Understanding Zoonotic Diseases and Staying Healthy with Pets

Zoonotic diseases are infections that may be transmitted from pets to humans and are more prevalent than you would expect. Your pet may look to be totally healthy, but they may be carrying a transmissible ailment, so keep up with their preventative care to avoid getting numerous illnesses.

How can my pet infect me?

Pets can transmit pathogens to humans in a number of ways, including:

  • Direct contact – Direct contact with an infected pet’s saliva, blood, urine, feces, or other body fluids can result in disease transmission. You might become ill if you clean up your pet’s accident indoors or if they lick a sore on your leg.
  • Indirect contact – Indirect disease transmission happens when you come into contact with something contaminated by an infected pet. For example, if your child digs in their sandbox after a stray cat has used it as a litter box, they may develop a roundworm illness.
  • Vectors, such as ticks and fleas, can be attracted to your pet and taken indoors to bite and transmit disease to you.
  • Food – Undercooked meat or eggs or raw fruits and vegetables contaminated with excrement from an infected pet are some of the most prevalent causes of foodborne diseases in humans and their pets.
  • Water – Consuming or coming into touch with water polluted with feces or urine might expose you to illnesses such as giardia or leptospirosis.

What illnesses may I catch from my pet?

A variety of ailments can be transmitted from pets to humans via:

  • Bacteria (leptospirosis, salmonella, E. coli, tick-borne illness, cat scratch disease) (leptospirosis, salmonella, E. coli, tick-borne disease, cat scratch disease)
  • Viruses (rabies) (rabies)
  • Fungi (ringworm) (ringworm)
  • Intestinal parasites (roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, giardia, toxoplasma)
  • External parasites (scabies, fleas, ticks)

To minimize illness transmission, always maintain excellent cleanliness while handling your pet, their waste, and their possessions.

Pets may transmit a wide range of illnesses and parasites to their human and animal family members. Regular preventative care is the greatest approach to safeguard everyone in your home, both two and four-legged. Call us to arrange your pet’s preventative care visit to keep everyone safe and healthy.