As you’re already aware, dogs are susceptible to various diseases and infections. Have you ever wondered whether or not you could possibly catch any of those illnesses from your pooch? It’s a scary thought. And it’s true—it is, in fact, possible for dogs to transmit certain illnesses to humans. The diseases in question are known as zoonotic diseases.
Read on as your Lapel, IN veterinarian tells you more about zoonotic diseases and how to make sure both your two-legged and four-legged family members stay safe.
You’ve almost certainly heard of the most well-known zoonotic disease, rabies. This condition can prove deadly in both dogs and humans. It’s also possible for diseases like Ehrlichiosis, salmonella, leptospirosis, giardiasis, Lyme disease, campylobacteriosis, brucellosis, and ringworm to be transmitted from a dog to a human. And while rare, it’s entirely possible for parasites like hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, mites, and more to be contracted by a human from a canine.
Yes, certain people are at a higher risk of contracting a zoonotic disease than others. The group includes elderly individuals, young children, pregnant women, individuals undergoing chemotherapy or other radiation-related treatments, and anyone else who happens to have a compromised immune system. The good news is, even these 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 is not at significant risk of contracting an illness from their dog. It’s actually 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.
Make sure that all members of your family practice basic hygiene when it comes to pets. This includes washing your hands on a regular basis and avoiding direct physical contact with dog feces. Try to wash your dog’s food and water dishes, bed, and toys regularly so that any germs lingering there 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 all recommended vaccinations to prevent disease. These basic steps all but ensure that any zoonotic diseases won’t be transmitted to human family members.
Does your dog need an update on his or her vaccinations or pest-control medicine? Call your Lapel, IN vet today to make an appointment.