Oct
15
2014

The United States is taking a wait-and-see approach when it comes to pets of Ebola patients, rather than quickly euthanizing them as happened in Spain.

After American nurse Nina Pham fell ill with Ebola symptoms, health officials swooped in to collect her dog, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Bentley. Bentley is currently under quarantine at Hensley Field Services Center, a decommissioned naval air base in Dallas, according to CBS News.

Jody Jones, director for Dallas Animal Services, told the news that although Bentley is being kept in unfamiliar surroundings, they are giving him toys and treats and trying to make him feel somewhat at home.

"We were very fortunate in finding a home-like environment for the dog rather than a standard isolation facility," Jones said. "Bentley is being crated during his stay because he does have to be confined — because this is a public health situation — but we are trying to make it as comfortable as possible for him."

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings told ABC News that city officials were going to do their best to protect Bentley because the "dog's very important to the patient and we want it to be safe."

Organizations collaborating on Ebola information for the public 

Media coverage of Ebola patients and their pets have sparked public concerns regarding whether pets can spread the Ebola virus to humans.

In response to the concerns, the AVMA announced that it is collaborating with the CDC, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and other agencies and experts to develop information about Ebola and animals for AVMA members and the public. 

As more information becomes available, the AVMA advised people to visit its new resource on Ebola at avma.org/ebola. This section includes information for veterinarians, an FAQ section for veterinary clients, and a link to the CDC's Q&A about Ebola and pets.

The Washington State Veterinary Medical Association also recently issued some talking points for veterinarians to discuss with clients the risks of contracting Ebola from pets.

Comments (1) -

C. Adam Carter DVM
C. Adam Carter DVMUnited States
10/16/2014 4:19:17 PM #

So the dog has to stay crated in a kennel, even though he has not tested positive for Ebola or may not even be able to contract the disease.  However, the humans can travel as they please under "self quarantine"  on airlines and among the unsuspecting public.  I have wondered for years why people are not screened more carefully for communicable diseases before travel, especially international.  I see pets that are with military personnel and travel overseas with their families and there is a lengthy process involved before a pet can travel internationally with "health certificates" ,AKA certificates of veterinary inspection, being required before the pet can even board the plane.  The ONLY way to stop the spread of Ebola is to limit the travel of the person harboring the virus or potentially harboring the virus in their body.  Lets not forget how many deaths are related to the flu either.  Now the nation is in a panic and the government is standing there with their thumbs up the pooper letting this disease into America and the public/taxpayers will be stuck with the bill of the treatment, quarantine, decontamination of the ebola vicitm that may not even be a citizen of the US.  Its gonna get crazy!!

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