What Dog Diseases Can Be Passed to Humans?

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Ringworm Infection

Humans can contract ringworm through contact with an infected dog. Ringworm causes round patches of dry, scaly skin that have a red border. The condition is caused by a fungus commonly found in soil. Treatment options include anti-fungal creams, shampoos and oral medications.

Rabies Virus

Dogs infected with rabies can pass the virus to humans through a bite. Untreated, rabies is deadly to humans. After a bite from an infected animal, seek medical treatment immediately to begin a series of human rabies vaccinations to prevent contracting the disease.

Fortunately, most dogs are vaccinated against rabies.

Campylobacter Bacteria

Infection with the Campylobacter bacteria causes diarrhea, fever and intestinal pain. Humans become infected through contact with the feces of an infected dog or by drinking contaminated water. The infection is treatable with antibiotics.

Tick-Borne Diseases

Although humans cannot contract tick-borne illnesses directly from dogs, they may become infected from the ticks that attach to their dogs. When removing a tick from your dog, wear gloves and use tweezers or a tick removal tool to prevent infection.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Rocky Mountain spotted fever causes a rash on the palms, wrists, ankles and soles of the feet. The rash also may appear on the trunk of the body. Other symptoms include fever, headache and muscle ache. It is treated with antibiotics.

Lyme Disease

People infected with Lyme disease often see a rash that looks like a bull's-eye where the tick bite occurred. Other symptoms include fever, muscle ache, joint pain and headaches. Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics.

Intestinal Parasites

Humans usually get intestinal parasites when they fail to wash their hands after cleaning up pets stools. Prevent these parasites in your dog by regularly deworming him. Some heart worm preventatives also provide protection against intestinal parasites.

Hookworms

Individuals infected with hookworms experience severe itching. As the worm moves through the skin, it leaves red areas. Hookworms are treated with anti-parasitic medications such as albendazole and mebendazole. Some individuals may become anemic and need iron supplementation during their recovery.

Roundworms

Roundworms can enter various organs throughout the body. Infection can be life-threatening. These parasites can cause blindness in the eyes and damage the liver, lungs or brain of the person infected.

Toxocara canis is a common roundworm that infects in dogs. The resulting infection is called toxocariasis. Roundworms are treated with anti-parasitic medications. If the roundworms infect the eyes, additional treatment may be necessary to protect the patient's vision.

Tapeworms

Tapeworms can cause digestive or respiratory problems in infected humans. The species that often pass from dogs to humans include Echinococcus multilocularis and Echinococcus granulosus. Oral medications, such as praziquantel and albendazole, are effective in treating tapeworms in the intestines. If the tapeworm invades other parts of the body, additional treatment may be necessary. Surgery may be required to remove tapeworm cysts from organs such as the liver or eyes.

Leptospirosis Infection

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that can infect organs including the heart, brain or liver. In humans, the disease can cause fever, chills, muscle aches, vomiting, diarrhea, skin rash and jaundice. The disease is treated with antibiotics.

Humans contract the disease through contact with the urine or bodily fluids of an infected animal. This can include contact with contaminated water or soil. Vaccines against leptospirosis are available for your dog.

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