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Also known as “the kissing disease”, Mono is typically transmitted via smooching ie. saliva.
Does your dog give out lots of hugs and kisses? You are worried about them coming down with Mononucleosis?
You’ll be happy to hear that pets cannot catch Mono.
It is contagious, but such a scenario does not apply to dogs! Their cells are unaffected by this particular virus.
Dogs Do Not Get Mononucleosis
Transmission from humans to animals and vice-versa is not possible.
Cuddling with your dog is okay even if you currently have this infectious disease.
With that being said, there is something important you should know about…
Pets Do Get The Etiologic Agent
Almost all dogs will eventually get Epstein Barr virus (EBV) or a similar gammaherpesvirus which, in humans, can lead to Mono.
In other words…
Your dog can get sick from the source of Mono. It’s just that EBV, a herpes family virus, will not develop into Mononucleosis.
K9s With Mono-Like Symptoms
It may seem like your buddy has Mono if you have observed the following:
- A sore throat
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck area
- A fever
Though Mononucleosis is not a possibility, it could very well be that your dog has contracted EBV.
Yup! The virus is so prevalent that a serological detection study found that 64% of US-based dogs already had the antibodies based on serum samples taken.
EBV Prevention And Treatment
Preventing your dog from catching this herpesvirus is not realistic.
No vaccination exists for Mono or the Epstein–Barr virus.
Again, at some point, an EBV infection will happen. Thankfully the vast majority of dogs, like humans, are completely asymptomatic.
Of course, you could get your dog’s blood tested to confirm the presence of this Mono-like virus.
But such an infection will virtually always pass without a need for treatment. Besides, all you could really do is help to strengthen the immune system.
Does EBV Cause Cancer?
The Epstein–Barr virus has already been linked to Hodgkin’s, non-Hodgkin’s and Burkitt’s lymphomas. And a University of Pennsylvania study found indications that Mono’s source can also cause cancer in dogs.
What this team of researchers did was match a sequence in EBV with a portion of DNA from 2 of the test subject dogs.
Further analysis found, “evidence of EBV-like DNA in the cancer cells of three of nine dogs with lymphoma.”
So the virus appears to be linked to incidences of lymphomas in canines, although this is also true for humans.
The Bottom Line
Dogs are not susceptible to Mono.
But wait! While this exact sickness does not pertain to pets, Mononucleosis’s underlying cause (the Epstein–Barr virus) can affect your animal.
And because EBV may cause similar symptoms, it can appear like your dog has Mono.
Transmission of this viral infection is, unfortunately, unavoidable for all intents and purposes. Even so, with a functioning immune system, your dog should be fine.