Zoonotic Infections and Pets: How to Avoid Them
Zoonotic infections, which may be transmitted from pets to humans, are more prevalent than you would believe. Your pet may look to be in perfect health, but they may be carrying a communicable disease, so keep up with their preventative care to avoid getting numerous ailments.
How can my pet pass diseases to me?
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, 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 I get from my pet?
Numerous illnesses can be passed from pets to people through:
- 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 entire list; thus, to prevent illness transmission, always practice excellent hygiene while handling your pet, their waste, and their possessions.
Pets may transmit various illnesses and parasites to human and animal family members. Regular preventative care is the greatest approach to safeguard everyone in your home, two and four-legged alike. Call us to arrange your pet’s preventative care visit so that everyone stays safe and healthy.