Chicken pox is a viral infection caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV). It affects both humans and animals. It’s most common form is called “chickenpox”. Other forms include:
“Variola major”, which causes “varioloid skin disease”; this type of chicken pox may cause lesions on the face, neck, trunk, arms and legs; it usually begins with a sore throat followed by fever, headache and muscle aches.
“Variola minor”, which causes “varnavirus disease”; this type of chicken pox may cause lesions on the chest, back, abdomen and limbs; it usually begins with a sore throat followed by fever, headache and muscle aches.
The two types are distinguished by their appearance. Varioloid skin diseases tend to have small red spots on the affected areas while varsities virus diseases tend to have larger blisters or ulcers.
In addition to these two types there are other less common forms of chicken pox. These include:
“Fowl pox”, which affect only birds such as ducks, geese, turkeys and quail; they often do not show any signs of illness but rather die shortly after being infected.
“Cockroach pox” is a condition which results in pox-like lesions that are found on the exoskeleton of infected roaches.
“Scabby mouth”, which mostly affects people who are immuno-compromised, has small blisters inside the mouth.
In animals, sometimes the infection is so mild it goes unnoticed; but other times it may produce larger pox-like sores on the skin or smaller blisters in the mouth and throat.
Can Dogs Get Chicken Pox from Humans?
The good news is that humans cannot really “give” their dogs chickenpox.
The bad news is that your dog can get infected by another animal who has it, or a human who has never had it before.
Once infected, the virus spreads through the bloodstream. This means that the virus affects the entire body. After three to five days, the virus begins to shed from the skin or mouth.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Comparative fetal mortality in maternal virus diseases: a prospective study on rubella, measles, mumps, chicken pox and hepatitis (M Siegel, HT Fuerst, NS Peress – New England journal of …, 1966 – Mass Medical Soc)
- Varicella pneumonia. (RH Mermelstein, AW Freireich – Annals of internal medicine, 1961 – acpjournals.org)
- INFECTIOUS DISEASE AND SOCIAL CHANGE: PART 1 (F Fenner – Medical Journal of Australia, 1971 – Wiley Online Library)
- Cost of chickenpox in Canada: part I. Cost of uncomplicated cases (B Law, C Fitzsimon, L Ford-Jones, N MacDonald… – Pediatrics, 1999 – Am Acad Pediatrics)