Monkeypox: Dog tests positive after sharing bed with owners

An Italian greyhound belonging to a gay couple in Paris has tested positive for monkeypox after sharing a bed with his owners.

Scientific journal The Lancet described it as “the first case of a dog with confirmed monkeypox virus infection that might have been acquired through human transmission”.

On 10 June, the couple, who are non-exclusive, attended Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris, France, presenting with monkeypox, after having sex with other men.

Less than two weeks later, and after sharing a bed with their four-year-old Italian greyhound, they noticed the dog had developed lesions on his stomach, as well as an anal ulceration.

The dog was checked for monkeypox using an adapted PCR test and was found to be positive for the hMPXV-1 clade lineage B1 strain, an identical match to the couple’s.

The same strain has been spreading across the world since April, and in France has infected more than 1,700 people, mostly in Paris.

“To the best of our knowledge, the kinetics of symptom onset in both patients and, subsequently, in their dog suggest human-to-dog transmission of monkeypox virus,” researchers wrote.

They said that because of the dog’s symptoms it showed monkeypox in dogs was “a real canine disease”, rather than dogs simply carrying the virus.

“Our findings should prompt debate on the need to isolate pets from monkeypox virus-positive individuals,” they added.

“We call for further investigation on secondary transmissions via pets.”

Across the globe, there have been more than 31,799 new cases of monkeypox identified since the beginning of the current outbreak.

The World Health Organization (WHO) this month announced it would be creating an open forum to rename monkeypox, as concerns build that the virus’ current name could be increasing stigma and discrimination.

It added that giving new names to monkeypox variants would “avoid causing offence to any cultural, social, national, regional, professional, or ethnic groups, and minimise any negative impact on trade, travel, tourism or animal welfare”.