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Zoonosis & Human Health

  • Tetanus is a bacterial disease that can affect most animals and humans. Horses are particularly susceptible because of their environment and tendency to suffer injuries.

  • Although ticks are commonly thought of as insects, they are actually arachnids similar to scorpions, spiders and mites. All ticks have four pairs of legs (eight legs in total) as adults and have no antennae.

  • Tularemia is an uncommon infection in dogs, but they can be exposed if they kill and/or eat an infected rabbit or rodent.

  • West Nile Fever is a disease caused by a virus (WNV) carried by mosquitoes. It causes encephalitis (inflammation of the brain and spinal cord) that can affect humans and other animals as well as horses.

  • When a cat bites, its sharp canine teeth easily puncture the skin, leaving small, but deep, wounds in the skin. These punctures rapidly seal over, trapping bacteria from the cat's mouth under the skin of the victim, where they can readily multiply.

  • This handout will review some of the common health concerns that arise for people who have cats as pets. For further information, be sure to ask your veterinary health care provider.