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Can a dog transmit Hep C?

Species: Dog
Breed: German Shepherd
Age: 2-5 years
Recently my nephew was bitten by a k-9 dog in a mistaken identity situation. My nephew has now been diagnosed with Hep C. Is it possible that this police dog could've bitten someone with the Hep C virus and then transmitted this to my nephew and could the dog be at risk and should I mention this the police department to have the dog checked. Thanks for your help.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh, I am sorry to hear that these things are happening.

It is extremely unlikely, actually almost impossible, that the Hep C was transmitted to your nephew by the dog who bit him.

While dogs can get a disease called hepatitis this is totally different than the type of hepatitis that people get.

Hepatitis is not contagious from dogs to people or from people to dogs.

In theory, if a dog bit a person with Hep C and had fresh blood from that person in his mouth and then immediately bit another person then the spread of the fresh blood (from the person, not from the dog) could spread hepatitis C.

I hope this answers your question and I hope your nephew is ok!

Dr. Marie



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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.