Ebola and Our Pets

After Dallas nurse Nina Pham tested positive for Ebola two weeks ago, a photo of her with her beloved dog Bentley went viral throughout the media world, with many people wondering the fate of the cute Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.  The concerns were warranted as a canine companion was promptly euthanized in Spain after it’s owner contracted the deadly virus.

In Dallas, city officials vowed they would do everything they could to save Pham’s dog. On October 11th, Bentley was placed in a 21-day quarantine; yesterday it was announced that he tested negative for the disease. He’ll continue to be monitored and tested for the remainder of his quarantine, but a happy reunion should be in store for him and Pham (who’s clinical status was just upgraded from fair to good).

Bentley Pham was placed in quarantine after his owner tested positive for Ebola.  Bentley tested negative for the disease.  According the CDC, pets are not at risk for contracting or spreading the disease to other animals or humans. Image source: Dallas Animal Services and Adoption Center's Facebook Page.

Bentley Pham was placed in quarantine after his owner tested positive for Ebola. Bentley tested negative for the disease. According the CDC, pets are not at risk for contracting or spreading the disease to other animals or humans.
Image source: Dallas Animal Services and Adoption Center’s Facebook Page.

The difference in treatment plans for these dogs shows just how little is known about Ebola and it’s affect on the pet population.  According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the most recent evidence suggests that pets are not at a significant risk for contracting the disease.  In it’s most recent report, the CDC states that there have been no reports of dogs or cats becoming sick with Ebola or being able to spread it to other people.

While the risk of our pets contracting or spreading Ebola is rare, there is still much to be learned about the disease.   If you’d like to learn more, we encourage you to check out the following sites:

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