When Pets Make Us Sick

Proper Vet Care for your Pets Protects Your Family’s Health as Well

Although pets are beneficial to our mental and physical health, they can also pose some risks through the transmission of zoonotic diseases.  Zoonotic disease is a term used to describe an infection or disease that can be transmitted from an animal to a human being.  Current evidence supports the fact that pets pose a minimal zoonotic risk to their human companions.  Your risk may be slightly higher if you fall into one the following groups:

  • People with compromised immune systems from disease or medication
  • People who are elderly or have chronic diseases
  • Pregnant woman and young children

If you fall into one of these categories it doesn’t mean you have to give up you pet!  It simply means that you should take some basic precautions.  The doctors at PenBay Veterinary Associates recommend that all pet owners take the following precautions: 

  • Ensure that your pet receives an annual wellness check by a veterinarian
  • Have your veterinarian analyze a stool sample from your pet every six months to check for signs of parasites
  • Keep your pets current on vaccines
  • Wash your hands after extensive handling of your pet
  • Don’t contact your pet’s feces directly
  • Monitor for any signs of illness in your pet, including loose stools or diarrhea
  • Feed your pet AAFCO approved pet food
  • Clean litter boxes daily

It is important to keep in mind that numerous studies prove that the benefits of having a pet far outweigh the risks.  Sharing your home with a pet is often just what your doctor ordered!

For more information on zoonotic diseases you can visit our pet health library on our website: www.penbayvets.com.

PenBay Veterinary Associates is Midcoast Maine’s only veterinary practice accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association.  Our mission is to enhance the human-animal bond by offering exceptional service, education, and care to help our clients provide a safe and healthy lifestyle for their pets.  Services include: laser surgery, on-site bloodwork, ultrasound, echocardiograms, video otoscopy, ultrasonic dentistry, x-ray, health wellness exams, skin and allergy care, emergency services, and medical and day boarding.  We are conveniently located on Route 1 in Rockport between Yankee Clipper and Plants Unlimited.  For more information visit www.penbayvets.com or call 594-8300.


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