Pet-related infections

Michael J. Day*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Physicians and veterinarians have many opportunities to partner in promoting the well-being of people and their pets, especially by addressing zoonotic diseases that may be transmitted between a pet and a human family member. Common cutaneous pet-acquired zoonoses are dermatophytosis (ringworm) and sarcoptic mange (scabies), which are both readily treated. Toxoplasmosis can be acquired from exposure to cat feces, but appropriate hygienic measures can minimize the risk to pregnant women. Persons who work with animals are at increased risk of acquiring bartonellosis (e.g., cat-scratch disease); control of cat fleas is essential to minimize the risk of these infections. People and their pets share a range of tick-borne diseases, and exposure risk can be minimized with use of tick repellent, prompt tick removal, and appropriate tick control measures for pets. Pets such as reptiles, amphibians, and backyard poultry pose a risk of transmitting Salmonella species and are becoming more popular. Personal hygiene after interacting with these pets is crucial to prevent Salmonella infections. Leptospirosis is more often acquired from wildlife than infected dogs, but at-risk dogs can be protected with vaccination. The clinical history in the primary care office should routinely include questions about pets and occupational or other exposure to pet animals. Control and prevention of zoonoses are best achieved by enhancing communication between physicians and veterinarians to ensure patients know the risks of and how to prevent zoonoses in themselves, their pets, and other people.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)794-802
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Family Physician
Volume94
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2016

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