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You Can Catch These Diseases From Your Dog

July 1, 2020

As you’re probably aware, your dog is susceptible to a variety of diseases and infections. Have you ever wondered whether or not it’s possible to catch any of those illnesses from your pooch? It’s a disturbing thought. And it’s true—it is possible for dogs to transmit certain illnesses to their human companions. The diseases in question are known as zoonotic diseases.

Read on as your Rockwall veterinarian shares more about zoonotic diseases and how to make sure both your dog and your family members stay safe.

What Illnesses Can I Catch From My Dog?

You’ve almost certainly heard of the most well-known of all zoonotic diseases: rabies. This condition can prove deadly in both dogs and humans. Other condisions, like Ehrlichiosis, salmonella, leptospirosis, giardiasis, Lyme disease, campylobacteriosis, brucellosis, and ringworm can also be transmitted from a dog to a human. And while rare, it’s also possible for certain parasites, like hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, mites, and more to be contracted by a human from a canine.

Are Certain People at a Higher Risk?

Yes, some people are at a higher risk than others of contracting a zoonotic disease from a dog. The group typically includes elderly individuals, young children, pregnant women, individuals undergoing chemotherapy or other radiation-related treatments, and anyone with a weakened immune system. The good news is, even these people can usually have pets without worrying, provided they follow a few basic protocols (more on that below).

It’s important to understand that the average healthy adult is not at a high risk of contracting an illness from their dog. In fact, it’s very unlikely assuming that the individual practices basic hygiene. And thanks to modern veterinary methods like vaccination and pest-control products, the risk is even lower.

How Do I Prevent the Problem?

Be 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 your dog’s food and water dishes, bed, and toys regularly so that any lingering germs are destroyed. And last but not least, keep your canine companion on year-round preventative medications to ward off fleas, ticks, and worms, and make sure Fido is up to date on essential vaccinations to prevent disease. These simple steps all but ensure that any zoonotic diseases won’t be transmitted to human family members. 

Does your dog need vaccinations or parasite-control medicine? Call your trusted Rockwall vet today to make an appointment.