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Zoonotic diseases in dogs and cats

submitted by VCA Neshaminy Animal Hospital

A zoonotic disease is a disease or infection that can be transmitted from animals to humans.

Although dogs and cats only pose a mild risk of causing disease in humans, those with immunosuppressive conditions such as HIV or those receiving chemotherapy will be at higher risk of becoming ill from these infections.

The most common and significant infections that humans can get from their pet dogs include rabies, leptospirosis, ringworm, and gastrointestinal illness such as Salmonella and Campylobacter.

The most common and significant infections that humans can get from their cats include rabies, cat scratch disease, toxoplasmosis, and ringworm.

Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) are not zoonotic.

Hygiene plays an important role in preventing the spread of these diseases, as well as preventive medicine for your dog or cat, including regular deworming and external parasite preventives.

Keeping your cat indoors and keeping your cat and dog up to date of vaccines and preventatives can help to minimize exposure to zoonotic diseases.