Bentley, dog exposed to Ebola, will have specimens collected for testing


21-day quarantine will allow for health officials to confirm if dog carries virus.

The most talked-about resident at City of Dallas Animal Services will have his urine and feces collected today to screen for Ebola. Bentley, the 1-year-old Cavalier King Charles spaniel, was exposed to Ebola by his owner Nina Pham. Pham, a nurse, tested positive for the virus after caring for Liberian Thomas Eric Duncan, who succumbed to the virus Oct. 8 at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. Now Bentley is in the care of Dallas Animal Services for a standard 21-day quarantine period.

Dallas City Hall recently released a statement updating a curious public on the dog's care. According to the city, Bentley was transitioned into a special kennel for proper collection of his urine and feces for testing and then returned to his normal kennel. "This specimen collection process is only expected to happen three times within the remainder of the quarantine period," a city representative states in the release. "This is the least invasive and safest way to conduct the testing process for Bentley."

Bentley's care is being coordinated between Dallas Animal Services, Texas A&M University's College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, the Texas Department of State Health Services, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). His owner has been moved from Dallas to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Maryland. Representatives of the city of Dallas are communicating with Pham on Bentley's care and condition.

Dallas Animal Services Manager Jody Jones and Director of Operations Cate McManus, VMD, MPH, DACVPM, are coordinating the logistics and care of the quarantined dog. "Our goal has been to provide the highest level of safety and care to both Bentley and our community," Jones says in the release.

According to the city, Bentley's specimen collection will continue periodically with final testing at the conclusion of his quarantine. "We are hopeful that Bentley's journey will contribute to what we know about Ebola and dogs since they play such an important role in so many people's lives," McManus says.

McManus is a graduate of the Maddie's Shelter Medicine Residency at the University of Florida's College of Veterinary Medicine. Prior to her shelter medicine residency, she was a veterinary epidemiologist with the Virginia Department of Health and a Veterinary Corps officer on active duty with the U.S. Army. She continues to serve as a veterinarian in the U.S. Army reserves.

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