Revealing the Dangers: Common Diseases that Pets Can Transmit to Humans

Zoonotic diseases, which are illnesses that can be transmitted from pets to people, are more prevalent than one might think. At Brentwood Veterinary Center, we want to raise awareness about these diseases and emphasize the importance of preventive care for your pets. Even if your furry companion appears to be in perfect health, they can still carry transmissible conditions. By staying up to date on their preventive care, you can reduce the risk of contracting various illnesses.

How can pets pass diseases to humans?

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

1. Direct contact: Coming into direct contact with saliva, blood, urine, feces, or other bodily fluids from an infected pet can result in disease transmission. For instance, cleaning up your pet’s accident indoors or if they lick a sore on your leg, you may contract an illness.

2. Indirect contact: Indirect disease transmission occurs when you come into contact with something contaminated by an infected pet. For example, if your child plays in a sandbox after a stray cat has used it as a litter box, they may contract a roundworm infection.

3. Vectors: Vectors such as ticks and fleas can be attracted to your pet and carry diseases indoors, potentially biting and transmitting those diseases to you.

4. Food: Undercooked meat or eggs, as well as raw fruits and vegetables contaminated with feces from an infected pet, are common causes of foodborne illnesses in both humans and their pets.

5. Water: Drinking or coming into contact with water contaminated with feces or urine can lead to diseases like giardia or leptospirosis being transmitted to you.

What diseases can be transmitted from pets to humans?

There are numerous illnesses that can be passed from pets to humans, including:

1. Bacteria: Diseases such as leptospirosis, salmonella, E. coli, tick-borne diseases, and cat scratch disease can be transmitted through bacteria.

2. Viruses: Rabies is a well-known viral disease that can be transmitted from pets to humans.

3. Fungi: Ringworm, a fungal infection, can be passed from pets to humans.

4. Intestinal parasites: Roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, giardia, and toxoplasma are examples of intestinal parasites that can be transmitted from pets to humans.

5. External parasites: Scabies, fleas, and ticks are external parasites that can carry diseases and transmit them to humans.

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

Pets can transmit a wide range of pathogens and parasites to their human and animal family members. The best way to protect everyone in your household, whether they have two or four legs, is through regular preventive care. Contact our team at Brentwood Veterinary Center to schedule your pet’s preventive care visit and ensure the safety and health of all members of your family.