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You Can Catch These Diseases From Your Dog

June 1, 2020

As you know, dogs are susceptible to various diseases and infections. Have you ever wondered whether or not you could potentially catch any of those illnesses from your pup? It’s a scary thought! And it’s true—it is possible for dogs to transmit certain illnesses to humans. The diseases in question are known as zoonotic diseases.

Here, a local veterinarian tells you more about zoonotic diseases, and how to make sure that both your dog and your family members stay safe.

W  hat Diseases Can I Catch From My Dog?

You’ve almost certainly heard of the most infamous of all zoonotic diseases: rabies. Rabies can prove deadly in both dogs and humans. In fact, it may be the deadliest disease on the planet. Once symptoms start, it has a whopping 99.9 percent fatality rate. Diseases like Ehrlichiosis, salmonella, leptospirosis, giardiasis, Lyme disease, campylobacteriosis, and brucellosis, can also be transmitted from a dog to a human. And while rare, it’s entirely possible for parasites like hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, mites, ringworms, and more to pass from dogs to humans.

Are Certain People at a Higher Risk?

Certain people are at a higher risk than others of contracting a zoonotic disease from a dog. The group includes elderly individuals, young children, pregnant women, individuals undergoing chemotherapy or other radiation-related treatments, and anybody with a compromised immune system. But even at-risk people can usually have pets without worrying, assuming they follow a few basic protocols (more on that below).

It’s important to understand that an average healthy adult has a very low risk of contracting an illness from their dog. As long as individuals practice basic hygiene, it’s extremely unlikely. Thanks to modern veterinary methods like vaccination and pest-control products, the risk is even lower now than it once was.

How Do I Prevent the Problem?

Make sure that you and all members of your family practice good hygiene when it comes to pets. Wash your hands on a regular basis and avoid direct physical contact with your dog’s feces. Wash Fido’s dishes, bedding, and toys regularly so that any germs are destroyed. And last but not least, keep your canine companion on year-round preventative medications, and make sure Fido is up to date on essential vaccinations to prevent disease. Barring some sort of freak occurrence, these basic steps should ensure that no zoonotic diseases will be transmitted to you or your family members. 

Does your dog need vaccinations or pest-control medicine? Call today to make an appointment. 

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