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Can dogs get hepatitis C?

Species: dog | Category: medical-surgical | Submitted: 11 August 2010 10:48AM | viewed 71011 times
Q Louise asks:

Hello, Three days ago while on his walk my dog picked up a heroin user's spoon wrapped in tin foil. Can dogs contract and pass on the human form of hepatitis C? I asked my vet and I've been trying to find out from different help-lines since it happened but no one knows the answer. I've been told that HIV is a human disease only. I am sick with worry. Please could you advise me. I would really appreciate your advice. Yours, Louise.

Q Our vet says: A far as I understand Hepatitis C is a human only disease and not a zoonotic disease (transfered from animals to people). The only animal species which seems to be affected by Hepatitis C is the Chimpanzee but this would usually be under experimental conditions. Likewise HIV is not a problem in dogs.

Blood to blood contact is needed for the transmission of Hepatitis C so it would be unlikely to be a problem just from a spoon. Used needles and syringes are a problem for transmission of disease and you would be wise to avoid known areas for this activity for dog walking since it may be a risk if you come into contact with such items yourself.

You are unlikely to experience any problems from this incident for yourself or your dog but do take care where you walk in future and if in any doubt contact your GP.

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