Exposing Potential Dangers: Common Human-Animal-Transmissible Diseases
Zoonotic diseases are transmissible from animals to humans and are more prevalent than you might assume. Keep up-to-date on your pet’s preventive care to avoid contracting various diseases, even if they appear perfectly healthy.
How can my companion transmit diseases?
Pets can transmit bacteria to humans in a variety of methods, including:
- Direct contact — Direct contact with saliva, blood, urine, feces, or other bodily fluids from an infected pet can result in the transmission of disease. If you clean up your pet’s accident inside, or they lick a sore on your leg, you can contract an illness.
- Indirect contact — Indirect disease transmission occurs when you come in contact with something an infected pet has contaminated. For example, if your child digs in their sandbox after a stray cat has used it as a litter box, they may contract a roundworm infection.
- Vectors — Vectors, like ticks and fleas, can be attracted to your pet and be carried indoors to bite and transmit disease to you.
- Food — Undercooked meat, eggs, or raw fruits and vegetables contaminated with feces from an infected pet are some of the most common causes of foodborne illnesses in people and their pets.
- Water — Drinking or coming in contact with water contaminated with feces or urine can result in diseases such as giardia or leptospirosis being passed to you.
What diseases can my companion transmit to me?
Numerous diseases can be transmitted from pets to humans via:
- Bacteria (leptospirosis, salmonella, E. coli, tick-borne disease, cat scratch disease)
- Viruses (rabies)
- Fungi (ringworm)
- Intestinal parasites (roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, giardia, toxoplasma)
- External parasites (scabies, fleas, ticks)
This is not an exhaustive list, so always practice good hygiene when handling your companion, their waste, and their belongings to prevent the spread of disease.
Pets can transmit pathogens and parasites to their human and animal family members. The best method to protect everyone in your household, both human and animal, is with routine preventive care. Call our office to schedule an appointment for your pet’s preventative care to keep everyone safe and healthy