First Human-To-Dog Monkeypox Transmission: What To Know

There’s no evidence that humans can transmit the monkeypox virus to their pets after an Italian greyhound contracted the disease from its owners. 

A report published in the Lancet medical journal discussed how a pet dog contracted monkeypox after sharing the bed of its owners —a gay French couple engaging in a non-monogamous relationship.

According to the couple, they noticed that their pet dog had developed pustules on its stomach. They admitted that the animal shared a bed with the two of them, so it might have licked one or both of them before licking itself. 

The Parisian man, aged 27 and 44, have made sexual contact with other partners amid their relationship. They were confirmed to have the virus in June, and they suffered from extensive ulcers and rashes. 

Their pet dog only began showing signs of monkeypox infection 12 days after. A PCR test later confirmed that the animal also contracted the disease, as per New York Post

The 44-year-old man is a Latino who lives with HIV. The younger man is White and does not have HIV. They live in the same household, but they are non-exclusive to each other. 

Both men presented with anal ulceration about six days after having sex with other guys. The older man then developed a rash on the face, ears and legs, while his younger partner had them on the legs and back. They also experienced weakness, headaches and fever alongside the rash. 

Ever since their dog showed monkeypox symptoms, the couple had been careful to prevent their pet from making contact with other animals or humans. The Italian greyhound developed skin lesions, including tender bumps with white pus on its abdomen. It also had anal skin ulcer. 

In countries where monkeypox is endemic, only wild animals, including rodents and primates, have been found to carry the virus. In the U.S. and Europe, the virus has been detected in prairie dogs and captive primates. 

Monkeypox infection in domesticated animals, such as dogs and acts, was unheard of before this case. The researchers indicated in their study that the first case should prompt debate on the need to isolate pets from their owners who have the virus.

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