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Readers Respond: Have you had a zoonotic disease?

Responses: 17


From the article: Zoonotic Diseases
Zoonotic diseases are illnesses spread between animals and pets. These illnesses can be in the form of viral, bacterial, fungal, protozoal or parasite infections.

Some diseases, such as rabies, are fatal. Lyme disease is a serious illness with many potential outcomes. Others, such as ringworm and fleas are usually just irritations, but nonetheless a problem. Controlling parasites and practicing good hygiene reduce or eliminate many disease risks.

Have you experienced a zoonotic disease? Please share your experiences here.

Skin/Hair problems

Hi. My dog keeps on shedding her fur on her torso and on the top of her ears. She keeps on scratching and I saw a reddish spot where she most frequently scratches. We've been thinking if that's scabies or just the result of her scratching. Please help. I don't want to lose her, I don't even know how to treat her. My dad told me to rub calamansi on her body. Is that effective?
—Guest Penny


I brought my 2 4-month old kittens home from a shelter on a Friday and the following Monday, I took them to the vet because they both had awful diarrhea. They were tested for parasites and both ended up having Giardia. I immediately started treatment and had one of them retested a month after treatment was done and found that he still had it. I had done 3 rounds of treatment for both kittens and the one still tested positive for it. My vet told me that sometimes tests can still come back positive even though they don't show signs. Is this true? My kittens will be 2 years old in April and one of them weighs almost 16 lbs. but the other one is 1/2 the size and still has diarrhea from time to time. Can one have it and not the other? Good news is that the shelter I obtained the cats from paid for the treatments and re-testings. They both seem to be doing well now and after having 3 re-tests, I gave up on doing it again based on what the vet told me about testing positive!
—Guest Lynda


Hi my name is mieke i am a black cottish terrier. I never had a ringworm until i was two years old. I was at three different vets and they told me that it is fleas. Its now two years and i still have ringworms alot of them. My mom only realized now when i had four beautiful babies that i have ringworms. I am getting treatment now. And hopefully i will be healthy soon. Please pray for me cause i had enough of these ringworms taking my body over and now they are messing with my babies.
—Guest Mieke

I had ring worms

I had ringworms and I use walnuts and it killed it and I am still using it today I think I got it from my dog becomes I love playing with my dog
—Guest Sanrina


I am a 4-month old Coton de Tulear with a diagnosed case of Giardiasis. My vet prescribed medication. After 3 days/doses of medicine I am still suffering from diarrhea & my appetite is absent. I've had quite a few accidents in the house. I don't have much energy. My owners are quite concerned that I'm not eating. My medication us Panacur suspension 10%. I take a 2 ml dose once a day for 5 days, stop for 7 days & repeat for 5 more days. I hope I feel better soon. I was on a boat trip on the Rideau Canal for 10 days; maybe that's where I got this parasite. My owner is practicing good hygiene (cleaning up fecal matter, cleaning my crate, washing hands. Etc) so that I dont re-infect or infect them.
—Guest Bijou

I had it & passed it to my unborn child

I was carrying the parasite passed to me by an indoor/outdoor cat. It took 2 years or more for my symptoms to appear. I had been pregnant during this time and gave birth to a boy who, from birth, had only had a few soft bowel movements. I had taken him to several doctors over 2 years who kept telling me " Kids get diarrhea ". I knew this couldn't be possible to have constant diarrhea. He would have it at least 5 times a day. My son was 2 years old when my symptoms got bad enough and I had seen 7 different doctors with my son that a doctor tested my stool and found the parasite. My son was removed from day care. Everyone around him had to be tested. My mother took care of him during treatment and she still got it too. It is spread easily and is nothing to play with. There should be a standard test done on cats to ensure that they are not bringing this parasite into the home. I will never again allow a cat to go outdoors when this parasite can be picked up.
—Guest Julie

well...now there's more to tell

My cat and I are now taking the same antibiotic, because, although rare, my doctor thinks I may have caught Chlamydia from my pet. The kind that causes conjunctivitis and Upper respiratory problems. My immune system has been under fire from a major infection in my jaw and I had to have surgery...so he thinks I may have been just wide open for a new bacteria. Uncommon, possibly not even correct, but we are treating it anyway and will see what the next few days bring.

cats and cats

Zoonoses was something I never had any thought of until several friends all came down with cases of tapeworms. This would be many, many years ago. And probably came from the big sandbox in the neighbour's yard...which quickly got a cover on it. I have had Cat Scratch Fever from a poor cat who was left behind by her owners when they moved and became very frightened of people. When we finally caught her to get her to a vet and to a home, she ripped me up and bit through my thumb, twice, before we got her into a carrier...and it was with gloves on and being as calm and gentle as possible. I did not blame her for my illness after being bitten and in fact gave her a home for the next 16 years and we loved each other very much. Thank goodness for antibiotics. We have had fleas (in the house..luckily only once), and as a result, worms in the cats, not us. So, really, after 40 odd years of cats and dogs...not much to tell.

Cat Scratch Disease

This past year my daughter also contacted Cat Scratch. It took them some time to find out what she had- she suffered damage to her optic nerve. In addition - she already had no sight in her other eye (since birth). Needless to say it was a terrible time.
—Guest Mary


When I was pregnant I got a new puppy and I got mange from it. It was horrible - it itched so bad.
—Guest mandy


Years ago, a family dog and I got giardia at the same time. While there is no proof I caught it from my dog, it's likely. Good cooperation between the veterinarian and the people doctor cured us both. Homeopathy, in my educated opinion, is pure quackery. How can one dilute something a million times and have it still be effective?

ringworm stinks!

I have ringworm now and have had it several times before. This time in particular - am unsure where it began but I have it in several locations on both my legs and in a few spots on my arms. I'm assuming it spread from shaving my legs (I am female) and it is extremely itchy. I finally got prescribed oral medication but it is still taking forever to go away. Its been about 2 months already. I have a dog and think she may be the culprit but I am unsure. I don't wish this on anyone!

I have one now

Hi. Yes I have a zoonotic disease right now. I have a nasty viral middle ear infection that is going to take at least another four weeks to clear up (according to the doc.) He said its because I kiss the dog and the cats, but I just can't help myself.

Cat Scratch Disease

In mid September '07, I had an extreme fugue episode that sent me, in a panic, to my doctor. He ran a battery of tests on me and noticed that I had also lost a substantial portion of my vision. I was referred to an ophthalmologist and a neurologist. Over time, I lost even more vision and developed severe headaches, neurological issues, and aphasia as well. In November of '08, I was sent to a Neuro-ophthalmologist who ran a more extreme battery of tests. It was discovered that I had an extremely high titer count of b. Henselae. AKA - Cat Scratch Disease. After 3 months of antibiotic therapy, (Cipro), I was cured of the bacteria. I am on my 10th straight month of prednisone treatment in hopes of taking the inflammation down in my optic nerve, but it is doubtful that my lost sight will be recovered. Some peolple laugh when I tell them that I had Cat Scratch Disease, but it can be a very, very serious illness - especially in adults. It had done a real number on me!
—Guest Mary

Tritrichomonas Foetus

A parasite somewhat similar in appearance to Giardia is tritrichomonas foetus. This is highly infectious and VERY difficult to eradicate. I purchased a Bengal and he brought this parasite with him, infecting my other cat. It has been a nightmare. Fortunately, I had read about this when researching inflammatory bowel disease. I insisted he be tested for it. My vet was not familiar with it and gave him sub-therapeutic treatment. We are now 7 months down the road and he has been treated several times, still testing positive. My only hope is now an alternative 3-drug regimen, as he is resistant to ronidazole, the drug of choice. Bottom line - if you purchase a Bengal, make sure he is tested and guaranteed negative for this parasite. If you own a cat that came from a cattery or shelter, and he cycles in and out of diarrhea, have him tested. The vets always think of giardia, but not this parasite.


I have had ringworm twice in my life and I totally attribute it to my mom's dog. I loved that dog (he's crossed the rainbow bridge now), but I was a bit peeved at him when I had to treat the ringworm. I just used an antifungal cream religiously until it cleared up.
—Guest Connie G.

Treating Giardia in my dog

My dog dealt with giardia when she was 2 or 3 and had all the obvious symptoms. The vet at the time told me that although they could control it, she would never truly be rid of it and would eventually die from it. It took about 6 months of treatment with traditional methods to get it under control. Years later, she drank some more infected water and showed the same obvious signs soon after. This time however, I treated her homeopathically with the Giardia Vibropathic Liquid from Hannah's Herb Shop in Boulder, CO and all symptoms were completely gone in 24 hours. She has never had a return. Obviously this is an alternative therapy, but every time I've used homeopathy on my pets (as well as acupuncture) the results have been astonishing.
—Guest Jordan Leigh

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