Pets as Carriers: Learn About Zoonotic Diseases and How to Stay Healthy

Did you know that your pet can transmit illnesses to you? Zoonotic diseases, which can be passed from pets to people, are more common than you might think. Even if your pet appears healthy, they could be carrying a contagious condition. To stay safe and avoid getting sick, make sure you keep up with your pet’s preventive care.

How do pets pass diseases to humans?

Pets can transmit germs to people in various ways, such as:

– Direct contact: Saliva, blood, urine, feces, or other bodily fluids from an infected pet can spread disease. For example, if your pet licks a sore on your leg or you clean up their accident, you could contract an illness.
– Indirect contact: If you come in contact with something that an infected pet has contaminated, you can get sick. For instance, if a stray cat uses your child’s sandbox as a litter box and they dig in it afterward, they may develop a roundworm infection.
– Vectors: Ticks and fleas can be attracted to your pet and then come indoors to bite you, potentially transmitting disease.
– Food: Undercooked meat or eggs, as well as raw fruits and vegetables contaminated by an infected pet’s feces, are common causes of foodborne illnesses in both humans and pets.
– Water: Drinking or coming into contact with water that has been contaminated with feces or urine can result in the transmission of diseases like giardia or leptospirosis.

What diseases can you get from your pet?

Pets can pass on numerous illnesses to humans, including:

– Bacteria: Leptospirosis, salmonella, E. coli, tick-borne diseases, and cat scratch disease.
– Viruses: Rabies.
– Fungi: Ringworm.
– Intestinal parasites: Roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, giardia, and toxoplasma.
– External parasites: Scabies, fleas, and ticks.

This list is not exhaustive, so it’s important to practice good hygiene when handling your pet, their waste, and their belongings to prevent disease transmission.

Pets can transmit a wide range of pathogens and parasites to both humans and other animals in their families. The best way to protect everyone in your household, whether they walk on two legs or four, is by scheduling regular preventive care visits for your pet. Give our team a call to book your pet’s preventive care visit and keep everyone safe and healthy.