True or False: You Can Catch Diseases From Your Pet

 

With flu season being right around the corner and the not-so-distant news of the contagious dog flu reaching East Tennessee a few months ago, you may be wondering if dogs and people can pass the flu virus to one another. The answer to that is mostly no, since canine influenza and human influenza are different stands, specific to each species. Of course, were the dog flu virus to mutate and become virulent to humans, we would all hear about it fairly quickly.

However, it is true that there are other illnesses that can be passed from pets to their people. Called zoonotic diseases, these infections can be transmitted from animals to humans through exposure to contaminated feces, urine, saliva, blood or mucus. Rabies is the best-known and most feared example, but there are other diseases that people are typically less familiar with.

Zoonotic diseases in cats include:

  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Ringworm
  • Salmonellosis
  • Campylobacter infection
  • Giardia
  • Cryptosporidium infection
  • Roundworms
  • Hookworms
  • Cat Scratch Disease

Zoonotic diseases in dogs include:

  • Ringworm
  • Salmonellosis
  • Leptospirosis
  • Campylobacter infection
  • Giardia
  • Cryptosporidium infection
  • Roundworms
  • Hookworms
  • Scabies
  • Harvest mites

While these lists may be alarming, the good news is that with prevention practices your chance of contracting a zoonotic disease from your pet is low. However, if you have a compromised immune system, are pregnant or elderly, it’s wise to speak with your veterinarian to make sure you’re doing everything to reduce your risk of contracting one of these diseases.

The best way to reduce or eliminate your risk of contracting zoonotic diseases from your pet comes down to hygiene and parasite prevention. If your dog or cat is vomiting, has diarrhea, is drooling excessively, or has skin lesions or rashes, take them to the vet for an evaluation. Be sure to wash your hands after handling them each time, and wash their bedding frequently.

If your pet is not sick, the best way to keep them that way is to make sure they’re up-to-date on vaccinations and are receiving year-round prevention treatments to protect them from fleas, ticks, heartworms, ringworms, roundworms, and hookworms. And please—don’t rely on over-the-counter or online products without speaking with your veterinarian first. Many over-the-counter products aren’t effective, and many online products are counterfeit.

PetWellClinic® is able to offer substantially discounted prices for flea, tick, and worm prevention products, as well as vaccinations by operating limited hours for non-surgical care. Think of us as a walk-in “minute clinic” for your pet’s wellness—no appointment necessary, with quick in-and-out service.

As featured in the Journal of Veterinary Medicine Association, PetWellClinic® is leading the nation in making preventive care affordable and convenient.  

For your added convenience, PetWellClinic® is open during evening hours and on weekends. We are located in Farragut at 10549 Kingston Pike, near West Hills at 7329 Kingston Pike and at 228 S. Calderwood Street in Alcoa. Learn more about how the PetWellClinic® can exceed your expectations for affordable, top quality pet care by visiting our website at www.petwellclinic.com.

 

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