Can My Dog Catch Ebola?

Q

Can my dog catch Ebola?

A

If your dog were to be so unfortunate to come in direct contact with Ebola virus, it could become infected.  However, there is no reason to expect your dog to show any symptoms.  Dogs do not seem to get ill from the virus but dogs exposed to the virus in the wild do develop antibodies which indicates that their immune systems have successfully thrown off the disease.

A bigger question might be whether infected dogs might spread the virus to people.  That is not yet completely clear.  Some think that a dog may shed the virus through urine or saliva for a short period of time until the dog successfully rids itself of the virus.  Such studies are ongoing.  Until such questions are answered, wisdom would dictate isolation and proper hygiene in any situations of viral contact.

Dr. Bob