This case of human-to-animal transmission of monkeypox, which was detected in a dog who may have caught the virus from his owners, prompts more investigation. After its owners caught monkeypox in Paris, a dog was proven positive for the virus.
To date, this is the first instance of suspected canine monkeypox, and it has prompted new inquiries into the possibility of human-to-animal transmission. According to a paper published in the Lancet on August 10, the dog owners, two men in a non-exclusive relationship, appeared at a hospital in Paris with symptoms of monkeypox at the end of May.
After discovering pus-filled blisters on their bodies, both men became feverish, lethargic, and achy. They isolated themselves and their 4-year-old Italian greyhound from the rest of the world as soon as they saw signs. About 12 days after the human residents of the residence first showed symptoms, the dog got pus-filled blisters on its belly as well as a minor anal lesion. As evidenced by the results of the tests, the men and the dog were affected by the same strain of monkeypox virus.
Researchers are still trying to pin down which mammalian species can spread monkeypox, although they know it can infect a wide range of mammals. The CDC says that prior to this incident, no cases of monkeypox being transferred from humans to animals had been documented.
This is probably an extremely unusual occurrence of a spillover infection, in which a virus has infected a species other than its usual one. Although dog and cat flu infections are rare, it has been documented that these creatures have contracted human flu viruses.
However, the authors of the Lancet paper noted that the example demonstrates the need for more investigation on monkeypox transmissions through pets. There isn’t enough evidence to conclude that canines are a secondary host for the virus, but it does raise the question of how monkeypox patients and their dog owners should treat the possibility of spreading the disease.