A zoonotic disease is a disease that is transmissible from animal to human. Veterinarians should properly diagnose pets, but also inform their owners about potential diseases they can catch from their dogs. Below is information about some of the most common zoonotic diseases.
- Ringworm – This is a skin disease that can be transmitted to people from multiple types of animals which is caused by fungus and typically results in skin lesions. Ringworm is transmitted by direct contact from the animal that is infected.
- Rabies – This viral disease can be carried by several different species. Although this is more common in wild animals, dogs can be potential carriers of the disease. This is typically transmitted to people through the bite of an infected animal.
- Toxocariasis – This disease is caused by the roundworm. People who eat dirt are susceptible to contracting this disease. It sounds odd, but it is true! What happens is that animals that have roundworms will shed the toxocarid eggs in their feces, and when infected dirt is ingested with these eggs. This is how people can contract the disease.
- Giardia – This is a small intestinal parasite that is relatively common in dogs, cats, and humans. Symptoms are the same in pets as they are in people and can include diarrhea, gas, and intestinal based signs.
If you suspect you and/or your dog have been exposed to any of these diseases, please seek medical attention immediately. Keep in mind that there are several other zoonotic diseases that we did not address in this article. However, with most of them, working with your veterinarian can help reduce the risk factors by keeping your pet disease free.