Monkeypox and Pets
Laurie Anne Walden, DVM
Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease; it spreads between animals and humans. In the United States, the chance that a person will catch monkeypox from a pet or give monkeypox to a pet is very low. Transmission between people and pets is possible, though, so the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed monkeypox guidance for pet owners.
This article summarizes information from the CDC and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and is current as of August 24, 2022. See these links for updates:
How Monkeypox Spreads
Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958 in monkeys and since then has been found in many animal species. Rodents and other small mammals (not monkeys) are thought to be the reservoir species that maintain the virus.
Human infection was first reported in 1970 in Africa, and monkeypox has occasionally appeared in other parts of the world. The United States had an outbreak in 2003 after pet prairie dogs were housed with infected animals from Ghana. The 2022 global monkeypox outbreak has involved at least 75 countries.
The monkeypox virus is related to the virus that causes smallpox. The virus infects the host through the respiratory tract, mouth, eyes, or broken skin. These are some of the ways people and animals are infected:
Most transmission during the 2022 outbreak has been through close, direct contact with an infected person.
Animals at Risk
One pet dog has contracted monkeypox, most likely from direct contact with its owners (this was the first reported case of human-to-animal transmission). Chinchillas, prairie dogs, and some types of rabbits, mice, and rats can be infected with the monkeypox virus. Many wild mammals are also susceptible to infection. Cats, guinea pigs, hamsters, and cows can be infected with other viruses in the same genus as monkeypox, but whether they can also be infected with the monkeypox virus is not yet known. The CDC says that it’s best to assume that any mammal can be infected. There have been no reports of infection in animals that are not mammals.
Signs of Monkeypox in Animals
These are some of the signs that infected animals have developed:
These symptoms are nonspecific. Many conditions that are much more common than monkeypox cause the same symptoms in animals. Diagnosing monkeypox requires laboratory tests.
Precautions for Pet Owners: CDC Guidance
If You Think Your Pet Has Monkeypox: CDC Guidance
Monkeypox. American Veterinary Medical Association. Accessed August 24, 2022. https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/one-health/veterinarians-and-public-health/monkeypox
Monkeypox in animals. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Updated August 17, 2022. Accessed August 24, 2022. https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/veterinarian/monkeypox-in-animals.html
Monkeypox: pets in the home. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Updated August 17, 2022. Accessed August 24, 2022. https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/specific-settings/pets-in-homes.html
Seang S, Burrel S, Todesco E, et al. Evidence of human-to-dog transmission of monkeypox virus. Lancet. 2022:S0140-6736(22)01487-8. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(22)01487-8
Image source: CDC
How to Collect a Urine Sample
Laurie Anne Walden, DVM
Urinalysis is part of the diagnostic workup for many medical conditions, such as kidney disease, diabetes, and urinary tract infection. Pets that are urinating in unfortunate locations need urinalysis because inappropriate urination can be a symptom of a medical problem. Routine wellness checks, especially for senior animals, often include urinalysis. Urine is also collected for bacterial culture and other tests.
Urinalysis includes measurement of urine concentration, chemical analysis, and examination under a microscope. The results are affected by the age of the urine and the way the sample is collected. Urine begins to change soon after it’s voided, so urine samples need to be very fresh, ideally delivered to the veterinary clinic within an hour. The collection container needs to be completely clean, with no residue from food or cleaning solutions that can affect the chemical test results. Debris in a urine sample interferes with the chemical analysis and microscopic examination.
Urine can be collected either at home or at the veterinary clinic, depending on the reason the sample is needed and individual pet and household factors (such as the animal’s temperament and medical conditions, owner’s ability to collect urine, and distance to the clinic). Home urine collection is fine for most routine urinalysis, but check with your veterinarian to be sure it’s appropriate for your pet. Sometimes urine needs to be collected in a sterile manner at the veterinary clinic. In these cases, urine is usually collected by cystocentesis, a technique using a needle inserted directly into the bladder.
General Urine Collection Tips
Collecting Urine From Dogs
Collecting Urine From Cats
Photo by Tran Mau Tri Tam on Unsplash
Laurie Anne Walden, DVM
The contents of this blog are for information only and should not substitute for advice from a veterinarian who has examined the animal. All blog content is copyrighted by Mallard Creek Animal Hospital and may not be copied, reproduced, transmitted, or distributed without permission.