Diseases from dogs to humans

Diseases transmitted from dogs to humans

The word Zoonose knows almost every animal owner today. These are diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans, but also from humans to animals. Currently, about 200 diseases are known.

However, in this article I will only deal with the diseases that can be transmitted from the dog to humans (zooanthroponosis – only transmissible diseases from animals to humans). There are virus-related, bacterial, fungal and parasitic diseases. Not every disease occurs in the dog, but he can also act as an intermediate host (transmitter).

Bacterial and viral zoonotic infections transmitted by dogs


Rabies is a viral infection that is almost always fatal in dogs, but also in humans. This is transmitted by bite injuries. But even the slightest damage to the skin and mucous membranes can cause the virus to invade. The incubation period (infection up to the first symptoms) is about 3 weeks for the dog, and between 4 weeks and 3 months for the human. Symptoms in the dog are mostly hoarse barking, dysphagia and associated increased salivation, aggressive behavior and at late stage paralysis. In humans, however, show flu-like symptoms. The virus almost always causes encephalitis (meningitis) or myelitis (spinal cord inflammation). Later, swallowing difficulties, paralysis and typical tantrums occur. You can protect the dog and yourself only with a vaccine.


Leptospirosis is a bacterial infectious disease. Humans can be infected by urine or blood of an infected dog. In the dog, the disease manifests itself among other things by Fressunlust, vomiting, fever, bloody stool. The mortality rate here is 10%. In humans, however, the infection usually runs like a flu. The disease is treated with antibiotics , both in humans, and in dogs. For the dog, there is a vaccine, which does not cover all strains and also provides less than a year of protection.

Fox Tapeworm / Dog Tapeworm

The fox tapeworm is a type of tapeworm . This comes, as the name implies, usually the fox. Rarely, however, can it also occur in dogs, as small rodents (mice) form the intermediate host. The transmission to humans is not yet clear, but in agriculture and forestry there seems to be a heightened risk. But also by dog ​​or cat cases were reported. Many people are resistant to the fox band wars and it does not come to an outbreak despite the eggs. In case of an infection, however, this worm can have devastating consequences. Due to the development of the fin (larvae) in different organs, it can be the most dangerous alveolar echinococcosis(most dangerous parasitic disease in humans – notifiable) come. This is extremely rare in Europe. The incubation period can be up to 15 years. However, when the first symptoms appear, the larval tissue in the body has already reached a considerable size. The earlier the disease is detected, the better the chances of recovery. In dogs, only symptoms occur when a strong worm infestation is present. Mostly the dog is a final host, where less damage is done. Regular deworming is therefore essential.

Also not unmentioned, should the rarely occurring dog tapeworm , which is also one of the tapeworms, remain. In the dog usually unproblematic, it can be extremely dangerous in humans and come to a  cystic echinococcosis (formation of cysts by the larvae). At the same time larvae settle in different organs of the person. The cysts can be surgically removed, but this intervention is not without danger, as a rupture (bursting) of these, leading to a sowing in the body.


The toxocariasis is transmitted via either the canine or cat’s powderworm. The recording is done by mouth. Symptoms only develop in case of mass infestation. The infestation can only be detected by an ELISA (antibody-based detection method), because the developmental cycle of the worm does not completely run in the human body and thus no worm eggs, larvae or adult worms can be detected in the stool. The incubation period is months to years. If the infection is detected, the treatment takes place via a worm (thiabendazole or diethylcarbamazine). In the dog, as with the fox tapeworm, only symptoms appear when a massive worm infestation is present. Therefore, here is a regular worming essential.

Mange / Scabies

Mange is a mite disease that can occasionally pass on to humans (usually as a false host), where it can trigger a kind of pseudo-scabies . Mange is a highly contagious disease because the mites do not stay with their host, but continue to migrate. symptomsin dogs: hair loss and dandruff in the eye, forelimb and corner of the mouth, red spots on the skin, bald patches in the coat and sores, especially between the toes, on the nose and over the eyes. The therapy and healing depends on the age of the dog and his general condition. However, there are very good chances of recovery (often the demodex mange heals itself without therapy). Except for cleanliness and hygiene, there are no preventive measures. The transmission to humans takes place via skin contactinstead of. With an intact immune system, and good hygienic conditions, the immune response of the body keeps the mite count at a relatively low level. However, if it comes to infection, the symptoms can be varied. Depending on the type of infestation, there are also different forms of therapy. But also here are very good chances of recovery.

How do we prevent the transmission of disease from dogs?

Never touch a stray animal.

Respect the notions of basic hygiene with a pet:

Prohibit your animals from licking your children

Do not let your children kiss your animals

Learn from a young age how to wash their hands

Ban contacts with reptiles before they are able to understand the simple rules of hygiene.

Air, vacuum, wash the environment regularly

Do not put animals on work surfaces, do not bathe them in a bathtub or a pool used by children.

– To limit parasitic transmissions

Ask your veterinarian for advice that you have a child.

Treat your pet against fleas preventively, every month, all year long. There is now a wide variety of treatments, in pipettes or tablets (no pesticide residues in the coat)

Pick up the poop of your dog or cat whether in town or in the garden.

Do not let your animals access the kitchen garden, beaches, play areas. If you have a sandbox, place a lid when children are not there.

Wash vegetables thoroughly, especially if they are meant to be eaten raw.

Tell your veterinarian that you have children, he can advise you on preventive treatments.

You can leave a comment and share it. Thank you for your interest.

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