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Diseases You Can Catch From Your Dog

 Diseases You Can Catch From Your Dog

Your dog can give you so much: love, attention, entertainment, company – and infection. But being alert to some of these problems can help to keep you and your pet healthy.

Whether you own a dog or a cat, a bird or a reptile, a rabbit or fish, you should be aware that your pet can have an effect on your health by infecting you with certain diseases. These are called zoonotic diseases, which are animal diseases that can be transmitted to humans.

You may already know about some of the more common zoonotic diseases: Lyme disease is a bacterial disease transmitted by tick bites; malaria is transmitted by the Anopheles mosquito, and bubonic plague is transmitted by rats, or rather by fleas that become infected by biting the rats. However, you should also be aware of several common zoonotic diseases that can be transmitted by your pet.

Most Common Diseases You can Get From Your Dog are:

  • Hookworms and Roundworms – a disease caused by a gastrointestinal parasite. Infection can occur from either ingesting parasite eggs or coming into contact with the larva in the soil. These parasites can be acquired from handling infected soil through gardening, cleaning feces, walking in sand or playing in sandboxes used by animals. Children are most often affected.
  • Psittacosis – a bacterial disease you can get by inhaling dust from dried bird droppings.
  • Rabies – a viral infection caused by a virus found in the saliva of infected animals and is transmitted to pets and humans by bites. Infected bats, raccoons, foxes, skunks, dogs or cats provide the greatest risk to humans.
  • Leptospirosis – a bacterial disease you can acquire from handling infected urine or by putting your hands to your mouth after touching anything that has come into contact with infected dog urine.
  • Ringworm – a contagious fungal infection that can affect the scalp, the body (particularly the groin), the feet and the nails. Despite its name, it has nothing to do with worms. The name comes from the characteristic red ring that can appear on an infected person’s skin.All animals can acquire zoonotic diseases, but animals at increased risk include: outdoor pets, unvaccinated animals, pets that are immunocompromised (a suppressed immune system), poorly groomed animals and animals that are housed in unsanitary conditions. People with immune disorders, on chemotherapy or immunosuppressive therapy may be at increased risk of infection.

    Animals with zoonotic diseases may exhibit a variety of clinical signs depending on the type of disease. The signs can vary from mild to severe. As a pet owner you should know your animal and be aware of any changes in behavior and appearance.

What to Watch For

Signs of zoonosis include:

  • Anorexia
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Skin lesions/rashes
  • Itching
  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Weight loss
  • Coughing
  • Bruising under the skin
  • Joint swellings
  • Lameness

Veterinary Care for Infectious Diseases in Dogs

Your veterinarian will need a good history, including an accurate travel history and complete physical examination in order to make an accurate diagnosis. Since there are so many different kinds of zoonotic diseases, your veterinarian will also do various diagnostic tests. Some of these may include blood tests, cultures, x-rays or ultrasounds.

Treatment depends on the specific diagnosis and may include antibiotics, anti-parasitic drugs or anti-fungal drugs; intravenous fluids; symptomatic care for associated conditions (e.g. vomiting or diarrhea); and analgesic (pain) medication.

Preventative Care

Not all animals with zoonotic diseases are serious risks to people, but good hygiene practices should always be observed. Proper education, a good understanding of the disease and its method of transmission are a vital part of home and preventative care. Use proper hygiene and sanitation when handling pets and their excretions and maintain a good program of veterinary care.

Diana Ruth Davidson,  Westside Dog Nanny,             Certified Professional Pet Sitter,                            Certified by American Red Cross in Pet First Aid

We offer:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in Your Home, Doggie Day Care.

Diana@WestsideDogNanny.com
310 919 9372

10 Contageous Dog Diseases You Can Get From Your Pet

 These are contageous dog diseases that we can get from them.

1. Tapeworm

This parasite can be transmitted from accidentally ingesting a flea from your dog or cat. Symptoms of flea tapeworm infection include stomach aches, diarrhea, and an itchy butt.

2. Ringworm

Often confused with another zoonotic disease called roundworm, ringworm is a fungus that is fairly common in dogs and cats. It is often found in shelters and can be passed to people who pet an infected animal. It usually leaves people with an uncomfortable skin rash.

I got ringworm from some dogs I was boarding.  Not pretty, but easily treated with apple cider  vinegar applied continuously.  Yes, vinegar does the trick!

3. Roundworm

This parasite is found in almost every puppy and kitten. It is usually transmitted by their mother before they’re born, or from drinking their mother’s milk. The puppies and kittens then spread it through their poop. People can accidentally ingest roundworms if they handle dirt (or poop) containing nasty roundworm eggs and forget to wash their hands (or don’t wash thoroughly) before eating. Fortunately, most people don’t get horrible symptoms, but for those that do, symptoms can include stomach problems, vision problems, and seizures. It can also lead to death, but it is rare.   WASH HANDS THOROUGHLY!    Note the difference between the two.  One is a fungus, the other is a parasite.

4. Hookworm

Like roundworms, the hookworm is another parasite that can be spread through animal poop. It infects people through direct skin contact, like when walking outside in bare feet on contaminated dirt or sand. Because hookworms feed on blood in the intestinal tract, symptoms can range from gastrointestinal discomfort to blood loss leading to anemia and protein loss. In severe untreated cases, hookworm infection can result in stunted growth and cognitive dysfunction in children and in the developing feoteuses of pregnant women. In rare instances, hookworm infections can lead to death due to anemia and malnutrition.

5. Cat Scratch Disease

So called because the disease spreads when a cat that is infected with the bacterium Bartonella henselae bites or scratches a person hard enough to break the surface of the skin, or licks a person’s open wound. According to the CDC, cats can get infected with B. henselae from flea bites and flea dirt (droppings) getting into their wounds. By scratching and biting at the fleas, cats pick up the infected flea dirt under their nails and between their teeth. For people, there’s usually a mild infection associated with cat scratch fever where the injury occurs, but it can also cause swollen lymph nodes, fever, headache, and a poor appetite. The full impact of Bartonella infections in people is just beginning to be explored.

6. Leptospira

Leptospira bacteria can be found in the urine of dogs. People can develop many symptoms similar to that of a cold (fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, vomiting, diarrhea), after which they feel better and then get sick again with severe kidney or liver disease, or infection of the brain (Weil’s disease). People can die from severe cases of leptospirosis.

8. Plague

While you may think this is no longer a real fear, the plague is still around in some parts of the world — possibly even your backyard. It is caused by a bacterium (Yersinia pestis) that infects fleas, which commonly attach themselves to dogs and cats and are then brought indoors. If bitten by the infected flea, you, in turn, can also become infected. If left untreated, this can lead to death.

9. Rabies

Rabies is a fairly well known virus that is transmitted through the exchange of blood or saliva (typically, a bite) from an infected animal. People with rabies can display signs such as fever, headache, nausea, and vomiting; it can even become fatal. Thankfully, it is no longer common in dogs or cats because of successful rabies vaccination programs.

10. Lyme Disease

Lyme disease, so called because it was originally discovered in Old Lyme, CT, is one of the most common tick-transmitted diseases in the world. It is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is frequently brought indoors by our pets, unbeknownst to them. Clinical signs of Lyme disease include red, expanding rash, fatigue, chills, fever, joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes. If left untreated, it can lead to facial palsy, heart palpitations, and even meningitis.

Ok, so here they are.  A few, roundworm and hookworm, can be transmitted through poop.   Leptospira, a bacteria, can be found in  dog urine.  Wash hands!!!!

Ticks carry plague,  fleas can cause cat scratch disease (or fever), and tapeworm.

The obvious conclusion is that you should maintain cleanliness at all times when dealing with your furry kids.

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.

Diana@WestsideDogNanny.com
310 919 9372