Can Dogs Get Mononucleosis (Mono)?According To Experts

Even while it can be a lot of pleasure, kissing occasionally has risks! You may have experienced or heard about mononucleosis, also known as “the kissing disease.” When an infection causes fevers, swollen lymph nodes, and a particularly painful sore throat, it is not a good time. What’s more, the disease may linger up to a month or longer in some people! Dogs are very kissable due of their adorable, fuzzy faces. Most dogs will happily return your kisses and, if you let them, will lick your entire face. These pleasant encounters frequently entail a lot of spit sharing, which may make some people uncomfortable. What if you have mono, though? Can your dog contract the virus from you? Canines develop mono?

Can Dogs Get Mono?

The Answer is NO!

Actually, there isn’t a clear-cut yes or no to this. You see, the Epstein-Barr virus (a type of herpesvirus) is what causes mononucleosis in people. Yes, this virus may infect canines, and it usually does so by coming into contact with a mono patient. Despite this, the virus has little effect on the mononuclear cells of dogs. So in theory, dogs cannot contract mono. Even though it is uncommon, a dog with EBV can nevertheless become unwell, and the symptoms are similar to those of mononucleosis. Recent research suggests that EBV in dogs may be the cause of a number of malignancies and other illnesses.

What Is Epstein-Barr Virus in My Dog?

How do you keep an eye out for EBV now that you know your dog can contract it? While the majority of dogs will contain antiviral antibodies and never become ill, some may exhibit symptoms of illness.


You might be able to feel swollen lymph nodes in your dog’s neck if it is one of the unfortunate few that experiences symptoms. Your dog’s throat will undoubtedly hurt, which will make swallowing more difficult for him.


In the thousands of years that canines and people have coexisted, it appears that the Epstein-Barr virus has evolved. Sneezes, coughs, and saliva from an infected person can transfer the infection to nearby dogs.


The same tests used to prove mononucleosis in people can also be used to detect this virus in canines. To determine if EBV is present, your veterinarian can take a sample of your dog’s blood and send it for analysis.

It could be a good idea to learn the symptoms of lymphoma (a type of cancer) in dogs as well, given that recent evidence suggests that EBV may be responsible. You may read more about them here: Dogs with Malignant Lymphoma.

How Do I Treat Epstein-Barr Virus in My Dog?

Since EBV is a viral infection, there isn’t really a “cure” for it. If your dog contracts this virus, his body will have to produce antibodies to fight it off on its own.


There are things you can do to strengthen your dog’s immune system in order to assist them fight any viruses. With milder infections, supplementing your dog’s diet may be helpful; nevertheless, intravenous fluids may assist stabilize a dog with a severe infection.


The majority of dogs are able to recover on their own after an EBV infection. Given the more recent research on this virus, it could be a good idea to keep an eye out for lymphoma symptoms in your dog after exposure to the virus.

How is Epstein-Barr Virus Similar in Dogs and Humans?

EBV, the disease’s primary cause, affects both people and puppies. No matter what species you are, the virus has specific symptoms that it might induce. These consist of:

  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • unwell throat
  • Fever

How is Epstein-Barr Virus Different in Dogs and Humans?

It is thought that EBV evolved over time to enable canine infection. The virus affects dogs somewhat differently from humans as a result of this mutation. Some significant variations include:

  • EBV can cause an enlarged liver or spleen in humans, but not in dogs.
  • White blood cell cancer from EBV can occur in dogs, but not in their owners, it seems.
  • EBV can sometimes cause a rash in people, but not in dogs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long is mono contagious?

A: Mono, or infectious mononucleosis, is typically contagious during the acute phase of the illness. The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), which causes mono, can be transmitted through saliva. The contagious period can vary from person to person, but generally, individuals with mono can remain contagious for several weeks up to a few months after the onset of symptoms. It is important to practice good hygiene, such as avoiding sharing utensils or drinking from the same glass, to prevent the spread of the virus.

Q: Can Epstein-Barr virus infect animals?

A: The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) primarily infects humans and is not known to infect animals. EBV is a human herpesvirus that affects the immune system and causes infectious mononucleosis, commonly known as mono. While animals can carry their own specific herpesviruses, they are different from EBV and do not cause the same illness or symptoms seen in humans with mono.

Q: How contagious is mono really?

A: Mono, caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), can be highly contagious, especially during the acute phase of the illness. The virus is primarily transmitted through saliva, so close contact with an infected person, such as sharing utensils, kissing, or coughing/sneezing in close proximity, can facilitate transmission. It’s important to note that not everyone exposed to the virus will develop mono, as individual susceptibility can vary. Practicing good hygiene, such as regular handwashing and avoiding close contact with infected individuals, can help reduce the risk of transmission.