the Center for Food Security and Public Health, Iowa State University.

How can my animal get monkeypox?

Monkeypox is spread by direct contact between infected and uninfected animals. This can possibly be through skin abrasions or through the air in aerosols.

Can I get monkeypox?

Yes. People can get monkeypox by direct contact with an infected animal’s blood, body fluids, or sores, as well as by a bite.

How can I protect myself from monkeypox?

Avoid exposure to animals or people infected with the monkeypox virus.

Can You Pass It to Your Dog?

Dr. Scott Weese of the Ontario Veterinary College’s Centre for Public Health and Zoonoses writes:

We don’t know. All the focus to date has been on the transmission of the virus in the other direction. Monkeypox virus can be transmitted by droplets and direct contact, but it’s not highly transmissible, so close and prolonged contact is likely required. We have that kind of contact with pets, so we have to assume there’s some risk of exposure. Whether that’s enough to cause infection is the big question. I suspect the risk is low but not zero.


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