Office of Research: Environmental Health and Safety

Dog Zoonoses

DogszTrim


Zoonoses Species

Species Selection

Topics:

Brucellosis

Leptospirosis

Ringworm

Gastrointestinal Diseases

Endoparasites

Ectoparasites

Sracoptic Mange

Allergic Reactions to Dogs

How to Protect Yourself


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Brucellosis

Brucellosis in dogs is caused by a bacterium, Brucella canis. Dogs are the definitive host of this species of Brucella and the disease is not commonly transmitted to other species. The bacterium is contracted either by inhalation or by transcutaneous contact (through an open wound) with blood, urine or other tissues, particularly placenta. Primary signs of disease in dogs are last trimester abortions, stillbirths and conception failure. In humans, symptoms are flu-like, including fever, myalgia, and lethargy. Severe disease can progress to endocarditis, arthritis and meningitis. Treatment is long-term antibiotic therapy. Sequestered organisms can persist and cause recurrent disease.

For more information: http://www.cdc.gov/nczved/divisions/dfbmd/diseases/brucellosis/

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Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis is caused by a spirochete bacterium, Leptospira interrogans, with multiple pathogenic serovars. Leptospires are found in many animals, but are most commonly associated with dogs and livestock. Transmission occurs by direct contact with the urine of infected animals, either transcutaneously, particularly broken skin, or through mucous membranes. Less commonly, transmission can occur through inhalation of aerosolized droplets of contaminated fluids. Disease in dogs is most commonly characterized by acute renal failure. Primary disease in humans is flu-like disease, including fever, myalgia, vomiting, diarrhea and a rash. Secondary disease consists of renal failure, liver failure and meningitis. The disease is treatable with antibiotics.

For more information: http://www.cdc.gov/leptospirosis/

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Ringworm

Ringworm is a dermatophyte, or fungal skin infection, caused most commonly by Microsporum and Trichophyton species. Dermatophyte infections can affect anyone and are easily spread by direct contact between multiple species. Symptoms are typically red, raised circular skin lesions with a clear central area. Lesions are often pruritic, or itchy, and can affect any area of skin as well as the nails and scalp, resulting in alopecia. Severe infections can lead to secondary bacterial infections, but most commonly lesions are readily treated by over-the-counter antifungals.

For more information: http://www.cdc.gov/nczved/divisions/dfbmd/diseases/dermatophytes/

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001439.htm

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Gastrointestinal Diseases

Dogs can be the source of multiple gastrointestinal diseases, mainly Giardia, Cryptosporidia, Campylobacter, and Salmonella, which are transmitted by the ingestion of feces or contact with any contaminated substance. These infectious agents cause acute gastroenteritis, characterized by diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain and fever. Most commonly clinical signs are short-lived, but may require supportive care or antibiotics.

For more information: http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/giardia/

http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/crypto/

http://www.cdc.gov/nczved/divisions/dfbmd/diseases/campylobacter/

http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/

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Endoparasites

The most common helminthes in dogs are Toxocara canis, a roundworm, and Dipylidium caninum, a tapeworm. Toxocariasis is transmitted by the ingestion of eggs shed in the feces. Most commonly both dogs and humans are asymptomatic, but there are ocular and visceral forms of infestation that can cause severe disease. Dipylidium infection is transmitted by the ingestion of fleas carrying tapeworm eggs. Similarly, both dogs and humans are largely asymptomatic. Both roundworm and tapeworm infestations are easily treated with antiparasitic drugs.

For more information: http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/toxocariasis/

http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/dipylidium/index.html

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Ectoparasites

Sarcoptic Mange

Sarcoptic mange is caused by a mite, Sarcoptes scabiei. Dogs and humans are affected by different variants of this species of mite. They reproduce exclusively on their specific host species, but can be transmitted to other species and briefly cause inflammation and pruritus (itchiness), most commonly around the trunk and arms. Treatment is not needed when infected with non-human scabies, but it is important to remove the source of infection.

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Allergic Reactions to Dogs

Individuals who have been previously sensitized to dogs outside of the work place may be at greater risk of developing allergies to dogs. Exposure to dog allergens is via saliva, hair, and skin.  See Animal Allergy Guidelines for more information.

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How to Protect Yourself