Read time: 3 mins
12 Sep 2023
Yes, dogs can get norovirus.
Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that primarily affects humans. It is often associated with outbreaks of gastroenteritis in communal settings. But can dogs get norovirus from humans? Let's delve into this issue.
While norovirus is primarily a human virus, there have been rare instances of dogs testing positive for norovirus after close contact with infected individuals.
However, the transmission of norovirus from humans to dogs is not common. Dogs have their own set of viruses and diseases that are different from those affecting humans.
Norovirus is typically spread through the ingestion of contaminated food or water. Since dogs have different dietary habits and preferences, their risk of exposure to norovirus from human sources is relatively low.
It's essential to practise good hygiene when handling your dog, especially if you or someone in your household is ill with norovirus. Wash your hands thoroughly before and after interacting with your pet to reduce the risk of transmission.
If you're concerned that your dog may have been exposed to norovirus, it's crucial to recognize the symptoms. While norovirus is primarily a gastrointestinal illness in humans, it can cause similar symptoms in dogs. These symptoms may include:
Loss of appetite
If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, it's essential to consult with your veterinarian promptly. Norovirus can cause discomfort and potentially lead to complications, so early detection and treatment are crucial.
While it's rare for dogs to contract norovirus from humans, the reverse situation is even less likely. Human norovirus strains are generally not known to infect dogs. Dogs have their own set of gastrointestinal viruses and bacteria that are adapted to their digestive systems.
However, practising good hygiene is still essential to prevent the potential spread of other illnesses from dogs to humans. Regular hand washing and maintaining a clean living environment for your pet are key preventive measures.
The duration of norovirus infection in dogs can vary. In most cases, the illness is self-limiting and resolves within a few days to a week. However, the severity of symptoms and the dog's overall health can influence the duration of the illness.
It's crucial to monitor your dog's condition closely during this time and ensure they have access to clean water to stay hydrated. If the symptoms persist or worsen, consult with your veterinarian for guidance and potential treatment options.
There is no specific antiviral medication for norovirus in dogs. Treatment typically focuses on supportive care to manage symptoms and promote recovery. Here are some steps you can take if your dog is diagnosed with norovirus:
Ensure your dog has access to clean, fresh water at all times to prevent dehydration, especially if they are experiencing diarrhoea and vomiting.
Offer a bland diet that is easy on the stomach. Boiled rice and lean boiled chicken are good options. Gradually reintroduce their regular food once their stomach settles.
In some cases, your veterinarian may prescribe medication to control vomiting or diarrhoea. Follow your vet's recommendations closely.
To prevent the potential spread of the virus to other dogs or humans, isolate the infected dog until they have fully recovered and are no longer shedding the virus.
Disinfect any areas where your dog has had accidents or vomited to prevent contamination.