Protecting Your Health: Vital Information on Pet-Transmitted Diseases

More frequently than you might believe, zoonotic infections are illnesses that can be transmitted from pets to humans. Your pet may appear to be perfectly healthy, but they can be carrying a transmissible condition, so stay up to date on their preventive care to avoid contracting various illnesses.

How might my pet infect me with diseases?

Pets can pass germs to people in a variety of ways, including through:

  • 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 or 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 that has been contaminated with feces or urine can result in diseases such as giardia or leptospirosis being passed to you.

What diseases can I get from my pet?

Many diseases can be transferred from pets to people 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)

To prevent the spread of disease, always use excellent hygiene when handling your pet, their waste, and their belongings. This list is by no means comprehensive.

Numerous viruses and parasites can be transmitted by pets to human and animal family members. Regular preventative care is the greatest approach to safeguard everyone living in your home, including two- and four-legged family pets. To keep your pet safe and healthy and to schedule a visit for preventative care, give our staff a call.

Some issues cannot be prevented! In this situation, please call/make an appointment and we'll do our best to help.

Petwell Veterinary Healthcare Logo