XIMPORTANT NEWS:There have been several health alerts concerning Leptospirosis, Influenza, and Monkeypox that may affect your pets.Read More

Health Alert Updates


Health Alert Updates

Leptospirosis and Canine Influenza

There has been an uptick in incidences of both Leptospirosis and Canine Influenza in the Houston area. Please be sure to ask about whether or not your dog is protected. We will add more information here as it becomes available from the appropriate authorities.

Monkeypox and Pets

Veterinary Health Advisory Network (VHAN)

July 15, 2022

 Harris County Public Health (HCPH)

Monkeypox Guidance for Veterinarians and Veterinary Clinics

 

Key Takeaways:

  1. Veterinarians and their staff should stay informed on the ongoing outbreak of human cases of monkeypox.
  2. Veterinarians should consider all mammals susceptible to monkeypox and be aware that it may spread between animals, and between humans and animals, via direct contact, respiratory droplets, and indirect contact with contaminated materials or fomites.
  3. Any animal suspected of having contracted monkeypox should be isolated and reported to your local health department immediately.
    1. Within HCPH jurisdiction, please contact the Veterinary Public Health division by calling (281) 999-3191.
  4. Humans who are symptomatic with monkeypox compatible symptoms should avoid direct contact with their pets.
  5. At this time, risk to the general public and animals is low.

 

Background:

Since early this year, cases of monkeypox have been reported from different countries around the world. The first case of monkeypox in the United States was diagnosed in a traveler who returned to Massachusetts from Canada on May 17, 2022. Since then, 1,470 cases of monkeypox/orthopoxvirus have been identified in the U.S. (as of July 14, 2022). The current identification of monkeypox cases in many non-endemic countries that involve patients with no direct travel history to an area with endemic monkeypox, suggests person-to-person community spread.

Transmission:

The most significant risk factors associated with human-to-human transmission of Monkeypox virus include close contact, sustained skin-to-skin contact including sexual contact, with a person with monkeypox or contact with contaminated fomites (e.g., shared linens).

The route of transmission in animals is less understood. The virus can be spread from animals to humans through bites or scratches, eating infected animal tissues, direct contact with body fluids or skin lesions, and indirect contact with contaminated materials such as bedding. The complete range of animal species that are susceptible to monkeypox virus is still not known.

Symptoms:

In humans, symptoms include fever, chills, headache, myalgia, lymphadenopathy, and lethargy followed by a bumpy or blister-like rash.

Symptoms vary between animal species and may include lethargy, decreased appetite, fever, cough, crusting or clouding of the eyes, swelling in the front and hind limbs, and a bumpy or blister-like rash.

 

Recommendations for Veterinary Clinics:

  1. If an animal has symptoms of monkeypox and was exposed to another animal or human with monkeypox:
    1. Contact your local health department immediately.
      1. In HCPH jurisdiction, please contact Veterinary Public Health.
    2. Do not have the owner bring their pet into the clinic, if possible.
    3. Advise the owner to isolate their pet at home.
    4. Advise the owner to NOT release the pet into the wild or take it to a shelter.

 

Recommendations for Pet Owners:

  1. Individuals who are symptomatic with monkeypox compatible symptoms should avoid direct contact with their pets
  2. If you believe your pet has monkeypox:
    1. Contact your local health department immediately.
      1. In HCPH jurisdiction, please contact Veterinary Public Health.
    2. Isolate the animal away from all people and other animals in the household.
    3. Use precautions such as gloves and a mask when taking care of your pet and wash hands with warm water and soap after interactions.
    4. Disinfect all bedding and objects the pet came in contact with using a disinfectant labeled for such use.
    5. Contact your veterinarian to discuss any medical care for the pet. Do not take your pet to a veterinary clinic or hospital without calling to discuss the situation.
    6. Do not surrender the animal to an animal shelter.
    7. Do not release the pet into the wild.

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