Can dogs contract or transmit leprosy from armadillos?
Question by Cynthia M: Can dogs contract or transmit leprosy from armadillos?
Last night my dog attacked a three banded armadillo in Texas. Armadillos can carry leprosy. Look it up if you doubt me. Could my dog be at risk for contracting the disease? I know humans can contract leprosy from armadillos but could my dog? Or could he be a carrier for the disease and thereby expose my family to danger?
Answer by matador89
Nine-banded armadillos, of which there are 30 to 50 million in the southeastern U.S., are believed to be the only significant natural reservoir of leprosy apart from humans. (A few cases have been found in chimps and mangabey monkeys in Africa.) How the armadillos got leprosy in the first place is unknown. I do not believe that a dog is able to contract leprosy. I know that the incubation period is about three to five years but signs and symptoms can take as long as 20 years to appear. My colleague, who is a vet, is presently on holiday and unable to inform me. If you have any doubts you would be advised to contact your vet and ask.
Hope this helps
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