Zoonotic DiseasesAnimals provide many benefits to human civilization. Many people interact with animals in their daily lives, both at home and away from home. Animals can provide food, livelihood, travel, sport, companionship, and education to people across the globe. We can also come in contact with animals in urban and rural settings, during travel, visiting animal exhibits, or while enjoying the outdoors. However, animals can also spread harmful germs to people and cause illnesses known as zoonotic diseases, or zoonoses. These diseases can range from producing mild symptoms to more severe and even cause death in some instances.

What is a zoonotic disease?

A zoonotic disease is a disease that can pass from non-humans to humans. Some of these diseases may not make an animal sick but may cause a human to become sick. Diseases can range from minor, short-term illnesses to life-threatening. Zoonotic diseases can be spread through viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi.

There are well over one-hundred different types of zoonotic diseases. All animals including domesticated ones such as dogs, cats, birds, horses, cattle, and even smaller ones such as rodents and rabbits are capable of spreading the disease to people.

Some zoonotic diseases are more common than others and can be treated easily, while others may require more advanced forms of treatment. Depending on the disease, humans can become severely ill and can even pose the risk of death, while others may cause more minor reactions such as fevers, aches, or diarrhea.

Although many zoonotic diseases are common and treatable, some can prove more severe. Individuals who are at higher risk and may suffer more severe reactions and symptoms include:

  • Pregnant women
  • Adults over the age of 65
  • Children age 5 and younger
  • Those with weakened or compromised immune systems.

How are they transmitted?

Many transmissions occur when people are enjoying activities in the great outdoors. However, any areas where animals are present can allow for the transmission of zoonotic disease. Going to petting zoos, working with livestock, or if your pet carries in fleas or ticks are other examples of situations where you may come in contact with an infected animal and risk exposure. Germs can spread by the following methods:

  • Direct Contact: Transmission through direct contact is when you come into contact with saliva, blood, urine, mucous, feces, or other bodily fluids from infected animals. Examples include petting or touching animals and bites or scratches.
  • Food-borne: This type of transmission occurs through eating or drinking unsafe products such as raw milk, undercooked meat or consuming produce that is not properly washed and has been contaminated with feces from an infected animal.
  • Indirect contact: Indirect contact refers to situations where you may come into contact with areas where animals live and roam or objects and surfaces that may be contaminated. Examples include aquarium tank water, pet habitats, chicken coops, barns, plants, and soil as well as pet food and water dishes.
  • Vector-borne: This method refers to being bitten by a tick, mosquito, or flea.
  • Water-borne: Drinking or coming into contact with water that has been contaminated with feces can put you at risk for water-borne transmission.

Common Zoonotic Diseases

As mentioned above, there over a hundred different types of zoonotic diseases, but below we’ve listed a few that are treated regularly.

  • Cat scratch fever
  • Ebola
  • E-Coli
  • Hepatitis E
  • Hookworms
  • Rabies
  • Ringworm
  • Salmonella
  • Scabies
  • Tapeworms
  • Toxoplasmosis

How can I reduce the risk of transmission?

Zoonotic diseases are common across the globe, but there are ways to reduce your risk of exposure and infection by following basic hygiene habits.

  • Cleanse wounds after being bitten or scratched and monitor them closely. Seek medical attention if your condition does not improve
  • Check for ticks after you’ve been outside
  • Dispose of all waste materials promptly and safely
  • Do not eat, drink, or touch your face while handling or when in close contact with animals
  • If you have pets, have them vaccinated, taken for regular check-ups, and put on flea and tick preventatives
  • Keep your house clean, especially areas where animals are kept
  • Practice safe food handling
  • Provide separate food and water dishes for pets and wash them separately from your family dishes
  • Use insect repellents when spending time outdoors
  • Wash pet toys and bedding frequently
  • Wash your hands diligently
  • Wear gloves when gardening or working in areas where animals may have urinated or defecated.

What about COVID-19?

We have been receiving questions regarding the coronavirus COVID-19 and household pets. It is important to note that the COVID-19 virus is a part of a large family of coronaviruses. Some can cause illness in people, which is what we are seeing today across the globe, while others can cause illness in certain species of non-humans such as cattle, bats, canines, and felines.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is currently no evidence that animals, including companion animals such as pet dogs or cats, can spread COVID-19. There is also no evidence to support that imported animals or animal products pose a risk of spreading COVID-19 to humans.

If you are sick or suspect you may be sick with COVID-19, you should restrict contact with your pets and other animals, just as you would with other people. While there are no reported cases of pets contracting COVID-19, it is recommended that you take the proper precautions should you become ill until more information is known about the virus. If possible, have enough members of your household or family friend take care of your pets. Avoid contact with your pet including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must have contact with your pets, wash your hands before and after interacting with them and limit contact as much as possible.

The seriousness of zoonotic diseases can vary depending on the type of disease. Many are treatable, while others can cause serious long-term, lifelong, or even fatal conditions, so it is important to check with your healthcare provider as soon as you think you may have a zoonotic disease. For more information regarding zoonotic diseases, please contact Quartz Mtn. Animal Hospital today.

Testimonials

My cat was having some issues I call Quartz Animal Hospital and they were able to get me a same day appointment. Very friendly staff. Dr Pluckett was... read more

Julie S.

Got my dogs ears cropped and Renee is hands down the best tech at this facility!! Very personable and invested, you can just tell she cares and had... read more

D'Mitri L.

So originally I was simply going to have Quartz Mountain crop my boy’s ears. Being located in Scottsdale and me living in Midtown Phoenix, I... read more

Lauren A.

Took our Doberman in about 7 months ago to get her ears cropped. We asked for a bell shaped medium length and they look beautiful and healed... read more

Elisabeth G.

Our little girl saw the Dr on Friday and got her ears cropped! She is still healing but they took great care of her and offer a phenomenal aftercare... read more

Chelsea O.

Julie S.

My cat was having some issues I call Quartz Animal Hospital and they were able to get me a same day appointment. Very friendly staff. Dr Pluckett was super helpful and explained in depth what might be going on. My cat needed to get on a special food and they recommended that I try it out first before over buying, just in case my cat didn't like it. I am also super thankful because my phone was not working when they were calling to let me know my cat was ready to be picked up. I called once I was off of work after the office was closed and I had to leave a message. They called me back and were able to stay and wait for me at the office. Very good experience for me here!!

D'Mitri L.

Got my dogs ears cropped and Renee is hands down the best tech at this facility!! Very personable and invested, you can just tell she cares and had no problem helping you out or answering any questions at all! I didn’t have the best experience with the other techs, they just didn’t seem to care and wanted to do the bare minimum, at least that’s how it came off. She definitely changed my whole opinion on the facility!

Lauren A.

So originally I was simply going to have Quartz Mountain crop my boy’s ears. Being located in Scottsdale and me living in Midtown Phoenix, I figured there were quality Vets closer to me than a 30 minute drive. But I was hooked after the first visit! They answered all my questions and gave me deeper insight over the phone even before booking an appointment, the techs not only remember, but seem excited and happy to see my dog every single visit. The surgeon even came out (COVID curbside times) to talk and discuss with me about the style, length, overall aesthetic of his crop and gave overwhelming reassurance during the entire process. And he looks amazing. Laser technique, professional and thorough follow up care...could not be happier. I’ve found my Vet!

Elisabeth G.

Took our Doberman in about 7 months ago to get her ears cropped. We asked for a bell shaped medium length and they look beautiful and healed well!!

Chelsea O.

Our little girl saw the Dr on Friday and got her ears cropped! She is still healing but they took great care of her and offer a phenomenal aftercare program. I would reccomend to anyone especially someone looking for a reasonable cost for ear cropping and a great staff/Dr.

Our Location

Call Us Text Us
Skip to content