When your animal gets a disease the question that a pet owner usually asks if they can contract it. Sometimes the answer is no but sometimes the scary answer is yes. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there are quite a few illnesses we can get from our pets. This is not a full list of all zoonotic diseases (a disease that can be transmitted to a human from an animal) that if your pet is diagnosed with, you may be at risk!
- Bartonella or more commonly known as the cat-scratch disease, is a bacterial disease transmitted from a cat bite or scratch. This disease is transmitted by fleas and flea dirt on the claws of the cat that scratches you. This disease is eliminated with a course of antibiotics. The best thing you can do is protect your cat with flea prevention.
- Leptospirosis is easily transmitted through infected urine which could be on soil, direct contact or in water. Clinical signs in pets may be mild or severe. They can include vomiting, diarrhea and anorexia. It can cause kidney failure and liver disease. There is an easy treatment and two different antibiotics are needed. There is a vaccine for our animals. Discuss with your Veterinarian if the vaccine is necessary for your dogs lifestyle.
- Lyme disease is caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, which can be transmitted through ticks that your animal can bring home. If the tick bites you, you may see a “bull’s-eye” rash with fever, headache and muscle or joint pain. If the disease is not treated, symptoms will worsen and can even cause mental changes.
- Rabies is a fatal disease. It is transmitted from a bite wound from an infected animal. Usually you will see behavioral changes. The best thing you can do is vaccinate your animals for rabies. There is no treatment. If you have come in contact with an animal that you suspect is rabid, was bit by an outside animal or came into contact with an aggressive animal with an unknown history of vaccination it is recommended you seek medical attention immediately. There are vaccinations for human if they have been exposed.