Identifying Potential Risks: Common Diseases Transmissible from Animals to Humans

Zoonotic infections, which can be transmitted from pets to humans, are more common than you might believe. Your pet may look to be in perfect health, but they may be carrying a communicable disease, so keep up with their preventive care to avoid getting numerous ailments.

How can my pet infect me?

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

  • Direct contact – Direct contact with an infected pet’s saliva, blood, urine, feces, or other bodily fluids can result in disease transmission. You can 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 occurs 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 — 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 feces from an infected pet, are some of the most prevalent causes of foodborne illnesses in humans and their pets.
  • Water – Drinking or coming into touch with water contaminated with feces or urine might expose you to diseases such as giardia or leptospirosis.

What diseases might my pet transmit to me?

Numerous infections can be transmitted from pets to humans via:

  • Bacteria (tick-borne disease, cat scratch disease, leptospirosis)
  • Viruses (such as rabies)
  • Ringworm fungus
  • Parasites of the intestine (roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, giardia, toxoplasma)
  • Scabies, fleas, and ticks are examples of external parasites.

This is by no means an entire list; therefore, to prevent illness transmission, always practice excellent hygiene when handling your pet, their waste, and their possessions.

Pets can transmit a wide range of illnesses and parasites to human and animal family members. Regular preventative care is the greatest approach to protect everyone in your household, two and four-legged alike. Call us to schedule your pet’s preventive care visit so that everyone stays safe and healthy.