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Dogs and Ebola
10-17-2014, 03:57 AM, (This post was last modified: 10-17-2014, 04:14 AM by MrBill.)
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MrBill Offline
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Dogs and Ebola
Some of you may not have heard this news, but a few weeks ago in Spain, the Nursing assitant who contacted Ebola also had a pet dog, named Excalibur. Regrettably, Excalibur had also been infected wth Ebola and the authorities in Spain ordered that the dog be euthanized. Alhough many people protested in the streets to not kill the dog and let it live in quarantine, on October 8th the dog was laid to rest. Perhaps this was the best action to take, however, I'm not sure. How do you guys feel about this? Should this dog have been euthanized or was there another option or course of action that could have been taken?
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10-17-2014, 07:04 AM, (This post was last modified: 10-17-2014, 07:06 AM by Happyflowerlady.)
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RE: Dogs and Ebola
From what I have read about dogs and ebola thus far, it appears that dogs do not actually come down with ebola, but they do carry it, and can be contagious to humans.
Apparently, dogs have built up an immunity to the virus, and that is why they don't get sick and die from it; however other animals DO get sick and die from the ebola virus, so the whole thing is still pretty unclear.

If the dog cannot be infected, it would seem like they could not pass the virus to anyone else if their immune system has attacked and killed the ebola in their body. But, at the same time, I have read about other animals or insects like mosquitoes or ticks that carry the disease; but they pass it along by biting the person and infecting the bloodstream.
If that is also the case with dogs, then you should be fine unless they bit you, it seems like.
Even so, I think that if there is a chance that the animal could spread the disease, it should either be put down, or quarantined; however, I think the owner should have the option of deciding which they do.
In the case of Excalibur, the dog was put down against the owners wishes, and there was no proof that he would be contagious.

This is a whole different thing than if a dog contracts rabies, and it is known that if he bites someone they can die. The dog also suffers and dies from rabies; so in this case putting them to sleep is the most humane thing to do for the dog, as well as protecting hom from infecting humans or other animals.
With the ebola virus, it just isn't as clear cut, at least not yet.
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10-17-2014, 07:44 AM,
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RE: Dogs and Ebola
There are plenty of diseases that are mild in one species but lethal in another - a good example is simian herpes B which in Macaque monkeys causes something similar to cold sores and chicken pox but has a 90% fatality rate in humans not treated and is extremely nasty in those that are are treated.

If dogs can carry the virus then it would not take a bite to infect someone - dogs lick people. Think of that nice germ laden tongue sweeping across your face with open mucous membranes in the eyes nose and mouth. Or on your hand all it would take is a hang nail or paper cut.
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10-19-2014, 01:47 PM,
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RE: Dogs and Ebola
I am not a doctor and I don't know specifics but I think they did the right thing in this case. Believe me, I think it was extremely sad for the dog. I never like to see a pet be put to sleep, but if he did have the disease and this was the only course of action it needed to be done.

I don't think it would be fair to make a dog, or any pet, live in quarantine for the rest of his life. I know I would never chose this option and I am sure the dog wouldn't either. I just hope and pray for us and the animals that we can get a handle on this horrific situation. Sad

Danyel Sad
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10-19-2014, 07:12 PM,
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RE: Dogs and Ebola
(10-19-2014, 01:47 PM)Danyel72 Wrote: I am not a doctor and I don't know specifics but I think they did the right thing in this case. Believe me, I think it was extremely sad for the dog. I never like to see a pet be put to sleep, but if he did have the disease and this was the only course of action it needed to be done.

I don't think it would be fair to make a dog, or any pet, live in quarantine for the rest of his life. I know I would never chose this option and I am sure the dog wouldn't either. I just hope and pray for us and the animals that we can get a handle on this horrific situation. Sad

Danyel Sad

I agree with you - and much as we love our pets at the end of the day if is a choice between human lives and pet lives human lives have to come first (although I know some people may disagree with that and there are definitely some individual humans I would save any number of pet lives over)

Living in quarantine for their whole life would be unacceptable - and what if the quarantine failed? Chances are over time the people caring for them would relax and possibly miss a precaution out and then you have the disease back in the human population.

It tears my heart but I cannot see what else can be done. Hopefully research will ascertain whether the disease will live in dogs and other pets and it will be discovered if the danger is real or not.
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10-20-2014, 08:56 AM,
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RE: Dogs and Ebola
I don't see why in thhe world they couldn't just test the dog for the ebola virus, and then act accordingly. They test the humans that get sick from ebola to make sure that is what is wrong with them, and apparently, sometimes it doesn't even take much to tell.
The person who got sick on the airplane and then died; they were able to say right away that it was not ebola that he died from.
Why they sometimes need a couple of days and more blood tests to tell, and other times they know right away just doesn't make any sense to me; but then, I am not a doctor.

I agree that the dog should not have to live the rest of his life in quarantine. I thought it would only be a few weeks like they do with people to make sure they are not infected. If the dog would be contagious the rest of his life, then putting him to sleep was probably the only viable option in this case.
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10-20-2014, 08:18 PM,
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RE: Dogs and Ebola
(10-20-2014, 08:56 AM)Happyflowerlady Wrote: I don't see why in thhe world they couldn't just test the dog for the ebola virus, and then act accordingly. They test the humans that get sick from ebola to make sure that is what is wrong with them, and apparently, sometimes it doesn't even take much to tell.
The person who got sick on the airplane and then died; they were able to say right away that it was not ebola that he died from.
Why they sometimes need a couple of days and more blood tests to tell, and other times they know right away just doesn't make any sense to me; but then, I am not a doctor.

I agree that the dog should not have to live the rest of his life in quarantine. I thought it would only be a few weeks like they do with people to make sure they are not infected. If the dog would be contagious the rest of his life, then putting him to sleep was probably the only viable option in this case.


If Ebola testing is the same as most infection testing then it does not test for the virus itself - viruses are too small. It will test for antibody response - if a person has anti bodies to Ebola then they have Ebola.
The problem with this regards dogs is their anti bodies will be different from human ones - a human test will not work on them.

Then there are other issues - there is a difference between having the disease and being infectious. A person off a plane may have no symptoms but tests show they are infected and about to become sick. This person will not be infectious. A person recovered from the disease will also test positive for a while - perhaps forever, but again will not be infectious (we think). So to take that to dogs - we know that dogs do not get Ebola in its human form - but may carry it. So they can invent a test to see if a dog is carrying it but that will not tell us if the dog is infectious to humans. Before we can decide what to do with dogs who have had contact with Ebola we have to know if they carry it, for how long do they carry it, are they infectious to humans while carrying it, and for how long are they infectious to humans. That is going to take quite a time to research and at the moment all energies are on researching a cure for humans.

Worst case scenario would be if dogs and Ebola are like Monkeys and a type of Herpes that is fatal to humans - a monkey has a mild disease response but remains a carrier throughout its life and is infectious to humans throughout its life and the only option for areas where contact with humans is expected is to destroy the monkey because while the monkey is fine it is very very dangerous to humans. If dogs can carry Ebola and remain capable of infecting humans for their whole life any infected dog will have to be destroyed.
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10-24-2014, 03:20 AM,
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RE: Dogs and Ebola
I was reading somewhere online that one of the other people who has been discovered to have the ebola virus also has a dog.
Apparently, in this case, they are putting the dog in a confinement for a while , so they can test and see if the dog is contagious or not. This makes a lot more sense to me than just killing the dog immediately, without even being sure if it could infect another person or not.
That is information that they need to know sooner or later anyway, because there will probably be a lot more people who have been around animals that might have gotten infected with the virus, and would have to be put down if it turns out that they are contagious.
Since this is a virus that apparently started in animals (monkeys and fruit bats), then it seems to me that it could also affect other animals, at least some of them.
Since most of the virus spread in Africa from people eating infected monkeys, and other animals, then it could also be a plroblem in some of the countries where dogs and cats are consumed as food.
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01-27-2015, 01:21 AM,
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RE: Dogs and Ebola
If the dog had it in its system it could have become a life long carrier. We don't really know enough about Ebola at this time to safely let a pet live if there is a chance they could infect other people and animals. While it's sad for the docg, people have to come first. I think they made the right decision to out the dog down to make sure the disease did not continue to spread.
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