Common Illnesses That Can Be Spread From Animals to People

Unbelievably frequently, zoonotic infections are illnesses that may be transmitted from pets to humans. Keep up with your pet’s preventative care to prevent getting various illnesses even if they seem to be in perfect health since they may be hiding a transmissible ailment.

How might I catch a sickness from my pet?

Numerous avenues exist for pets to spread viruses to humans, including

  • Direct contact — Direct contact with saliva, blood, urine, feces, or other bodily fluids from an infected pet can result in the transmission of disease. If you clean up your pet’s accident inside, or they lick a sore on your leg, you can contract an illness.
  • Indirect contact — Indirect disease transmission occurs when you come in contact with something an infected pet has contaminated. For example, if your child digs in their sandbox after a stray cat has used it as a litter box, they may contract a roundworm infection.
  • Vectors — Vectors, like ticks and fleas, can be attracted to your pet and be carried 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 common causes of foodborne illnesses in people and their pets.
  • Water — Drinking or coming in contact with water that has been contaminated with feces or urine can result in diseases such as giardia or leptospirosis being passed to you.

What ailments might my pet transmit to me?

Many diseases can be transferred from pets to people via:

  • 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 by no means exhaustive, so always practice good hygiene when handling your pet, their waste, and their belongings to prevent disease transmission.

Pets can pass a multitude of pathogens and parasites to their human and animal family members. The best way to protect everyone in your household—two- and four-legged members alike—is through regular preventive care. Give your veterinary team a call to schedule your pet’s preventive care visit to keep everyone safe and healthy.