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Ebola Patient Nina Pham's Dog, Bentley, Enters Testing Phase

The testing will only happen three times before the dog's 21-day quarantine period is over in early-November.

The dog belonging to one of two nurses who contracted Ebola in Dallas will enter a testing period Monday for the disease, according to animal care officials. Bentley, Nina Pham's Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, will be placed "into a special kennel periodically," where his urine and feces will be monitored and tested, according to a statement from the City of Dallas. The specimen collection will only happen three times within the remainder of Bentley's quarantine period, which lasts 21 days and is expected to expire in the beginning of November. Pham was diagnosed with Ebola on Oct. 11 and is being treated at a National Institutes of Health facility in Bethesda, Maryland.

Bentley is in the care of the City of Dallas Animal Services, which has been assisted by the Texas A&M University emergency veterinary team. "After her care and recovery, the next most important thing to Nina and her family was the safety and health of her beloved companion, Bentley," said Sana Syed, a spokeswoman for the city, who has been posting pictures of Bentley playing with his new caregivers at his temporary home.

“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," said Dallas Animal Service's Dr. Cate McManus. According to the Centers for Disease Control, limited evidence shows that dogs can become infected with Ebola, but there isn't evidence to suggest that dogs can develop the disease. There have been no known reports of dogs or cats contracting or spreading Ebola, according to the CDC.



— Elisha Fieldstadt