Persons with weakened immune systems may be advised to give up their pets to avoid getting diseases from the animals. Persons in this category include those who take high doses of steroids and others who have:
If you decide to keep your pet, you and your family must be aware of the risk of diseases that can be passed from animals to humans. Here are some tips:
Tips if you have a dog or cat:
If you have a cat litter box:
Other important tips:
For more information on pet-related infections, contact your veterinarian or the Humane Society in your area.
AIDS patients and pets; Bone marrow transplant patients and pets; Chemotherapy patients and pets
Goldstein EJ. Bites. In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2009:chap 319.
Kotton CN, Weinberg AN. Zoonoses. In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2009:chap 328.
Souza MJ. Bacterial and parasitic zoonoses of exotic pets. Vet Clin North Am Exot Anim Pract. 2009;12:401-415.
Updated by: Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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