We all love our pets. They’re cute, they’re our friends, and they’re there for us no matter what. Unfortunately, just because your furry friend is adorable doesn’t mean that they are disease free– they could be transmitting zoonotic illnesses.
Check out this list of illnesses you could catch from your pet dog or cat and find out just what could be lurking and be inspired to be more careful around pets in general!
What Illnesses Can Be Passed Between Dogs and Cats to Humans?
This disease is caused by a group of intestinal bacteria called Salmonella. People can carry the disease and spread it without manifesting symptoms of the disease, which can cause severe cramps, diarrhea, and blood infections. It’ll trip up adults a little, but those who have compromised immune systems (ill people, those undergoing cancer treatment) and young children and babies could be severely affected and even die. Wash hands after touching your pet or anyone’s pet just to be safe.
We said your home wouldn’t be ground zero for the plague– we never said that you couldn’t get it. That’s right, the plague still exists and it could infect YOU. Rats and rodents carry the plague, cats catch and bite rodents, and then they may scratch or bite you. It’s that simple. Keep your cat indoors or simply avoid being scratched or bitten by them. Judging from history, the plague is not something you want.
If you’ve ever had ringworm, you know what a nightmare can be. Not only are the raised red rings unsightly, but you have to wash everything and get either OTC or prescription ointment or meds to even get rid of it. This fungal infection can be picked up anywhere, as the spores survive a long time without a host– we’re talking months. Pets may show symptoms such as skin lesions or hair loss patches with red marks in the center, where people will manifest red circles. Ringworm is crazy contagious, so try and avoid it by keeping an eye on your pet and never sharing tools or other objects with friends who have pets.
Campylobacter jejuni causes Campylobacteriosis. Many animals carry this bacteria in their intestinal track. It’ll cause you to have diarrhea, fever, cramping, and abdominal pain and is often a silent infection. It lasts about a week and is worse for children or the elderly. You can get it by touching dog or cat poop, so wash your hands after cleaning up after your pet.
– Cat Scratch Fever (Bartonellosis)
Not just a jazz song, this infection can be picked up from cats. Half of outdoor cats in certain areas are exposed to the disease and it’s spread by fleas that live on cats. You can get it from a scratch (as the name indicates) or a bite. You will experience an inflamed wound site, fatigure, a fever, and enlarged lymph nodes.
– Streptococcus and Staphylococci
These bacteria can be spread to people from their pets or by touching someone who has the bacteria on their hands. It’ll usually just infect the skin and eyes. Wash your hands often to avoid this disease.
Also known as undulant or Malta fever, this strain is most commonly found in cattle but can also be found in dogs. This bacteria causes flu-like symptoms, malaise, fevers, and joint point as well as fatigue in humans.