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FamilyPetDoctor, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
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Experience:  13 years of experience in small animal medicine and surgery, including emergency medicine
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What is the risk of my dog contracting leprosy (or other diseases)

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What is the risk of my dog contracting leprosy (or other diseases) if she gets ahold of an armadillo? Aiken, SC

The risk is extremely low.   Your dog would have to eat the meat of the armadillo....Biting it or being bit wouldn't likely transmit the disease.

      SO, I'd be much less concerned about your dog interacting with an armadillo than with other wild animals like Raccoons who can contract things like rabies!

I hope that this helps.

Dr C
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
She is properly vaccinated. She is Very Animal Aggressive, and will engage in a full combat fight. I doubt that the bite of an anteater would do much damage, but what about the risk to the dog from those digging feet/claws? I have read elsewhere today that the armadillo might transmit disease via that route. Any more on that?

    The only way that it is likely that your dog could get leprosy, would be if he ate the muscle of the armadillo. I'd be way more concerned about infections from the bites/scratches from a fight, than from a serious disease like leprosy.

If he was in a brawl with one and had wounds--scratches punctures, etc. I'd definitely recommend antibiotics right away...

But still wouldn't be concerned about leprosy.... if you don't let him eat one if he kills it....

Dr C
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I definitely agree regarding the cleaning and proper treatment of any injuries. Last night was the first time I had seen an armadillo outside the fence. Bella,my rescued WGS was going ballistic; we fear it is only a matter of time before a conflict occurs. I will do what I can to prevent one; it is easy when I am home. Alpha rules and she will "Leave It" regardless of the temptation.


I appreciate your time and the frank responses. If she happens to kill one, are there tests my Vet can run in the future to determine if she becomes infected with leprosy?

It's a pretty rare disease.... I've never personally had to test for it...but I'm sure that there is a test that can be run. So, if your dog kills it, then he'd have to eat it, and then it would have to be one that HAS the disease.... so, although you are right to be concerned, I think that your level of concern shouldn't be too high.

    DR C

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