Zoonosis is the term used to describe the transmission of a disease from an animal to a human. Many people are surprised to learn that zoonosis is actually very common, as around 61% of human diseases are believed to originate from animals, making them zoonotic. Not only that, but there are new diseases being discovered every year, and in the last decade, approximately 7% of those have also been found to be zoonotic.
Our expert team has a comprehensive understanding of zoonotic diseases and we provide a zoonosis consultation service to our patients, with appointments carried out at our veterinary clinic in Ashtabula, OH.
How are Zoonotic Diseases Transmitted?
The zoonotic disease can be transmitted in several different ways. These include the following:
Direct contact. The easiest and most common way of catching a zoonotic disease is by coming into direct contact with the bodily fluids of an animal carrying it. The feces, urine, mucus, saliva, and blood all pose a transmission risk.
Indirect contact. Indirect transmission occurs when a person touches objects that an infected animal has come into contact with. Handling pet food and water dishes are two of the most common ways to contract a zoonotic disease indirectly.
Vector-borne transmission. This type of transmission occurs when you are bitten by an infected animal, such as a mosquito, tick or flea.
Food-borne transmission. Unfortunately, estimates suggest that around 1 in 6 Americans each year will become ill with a zoonotic disease due to eating food that has been contaminated with fecal matter from an infected animal.
Common Types of Zoonotic Disease
There are many different types of zoonotic diseases with some more common than others. These include the following:
- E. Coli
- Lyme Disease
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
- Parrot Fever
- Bird Flu
- Cat Scratch Fever
- West Nile Virus
- Swine Flu
- Zika Fever
If you have any reason to suspect that your pet may be harboring a zoonotic disease, it is essential that you get them checked over by our expert veterinary team as soon as possible. We can make a diagnosis and arrange for prompt treatment, eliminating the risk to you and your family.
How to Protect Yourself From Zoonosis
There are a few things that you can do to help protect yourself and your family from zoonosis.
- Make sure everyone understands the importance of proper hand-washing, particularly after touching animals and the objects that they use e.g. water bowls and making/eating food.
- Avoiding bites and scratches from animals.
- Being careful to handle your pet safely.
- Ensuring that your pet is up to date with their preventative care program so that they are fully protected against parasites such as fleas, ticks, and mosquitos that are large contributors to the spread of zoonotic diseases.
To schedule a zoonosis consultation with our expert team, please contact Harbor Veterinary Clinic in Ashtabula, OH by calling 440-969-6060.