Can dogs get chicken pox? Dogs are the most loving pet existent on the planet. It is not a surprise that one-third of the global population are dog owners.
They provide support, love, and whatnot, but most importantly, they are the most playful creatures.
It’s a relatively common question – can dogs get chickenpox? As humans, we all have been through the misery of chickenpox. It mostly affects people as children, and as time goes by, they often forget the misery they were in.
You can identify chickenpox through the excruciatingly prominent rashes or those unbearably itchy red acne-like spots. And not to mention when the acne pops up and blisters all over, spreading the rash even more. Yes, it’s not beer and skittles.
As you probably know, chickenpox requires self-isolation in order to contain the spread, especially among children because of their lack of ability to sit in one place.
Isolation can be tough, especially for children. You can’t expect them to not leave their room for a certain amount of time.
They require attention, companionship, and, most importantly, a friend. Therefore, if it’s you who got infected or your kid, you are probably wondering, do the infected also have to isolate themselves from dogs?
Since we are living in the age of pandemics, most of us are now habitual to quarantines and staying indoors. As compared to covid-19, self-isolation during chickenpox is an easier pill to swallow since you only have to restrict yourself from people who have never had chickenpox. It is a one-time disease only.
As mentioned above, dogs are supportive and loveable, and who better to support you during your sick days than a dog, right? Therefore, keep reading to learn the answer to your question, can dogs get chickenpox?
Before getting straight to the point, let us straighten out the basics first!
Can Dogs Get Chickenpox?
The short answer is no; dogs can not contract chickenpox from humans. Relatively speaking, chickenpox is only restricted to humans, meaning it only infects humans, and your dog is safe.
However, you might be concerned for your dog since it started showing symptoms similar to chickenpox.
Rest assured, you can stop blaming yourself as your dog probably didn’t catch the virus from you or from any other human. Your dog might have a rash that mimics chicken pox, but it is a general symptom rather than an indication of something serious.
Can dogs Get Chicken Pox? What is it anyways?
Chickenpox is a species-specific disease that is highly contagious and is caused by the so-called varicella-zoster virus. It causes a rash so itchy that it blisters all over.
In most cases, the spots or rash first appear on the chest, face, and back and slowly makes its way through the entire body. Note that it can easily cause up to 500 blisters.
Chickenpox is not to be taken lightly, especially when adolescents, babies, adults, pregnant women, and people with a weak immune system are infected.
They are the most at risk as they do not have the ability to fight off the germs and sickness; therefore, the best possible way to safeguard yourself from chickenpox is to get the chickenpox virus.
Back in the 90s, chickenpox was very common in the states. Around 4 million people got infected, out of which 12000 were hospitalized, and approximately 100 patients lost their lives each year.
Now, thanks to the vaccine that became available in 1995, all of these deaths and hospitalizations are prevented.
Does My Dog Have Chickenpox?
It is very easy to mistake a rash or any similar dog disease with chickenpox. As we have already cleared that dogs can not get chickenpox, that rash on your dog’s belly could be due to a multitude of conditions.
What Are The Symptoms Of Chickenpox In Dogs?
Dogs can never contract chickenpox. However, as mentioned above that, a rash can be caused by a multitude of conditions;
some of the conditions and their symptoms are:
Can Dogs get chicken pox? The Parasites
Parasites cause the skin to inflame once they are done sucking the blood. On the skin, fleas and ticks are the most common cause of red spots and rashes.
Among dogs, Mange is a condition caused by parasites in which a group of cells dies. This results in sores, hair loss, and itching on the infected skin area. These symptoms often spread fast and can infect your dog’s face, legs, and ears. Therefore, in any case, you must consult with your vet immediately.
Rashes might be caused due to food allergies or contact with independent allergens.Such allergens include specific weeds, toxic plants, and pollen grains. Allergic reactions from these allergens can resemble the likes of chickenpox.
The staph infection in dogs expresses symptoms similar to chickenpox, i.e., a rash. A bacterial infection often gets access to the body through an open wound on the skin.
Once the bacteria makes its way inside, it starts to infect the skin. Later on, the infection starts to itch and crust and might even form pustules. And in worst-case scenarios, your dog might even lose some hair.
Bacterial infections can be easily treated through antibiotics and ointments mostly.
Canine Herpes Virus
As the name suggests, this is a sexually transmitted disease. This virus affects dogs of each age group differently, so it is better if we go through each one by one.
Mostly affects pregnant dogs and the puppies growing inside. It causes the vulva of the female dogs to inflame and blister. It makes the puppies intolerably weak, thanks to the fading puppy syndrome. This syndrome makes them unable to suckle and eventually die.
- Kennel cough
- Raised genital sores periodically.
- The sudden death of a puppy (newborn)
- Nonstop crying
- Unusual feces, colorwise.
- For older puppies, their nervous system could break down and cause seizures, blindness, and other abnormalities.
- Always cold
- Difficulty initiating respiration.
These were some of the medical conditions that might give off chickenpox-like symptoms. Nevertheless, it is not chickenpox itself.
How Do I Treat My Dog?
As mentioned above, there could be several reasons why your dog has a rash. Therefore, the treatment is also dependent on the cause. It wouldn’t be safe to try and treat the rash without knowing the proper cause.
It is often recommended to consult with vets in case of a rash and let them run all of the necessary diagnostics. This will not only determine the cause but also lay out a valid treatment plan. Dogs are sensitive; you wouldn’t want to take any risks with them. So, it is better to just play the long game.
In case your dog is not up to the mark with parasite control, your vet may advise you to sort this out first. Getting to the tests and diagnostics would be secondary.
In order to provide temporary relief to the dog, the following methods might be appropriate.
- Bathe the dog properly. Gently bathing your dog can aid in washing off the allergens from the surface of the skin and clean away any debris or mud that might contain any sort of bacteria.
- Antihistamines are a popular meditational formula for humans, but their effects on dogs can prove to be futile, so better not expect much out of it.
- In terms of soothing, you can get a zinc-free soothing ointment and apply it to the infected area. It might help to soothe it and provide temporary comfort.
Nevertheless, you must be prepared to visit your vet without delays to make sure nothing is out of the ordinary. Don’t let the results of these few methods fool you. As mentioned above, they are just to provide temporary relief.
How To Cure Chickenpox In Dogs?
It is common knowledge by now that dogs can not contract chickenpox. However, the other medical conditions mentioned above that resemble chickenpox can be alarming and very concerning.
The symptoms should never be ignored, as most of these conditions can even result in death. Even if it doesn’t come to that, your dog would be in agonizing pain if the symptoms are left untreated. Sadly, each condition is to be treated differently.
As a fellow dog enthusiast, I can’t tell you how to cure these diseases. Therefore, consulting your vet should be your best bet. They can guide you thoroughly and make sure to take all the necessary measures. It can get rough at times, but it is better to stay up to date when your dog’s health is concerned.
However, research conducted in the past shows us to take the following measures for the following diseases.
Canine Herpes Virus – Can Dogs Get Chicken Pox?
For puppies, herpes can be a deadly virus. Their fatality rate is quite high as compared to older dogs which makes sense since they have a weak immune system. If your puppy shows any symptoms, call your vet without hesitation right away!
A few treatments for herpes in puppies may include:
- Medicines for antivirals.
- Treating puppies with the antibodies of a mother recently recovered from herpes.
- Putting them under the care of mothers with antibodies. (recently recovered from herpes)
- Keeping the little fur balls comfortable and warm, preferably above 95 degrees.
For adult dogs, treatments are usually not needed because adults do not show symptoms. Even if they do, they are often mild and are able to go away on their own. Even though your vet might recommend some treatments, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
- Eye drops
- Medication for cough
- Antibiotics in case of secondary infections.
Curing bacterial infections demands comparatively less effort. A bacterial infection strong enough to disturb the entire nervous system can be cured by the right course of antibiotics.
Depending on the infection, your vet might even prescribe anti-inflammatory medicines.
Similar to bacterial infections, allergic reactions can also be treated by anti-inflammatory medicines or anti-inflammatory therapy. These methods are known to be the most effective.
How To Prevent These Conditions In Dogs?
Each disease requires different methods of prevention. However, in case of allergy, there is not much you can do unless you know what your dog is allergic to.
For herpes, there are a few steps you can take. For example, it is recommended to isolate a pregnant dog for three weeks before and after the delivery.
Alongside the mother, the puppies should also be under isolation for three weeks after birth and should be warm at all times, above 95 degrees.
Ensure that the newborns feed and nurse off from a mother with antibodies of herpes the first day after birth.
Keep the kennels clean and sterile during birth.
For bacterial infections, just make sure to close an open wound on the dog. This drastically reduces the chances of the bacteria trying to get it and infect the body.
Conclusion – Can Dogs Get Chicken Pox?
To sum things up, yes, dogs can’t have herpes. But the other conditions we talked about can be more deadly. Not to mention the risk puppies are at, especially with herpes. It is not a wonderful sight to see. Can Dogs Get Chicken Pox?
Therefore, keep your dogs under careful supervision at all times. Observe their activities and keep track of where they have been. This would highly help in preserving the diseases and restraining them from spreading any further.
Rest assured, your dog will lead a healthy life nonetheless!