Ask the Vet | Can a dog virus be transmitted to humans

Normally a human cannot get a dog virus like canine influenza or parvo. However, people can catch viruses through exposure to dog faeces and the unsafe handling of sick or infected dogs. 


The dog virus a human can get is rabies. A bite from an infected dog is usually how the virus is transmitted. Though it is rare, a person can also get rabies if the saliva from an infected animal gets into their eyes, mouth or an open wound.

Ingesting Contaminated Material

When handling dogs, be aware that you can get parasites such as ring or tape worms, too. Humans can contract worms if they accidentally ingest material contaminated with dog stool that contains the worms. These are a baby form of the parasite, but they can migrate into your blood stream and lodge in your liver and spread to other vital organs.

Be Safe Around Contaminated Materials

Those handling sick pets need to follow safety procedures like wearing gloves and protective clothing, and washing their hands frequently. In some cases vaccinations are necessary.

It’s important to give your dog medication to prevent heart-worm disease and parasites, and to have him on a yearly vaccination schedule.

Viruses May Affect Humans If They Mutate

Type-A Influenza is a virus that results in a respiratory disease in dogs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there have been no instances of the canine influenza virus infecting humans. Dog viruses are constantly changing, and if something did cause the virus to mutate, only then could it affect humans.

Hope this info helps 

Till next week, 

Dr Ruan Bester

Ask the Vet:

Royal Veterinary Centre

Tel: +853 28501099, +853 28523678

Emergency: +853 62662268


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