Zoonosis: People and Pets

Because of the dual nature of my medical communications consulting work (people and animals), I tend to come across "Zoonosis" topics, every so often. And at a recent educational visit to an animal clinic, the topic of “zoonotic” infections was top-of-mind.

The term refers to diseases that can cross over and transmit from animals to humans. Lyme infection in ticks is a well known example of a zoonotic disease that goes from bugs to people. Candidiasis in dogs is another.

Microscopic canine candida (pictured above) is a transferable pathogen that can be particularly worrisome if it enters the lungs of immune-suppressed people.

Classified as a fungus, it is also known as yeast - common in dogs with ear infections. Some breeds are at greater risk, it seems. Pet owners, children and elderly relatives would be wise to wash their hands after handling their pets.


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