The Real Facts of Ebola and Your Dog
Dr. Doug Aspros gives the facts on your dog and Ebola.
Cari Jorgensen |
Posted: October 17, 2014, 1:30 p.m. PST
In my opinion, news broadcasts tend to overly dramatize their reports. Living in southern California, I cannot tell you how many times news stations report "Storm Watch [fill in the year]”while their reporters are dressed in raincoats and carrying umbrellas and outside it’s barely drizzling. My dogs come in and don’t even shake any water off themselves as if to say, "What rain?” Seriously. Their Storm Watch reports can last all day; the rain rarely does.
It’s easy to laugh off such reporting. But what about when they’re talking about something a little scarier, like Ebola and our dogs? There has been lots of media coverage on the King Charles Spaniel that belonged to Ebola patient Nina Pham. Dogs who’ve been exposed to Ebola have been euthanized. Others, like Pham’s dog, have been quarantined. Nobody, it seems, dares come in contact with these animals.
Is the news whipping people into a needless frenzy or is there really something to worry about?
Deciphering fact from sensationalism is hard, but Dr. Doug Aspros, spokesperson for the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), gave the real facts of Ebola and our dogs in a recent press release.
- Ebola can only be contracted by coming in direct contact with an infected individual. Unless your dog cozies up with and gives kisses to someone who has recently worked in West Africa, he’s not in any danger of contracting the virus.
- No dog has developed the disease – not even in West Africa. "There is evidence that dogs in Africa exposed to animals who died from Ebola infections generated antibodies to the virus…There have been no human cases of Ebola associated with dogs…all dogs that were tested remained asymptomatic, there was no evidence of transmission,” Aspros said in the press release.
- Dogs of U.S. Ebola patients will be quarantined instead of euthanized. "The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) has called for quarantine and not euthanasia for dogs exposed to human cases, and that further studies be done…It is inhumane to automatically euthanize dogs that have been in contact with an infected human patient,” Aspros continued. I think we’d all agree with him on that.
While I never thought my dogs would contract Ebola, it’s still reassuring to know the facts. For more information on Ebola and pets, please visit the AVMA Ebola Virus FAQ page.
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