Notes from American Family Physician, Nov 15, 2016, “Pet-Related Infections” (Michael J Day):
At-risk groups the usual: the young, the old, the immunocompromised, and the pregnant.
- Microsporum canis can spread from dogs to humans (or cats, other pets), esp those with skin diseases (eczema) or immunocompromise. Dermatophytoses in a dog will cause erythema, scaling and alopecia.
- Can affect dogs, cats, rabbits and rodents.
- Humans usu respond to topical antifungals, animals need proper systemic tx.
- Affected households should clean bedding, avoid exposure of animal to carpeted areas, culture all cohabiting animals.
Scabies (Sarcoptic mange)
- The dog mite can infest humans, but not easily, and usually transiently. Cats are resistant to the dog mite.
- The human mite does not infect dogs.
- There are several effective treatments for infested dogs.
- Infestations cause hair loss, papules, excoriations and inflammation.
- Fetal infection can affect the developing CNS and eyes.
- Pet cats usually don’t infect pregnant owners because cats groom feces from their fur before oocytes become infectious.
- Measures to prevent: non-pregnant people clean the cat box, person cleaning should wear gloves, clean the box frequently, keep cats indoors, avoid undercooked meats or raw, uncleaned vegetables.
Bartonellosis (cat-scratch disease)
- Fever, LAD days to weeks after infection – Bartonella transmitted by cat fleas, flea stool can contaminate claws and teeth.
- Think about bartonellosis in patients with chronic joint, neuro and vascular symptoms exposed to potentially contaminated cats.
- Can progress to tonsillitis, encephalitis, cerebral arteritis, transverse myelitis, hepatitis/splenitis, other chronic/atypical manifestations.
- map of tick species: Tick Distribution
- much more likely to catch tick-borne disease from the environment than from a household pet
- most ticks feed to completion before dropping off, but if they drop off prematurely, they could reattach to a human and transmit disease
- both animals and humans can have more than one tick-borne disease at a time
- pet owners should routinely use anti-tick meds/collars/etc.
- reptiles and amphibians are not recommended pets for children < 5 years old
- also, the old and immunocompromised should not have reptiles or amphibians
- consider in exposed patients with diarrhea and fever
- also associated with backyard chickens (much more than other birds)
- transmitted by infected dog, cat urine or contaminated water
- or, by direct penetration of intact skin by infected blood, urine or tissue
Link to One Health Committee of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association: WSAVA link
Human lice and human pinworms don’t infect pets.