Dogs and cats are the 2 most common household pets. However, they may be a direct or indirect source of human infections. This article aims to familiarize physicians with some common and uncommon bacterial, rickettsial, parasitic, and fungal zoonotic infections of dogs and cats. Animal bites with or without infection continue to be a common problem. Treatment of infected animal bites must include early débridement and concern for organisms from the mouth flora of the animal. The diagnosis and treatment of cat-scratch disease have become easier since Bartonella henselae has been established as the main causal agent. Less common bacterial and rickettsial zoonotic infections are included to increase the reader's awareness. Parasitic infections, such as creeping eruptions, visceral larva migrans, cryptosporidiosis, and toxoplasmosis, are diseases associated with contact with dogs and cats. Pets can also be the source of dermatophyte infections. An increase in awareness that some of these diseases may be associated with animals could provide a better plan for the prevention and treatment of common and uncommon zoonotic infections.
Arch Intern Med. 1997;157:1933-1943