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Ensuring Your Well-being: Crucial Information on Diseases Transmitted by Pets

Zoonotic diseases are illnesses that can be transferred from pets to humans and are more prevalent than you might imagine. Even if your pet appears completely healthy, they could be harboring a transmissible condition. To avoid contracting various illnesses, it is vital to keep up with their preventive care.

How can my pet transmit diseases to me?

Pets can transmit germs to humans through various means, including:

  • Direct contact — Coming into direct contact with an infected pet’s saliva, blood, urine, feces, or other bodily fluids can lead to disease transmission. For example, cleaning up your pet’s accident indoors or if they lick a sore on your leg could result in you contracting an illness.
  • Indirect contact — Indirect transmission occurs when you come into contact with something that an infected pet has contaminated. For instance, if a stray cat uses your child’s sandbox as a litter box, and your child plays in it afterward, they could contract a roundworm infection.
  • Vectors — Vectors like ticks and fleas can be attracted to your pet and then carried indoors to bite and transmit diseases to humans.
  • Food — Consuming undercooked meat or eggs, or raw fruits and vegetables contaminated with feces from an infected pet, are among the most 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 such as giardia or leptospirosis.

What diseases can I contract from my pet?

Numerous illnesses can be transmitted from pets to humans, including:

  • 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 list is not exhaustive, so it is always important to practice good hygiene when handling your pet, their waste, and their belongings to prevent the transmission of diseases.

Pets can transmit a variety of pathogens and parasites to both human and animal members of the family. The most effective way to protect everyone in your household, including both the two-legged and four-legged members, is through regular preventive care. Contact our team to schedule your pet’s preventive care visit and ensure the safety and well-being of everyone.