Mono, also known as the “kissing disease,” commonly affects humans. Since this illness is so prevalent in humans, many dog owners may be concerned about whether it is possible for dogs to get mono.
The short answer is no, dogs can’t get mono. In fact, dogs can not get the Epstein-Barr virus responsible for mono in humans. However, there are many other viruses that can cause similar symptoms in dogs.
Read below for answers to further questions about mono in dogs.
What Is Mono?
The Epstein-Barr virus is responsible for the highly contagious condition known as mononucleosis. This infectious virus is most popularly called the kissing illness because of its mode of transmission.
Contact between the mouth and the saliva might spread mono. Sharing items such as toothbrushes, eating and drinking utensils, and, as the common name suggests, transmitting the disease through kissing are all typical transmission methods.
People infected with the Epstein-Barr virus may misdiagnose themselves with the flu due to the disease’s vague symptoms. Infected people may mistake the symptoms, which result from the virus attacking lymph nodes in the throat and neck, for a more severe case of sore throat.
This virus has an incubation period of four to seven weeks. Those infected with kissing sickness will experience fever and a sore throat from pharyngeal inflammation, among other symptoms.
The symptoms of this illness include fatigue, weakness, weight loss due to a lack of appetite, swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck, groin, and armpits, as well as muscle aches and stiffness.
An enlarged spleen and liver are symptoms of advanced infectious mononucleosis. In certain surprising circumstances, a person infected with a disease may exhibit no outward signs of illness. In addition, canine carriers of the virus may exhibit no outward signs of illness.
As with many other viral illnesses, mononucleosis has no specific cure. The kissing virus cannot spread to others if there is no oral contact. Most infected patients would make a full recovery in around two months. The most effective treatment for this condition is rest.
Can Dogs Get Mono?
While humans are the most common carriers of the mono virus, dogs are not entirely immune. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that dogs do not contract the Epstein-Barr virus, which is what causes mono in people.
Instead, it’s possible that dogs are vulnerable to other viruses that induce symptoms similar to those caused by mono. Therefore, saying that dogs can get “mono” in the same way that people can is not correct.
Risk Factors for Mono in Dogs
Although dogs cannot develop mono from the Epstein-Barr virus, they might get other viruses or bacteria that cause symptoms similar to mono. Dogs with compromised immune systems, whether from disease or treatment, are at greater risk of contracting infections.
Likewise, kennels and animal shelters may increase the danger for dogs because of the stress they cause. Vaccinating your dog, taking it in for regular checkups at the vet, and feeding it a balanced diet will all help strengthen your dog’s immune system and lower the risk that it will get an infectious disease.
Symptoms of Mono in Dogs
Although dogs don’t contract mono in the same way that humans do, they might show similar symptoms.
Dogs with viral or bacterial illnesses often show signs of fatigue, loss of appetite, fever, lymph node swelling, and breathing difficulties. Dogs can also experience coughing, sneezing, and ocular discharge.
Keep close tabs on your dog’s health and see a vet immediately if you observe any unusual behavior. Your dog will feel better and have fewer problems if you catch the problem early and seek treatment.
Diagnosing Mono in Dogs
Since there isn’t a reliable test for canine mono, diagnosis can be difficult.
However, veterinarians are able to rule out other probable causes by performing a comprehensive physical checkup, reviewing the dog’s medical history, and running a battery of diagnostic tests.
In order to determine the state of the dog’s health and locate any hidden infections, diagnostic procedures like blood testing, urinalysis, and imaging may be necessary. Based on your dog’s symptoms and the clinic’s findings, your doctor will recommend a course of treatment.
Treating Mono in Dogs
When treating a dog with what seems to be mono, the goal is to make the dog as comfortable as possible and help speed up their recovery. Medication to lower fever and inflammation, fluids to avoid dehydration, and advice to get plenty of rest and eat well are all part of the package.
Antibiotics are often given when bacterial infections are suspected. To ensure a full recovery for your dog, it is crucial to follow your vet’s orders and administer the prescribed treatment for the full duration.
It may be required to check in on your dog at regular intervals so that the vet can track his or her development and make any required modifications to the treatment plan.
Prevention of Mono in Dogs
While dogs are immune to the mono virus, there are still measures you can take to protect your pet from other infectious diseases. Protecting your dog against disease is as simple as keeping him vaccinated, providing him with a clean and sanitary living space, and keeping him away from sick animals.
In addition to regular exercise and a healthy diet, good hygiene practices like washing your hands before and after touching your dog can make a big difference.
Can I Get Mono From My Dog?
Humans cannot contract mono from dogs. The Epstein-Barr virus is the primary causative agent of mono, and it is almost never discovered in dogs.
The condition that appears to be mono in dogs is actually caused by a combination of several viruses and bacteria, but it cannot be passed on to humans because these pathogens are not contagious.
Can Dogs Spread Mono to Other Dogs?
Dogs and humans don’t have the same mode of transmission for mono-like diseases.
Contrary to humans, who contract mononucleosis from just the Epstein-Barr virus, dogs can contract infections with similar symptoms from a wide variety of viruses and bacteria.
As we’ll explain below, different infectious agents have different modes of transmission.
When dogs come into close contact with diseased animals, they can catch diseases similar to mono. This may happen if the dog comes in close contact with the sick one, such as by sniffing, licking, or playing.
Nasal or oral secretions, as well as urine or feces, can all play a role in the spread of disease.
Objects That May Be Contaminated
It’s possible for mono-like infections in dogs to be passed on through contaminated objects.
The viral agents that cause canine mono can hang around for a while.
Surfaces like flooring, grass, and dirt can harbor infectious pathogens for an extended period, exposing dogs to them. This may help the disease spread even further.
There have been reports of puppies contracting mono from their mothers during pregnancy, delivery, or while they are nursing. Puppies can catch the disease from their mothers either through the placenta, the birth canal, or the mother’s milk.
Comparing Canine and Human Mono
This section compares the human and canine mono.
Although dogs are immune to Epstein-Barr virus-caused mono, the condition presents similarly in both people and canines. Dogs may feel run down and drowsy and develop a fever, swollen lymph nodes, and a general malaise.
There are several possible causes for these symptoms in dogs, including viruses and bacteria. It’s crucial to seek veterinarian care to identify the root cause and administer corrective care.
Evolutionary studies suggest that canine EBV evolved from a human-only strain. This mutation causes the virus to have different effects on dogs than it does on humans.
The main difference is that EBV causes liver and spleen enlargement in humans but not in dogs. Although EBV has been linked to white blood cell cancer in dogs, no such link has been seen in humans.
EBV can cause a rash in humans, but dogs are immune to such symptoms.
Does Epstein-Barr Virus Cause Cancer?
Previous research has established a connection between the Epstein-Barr virus and a few types of cancers including Hodgkin’s, non-Hodgkin’s, and Burkitt’s lymphomas.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania discovered evidence that the virus that causes mono could also be responsible for cancer in canines.
The research group compared a section of DNA from two of the dogs used in the study to a sequence in EBV. Three out of nine dogs with lymphoma had “EBV-like DNA” in their tumor cells, according to additional testing. This suggests that the virus may play a role in the development of lymphomas in dogs.
Diseases That Dogs Can Spread to Humans
Dogs have the capacity to spread several diseases to people, but mono is not one of them. The following are some typical examples:
Dogs, like many other animals, can spread the virus that causes rabies by biting or scratching someone. Both dogs and humans are at risk of developing this potentially lethal disease.
Salmonella germs may be carried by dogs, and they can spread to humans either through physical contact or by leaving their excrement in places where humans eat or prepare food.
Urine from affected animals, particularly dogs, can spread this bacterial infection to people. It manifests with symptoms similar to the flu and, if left untreated, may lead to serious side effects.
Coming into contact with a sick dog’s skin or contaminated materials like bedding or grooming tools can spread ringworm, a fungal infection, to people.
Campylobacter is a bacterium found in the feces of infected dogs that can be passed on to humans by contact with or ingestion of contaminated objects and cause diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
Giardia is a parasite that may infect a dog and result in diarrhea and stomach problems. Humans can contract the disease via ingesting polluted water or coming into contact with feces from diseased dogs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Mono is most contagious before symptoms surface and it stays that way until symptoms dissipate. Some studies suggest mono is contagious for three months, while others say up to 18 months.
Mono can spread through bodily fluids including saliva, blood, and semen.
Mono is only considered an STD when it is sexually transmitted. Often, though, mono spreads through saliva.
Conclusion for “Can Dogs Get Mono”
The good news is that dogs can’t get mono.
The bad news is that they can contract other viruses which may lead to identical symptoms. Make sure you take your dog for regular visits to the vet to make sure that they remain healthy.
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Garrett loves animals and is a huge advocate for all Doodle dog breeds. He owns his own Goldendoodle named Kona. In addition, he volunteers at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, where he fosters dogs and helps animals. Garrett enjoys writing about Doodles and believes that dogs can teach humans more about how to live than humans can teach a dog.
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