The first step towards keeping your family safe from pet-borne diseases is to know what to look for. In this post, we talk about the pet diseases that can be passed onto humans and the preventive measures that can keep you safe.
Most illnesses that inflict animals cannot get transmitted to
humans. But there are some rather harmful infestations and
illnesses that you can catch from your pet if you do not take
care of their health. Here are some ailments that can harm you as
well as your pet and how can you prevent the ailments.
There are various kinds of worms that can infest your pet.
Roundworm, ring worm, hookworm, and heartworm are some of the
common parasites that can infest your pet. If your pet is
infested with worms, then chances are you have them as well. Most
worm infestations do not show severe symptoms till the
infestation is devastating.
Prevention- Get both your and your pet’s stool tested for worms
annually. Ask your vet to prescribe worm medicines for your pet.
Do not allow your dog to go near excreta of any other animal.
Your dog can catch tick fever from ticks. But it is not only your
dog that can suffer from tick infestation. If an infected tick
bites you, then you can catch Lyme disease.
Prevention- Do not go for walks or hikes near places where there
are many wild animals. Treat your pet regularly with tick
medication to prevent ticks from hitchhiking on your pets.
Rabies is a deadly disease that mammals can contract from other
mammals. The disease is a viral disease that can attack any
unvaccinated mammal. From wild bats to domestic dogs, the virus
can spread from one mammal to another usually through bites. The
spit of the infected animal contains the virus that needs to
enter another mammal’s bloodstream to infect them. Wild animals
and stray animals are the major rabies carriers in the US.
The virus takes 3-8 weeks to reach the brain through the nervous
system. Once infected, an animal can show heightened aggression
and other signs of rabies. Frothing at the mouth happens much
later after the animal is infected. The virus eventually causes
encephalitis that leads to death.
Prevention- The easiest way to prevent your pet from being
infected by the rabies virus is to have them vaccinated. If your
pet is not vaccinated then catching rabies can be a death
sentence since there is a very little scope of recovery.
Vaccinating your pet regularly ensures their safety from rabies.
Do not let your pets remain unsupervised in open spaces where
wild animals might have access.
Leptospirosis is a kind of rare bacterial disease that you can
catch from your pets. Farm animals and rodents usually spread the
bacteria through their urine. Getting infected with Leptospirosis
can be like catching the flu. Both animals and humans show the
same symptoms of high temperature, joint aches, headache, and
nausea. In most cases, the infection is not fatal if treated.
Without treatment, the bacteria can cause death by damaging the
lungs, kidneys, and liver.
Prevention- Do not let your pets sniff at or lick any wet patches
outdoors. After a walk, wash your dog’s paws well. Wash your
hands after taking your dog for a walk. If you have farm animals
around your house, keep their enclosures clean.
The giardia parasite can be picked up by your pet by drinking
contaminated water. The same parasite can multiply and enter your
body from your pets through their saliva. Even if you drink
contaminated water, you can catch the parasite. It causes stomach
aches, diarrhea, and nausea. Prescription drugs can help recover
from this parasite infestation.
Precaution- If you are going out with your pet, carry water from
home for your pets. If you leave your pets unsupervised in your
yard, leave a fresh water-source for them to drink from.
You do not need to have raw meat to get infected with salmonella.
People who keep reptiles or birds as pets can catch salmonella
from their droppings. Contracting the disease can lead to severe
stomach cramps, vomiting, and fever.
Prevention- While the bacteria may not harm your pet, you might
get impacted by it. Wash your hands after interacting with your
pets. Wear gloves when cleaning their enclosures.
Cat Scratch Disease
Bartonella henselae germ can infect you if you get scratched or
bitten by your cat. A large percentage of the cat population tend
to be infected with the germ. You will feel fatigue, nausea,
joint pains, exhibit vomiting, diarrhea, rashes, weight loss, and
Prevention- Keep an eye on your cat to spot symptoms of having
the germs. If your cat is infected, then they may show signs of
fatigue and swollen lymph nodes. Take your cat to the vet to get
treated. Even if your cat is not exhibiting symptoms, you can cut
your cat’s nails short. Do not allow your cat to lick a cut or
area with broken skin on your body.
The cat-borne protozoa Toxoplasma gondii can be transmitted
through fecal matter. The protozoa do not cause any immediate
severe reaction. It slowly makes the immunity, of the infected
animal or human, weak. If a mother-to-be is infected, then the
protozoa can infect the child in the womb.
Prevention- keep your cats from interacting with stray cats. Do
not allow pregnant family members to clean the litter box. Clean
the litter box frequently ensuring the protozoa stays out.
Bird droppings can carry the Chlamydia psittaci bacteria that can
infect humans as well. The bacteria affects the lungs causing
shortness of breath along with a plethora of symptoms like fever,
joint aches, and nausea. The disease can be easily treated by
taking prescription drugs.
Prevention- Never clean your bird enclosures with bare hands.
Cover your mouth and nose when doing your cleaning chores. Use
soap or detergent to wash any excreta that your bird might have
left anywhere else in your house.
Plague might be the last thing that you can expect to contract
from your pets. While epidemics are no longer caused by plague,
on an average 10 Americans are treated for plague annually. If
you have cats or rodents as pets, then you can get bitten by any
flea that is carrying the plague bacteria.
Precautions- You need to keep your cats and rodents free from
fleas. Ask for regular flea medication that you can use to keep
your house safe from plague.
By taking simple safety precautions, you can ensure a safe and
healthy environment for your pet and your family. Regular vet
check-ups and vaccinations are essential for the health of your
6 Diseases You Can Catch From Your Dog or Cat
As cuddly as your pet may be, there are a few sicknesses
that can spread from felines or canines to humans and it helps to
be careful. Any infection that can spread from an animal to a
human is referred to as “zoonotic.” Here are the details, and how
to protect both your pet and your family from these diseases.
Salmonellosis in an infection caused by salmonella bacteria; it
can infect cats, dogs, and spread to people. Dogs and cats who
are immune-compromised, or who are very old or very young, are
most at risk of picking up this gastro-intestinal distressing
bug.Feeding your pet raw or undercooked meat can cause the
infection, or they can catch the disease from another sick
animal. If your pet is vomiting or has diarrhea, then thorough
cleaning, disinfecting, and hand-washing are all important
precautions you can take to prevent the spread of the bacteria.
Toxoplasmosis, a parasite, is problematic for those with
compromised immune systems, such as those undergoing
chemotherapy. “Don’t clean the
litterbox!” many an obstetrician has
told pregnant patients who are cat-parents.Although millions are
infected and don’t even know it, Toxoplasmosis is most known to
humans due to the increased risk it poses to pregnant women in
the form of miscarriage or birth defects to the
fetus.RELATED ARTICLE: The Truth About Toxoplasmosis in
3. Cat Scratch Fever
You might have heard of Cat Scratch Fever due to the popularity
of the Ted Nugent song by the same name. Also known as
Disease, Cat Scratch Fever is a bacterial infection
transmitted to humans from the saliva of infected cats. While
mostly asymptomatic in cats, swollen lymph nodes are the main
symptom of the disease in people.Cat Scratch Fever is normally
mild and resolves on its own, although it’s possible to
experience other symptoms such as a slight fever, fatigue, loss
of appetite, headache, rash, sore throat, or general malaise. To
keep your cat from being infected, make sure you use a
, since cats catch the disease from fleas.
RELATED ARTICLE: 10 Common Skin Issues in Dogs, and When to
parasites that can infect a dog or cat’s intestinal
tract and cause malnourishment as the parasites consume the pet’s
food and block the intestines. Diarrhea is the most common
symptom as roundworms latch onto the intestines. When the worms
travel through the lungs and throat, dogs and cats can exhibit
coughing.If your pet shows symptoms, take them to the vet to get
diagnosed and treated with a deworming
medication. If transmitted to humans, most cases of roundworm
won’t cause severe symptoms.RELATED ARTICLE: Parasites and Worms in Dogs and
intestinal parasites that feed off of your pet's blood.
Prevention is easy! Keep your pet on a once-monthly preventative
medication like Heartgard to
prevent hookworm, heartworm, and other parasites. There are
treatments out there for hookworms if your dog or cat is
already infected.While hookworm in humans is uncommon and
generally clears up on its own, it can cause an itchy skin
disease called “creeping eruption” (ew!)RELATED ARTICLE: How Parasite And Worm Treatment
Scaly or inflamed circular
bald patches on your dog or cat can signal ringworm, which is
actually a fungal infection. While it’s not technically serious,
ringworm is highly contagious and should be treated
immediately to avoid infecting other pets or
people.Has your pet ever come down with a yucky infection and
then given it to you? Let us know in the comments! Prevent and
treat infections by signing up for PetPlus, a benefit program for pet owners that
provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices,
plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding and
5 Diseases That Pets Can Get from People
The Internet is flooded with infections and diseases that pets
can give humans and how you can avoid contracting these
infections. There are vaccinations and other medications
available to protect you and keep you healthy while you care for
your pet. However, did you know that you can also make your pet
Diseases and infections your
pet can get from you and your friends
is a misnomer, as the infection is caused by a fungus and not a
worm. It is a skin infection that is common in both animals and
humans. This is one of the few infections that can be passed
both ways; you can get ringworm infections from your pet and
can also infect your pet with this fungal infection. When you
are being treated for ringworm, it is best to stay away from
your pet to avoid such a situation.
Tuberculosis: Although the
transmission is difficult and relatively rare, your pet can be
infected with tuberculosis if you have the infection. Often,
when a pet shows signs of tuberculosis, the owners are checked
for undiagnosed tuberculosis infections.
including pets, usually contract this infection from food.
Salmonella is the most common cause of food poisoning and
related symptoms. However, pets can also get this infection
from being in contact with humans who are infected. If you
suspect food poisoning or salmonella infection it is best to
keep stay away from your pet till your recover to avoid passing
on the infection.
Mumps: This is a
viral infection that most people today are vaccinated against.
However, if you ever come down with mumps, which causes
headache, fever, and swelling of salivary glands, ensure that
you stay away from your pet. This is probably the most recent
discovery of transmission of diseases from humans to animals.
The United Kingdom had over 200 cases of such infections among
pets, mainly dogs, in the beginning of 2017.
influenza: This is a relatively recent discovery,
most types of flu cannot be transmitted by humans to their
pets. However, in 2009, doctors diagnosed a pet cat with H1N1
virus. The lady who owned the cat was admitted with an H1N1
infection and, while doctors were treating her, her cat died of
pneumonia caused by the same virus. Since then, other pets such
as ferrets and dogs have been infected with this virus through
contact with humans. Pets display symptoms similar to humans
from this virus and may not survive if not treated in time. If
you suspect you have the flu, it is best to isolate yourself
from your pet till you recover completely.
These are some of the infections that are known to infect animals
in contact with infected humans. If you are unwell with anything
contagious, it is best to stay away from your pet till your