Rabies – Rabies is a very rare, but potentially fatal, illness that affects the nervous system, generally causing signs associated with changes in behavior. The virus is usually contracted by bite wounds from an infected animal. All mammals (warm-blooded animals) including dogs, cats and people may contract the disease. Prevention includes proper vaccinations for all pets and minimizing exposure of domesticated pets to wildlife.
Upper Respiratory Infections / Kennel Cough-Cats and dogs are susceptible to many different viruses and bacteria that may cause respiratory infections (colds). While these conditions are contagious, they’re usually species-specific, as cats don’t infect dogs and dogs don’t infect cats Under rare conditions, some viruses may affect both dogs and cats; however, neither cat nor dog infections are generally contagious to people. Symptoms usually include coughing, sneezing, runny eyes or nose, mild fever, lethargy, and decreased appetite. Most infections respond to supportive care and antibiotics. Prevention includes proper vaccinations for all pets and minimizing exposure to unknown pets.
Heartworm Disease – Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease in dogs and cats. The condition is transmitted by mosquitoes. The microscopic worm from the mosquito will travel in the bloodstream to the heart and large adjacent vessels where it grows into adult worms. Prevention includes periodic testing of pets and medication to prevent heartworm disease. The condition is not transmitted between pets without a
mosquito as a host.
Ringworm – Ringworm is a fungal infection in dogs and cats that cause circular, patchy areas of hair loss. The incidence is extremely variable
depending on geography and the pet’s environment. The condition is transmitted by contact with an infected animal and carries the potential to infect humans. The condition is diagnosed by culture of the pet’s hair and is treated with an antifungal medication. Prevention includes minimizing exposure to unknown pets.
Intestinal Parasites – Cats and dogs can harbor a variety of intestinal parasites, most of which are specifies specific, meaning they’re not transmitted from dogs to cats or to humans. However, some intestinal parasites found in pets are contagious to humans. Some pets may show symptoms of intestinal parasites, including weight loss and diarrhea, while other pets may be asymptomatic. It’s important to have your pet’s feces checked for intestinal parasites and treated, if necessary. Practicing good hygiene, including washing your hands after handling pets or their fecal matter, helps minimize human exposure.
Mange (microscopic skin mites) – There are two main forms of mange:
Demodectic Mange – The demodex mite is present in the skin of all dogs, even normal, healthy ones have small numbers of these mites. The condition only causes a problem when the pet’s immune system is suppressed and the mites proliferate, causing clinical symptoms. The demodex mite is not contagious to other pets or people.
Sarcoptic Manage – The sarcoptes mite can invade the skin of healthy dogs or puppies and create a variety of skin problems, the most common being hair loss and severe itching. While they will infect other animals and even humans, they prefer to live their lives on dogs. Prevention includes minimizing exposure to unknown pets.
The below conditions are specific to cats only and are not transmissible to people or other types of pets.
Feline Leukemia (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) – FeLV and FIV are considered to be the most common cause of serious illness and death in domestic cats. These conditions cause a breakdown in your cat’s immune system, allowing your cat to become susceptible to other diseases. Infected cats can transmit these diseases to other cats through saliva. Though eventually fatal, infected cats can live for many years
without any signs of illness. Prevention includes regular vaccinations based on your pet’s lifestyle and minimizing exposure to unknown cats.
Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) – FIP is a fatal viral infection that can affect many different internal organs. Symptoms are associated with the specific organs involved, but all cats generally show weight loss, decreased appetite and high fevers. FIP is often difficult to diagnose and there is no proven successful treatment. The condition is transmitted between cats by direct contact with oral and nasal secretions. Prevention includes
regular vaccination based on your pet’s lifestyle and minimizing exposure to unknown cats.
Feline Panleukopenia Virus (FPV) – FPV is a serious infectious disease that affects the cat’s immune system. It’s relatively common in unvaccinated cats and is often fatal, especially for young kittens. The panleukopenia virus is easily spread by contact with a diseased animal or its secretions, Prevention includes regular vaccinations and minimizing exposure to unknown cats.
Canine Diseases – The below conditions are specific to dogs only and are not transmissible to people or other types of pets.
Canine Parvovirus infection – Canine parvovirus is a common infectious disease in unvaccinated dogs, especially puppies. Symptoms include diarrhea and vomiting. The condition is contagious to other dogs by direct contact or contact with the stool of an infected dog. The virus is resistant to many disinfectants and lives in the environment for long periods of time. Prevention includes proper vaccination protocols and
minimizing exposure to unknown dogs or environments where unknown dogs have been.
Canine Distemper – Canine distemper is a contagious, often fatal, systemic viral disease that affects the respiratory, gastrointestinal and central nervous systems. It’s transmitted among dogs, usually puppies, via airborne exposure to the virus. Prevention includes proper vaccination protocols and minimizing exposure to unknown dogs.