Diseases communicable from dog to cat (and vice versa)

Living with Fido and the cat? A great adventure but beware of communicable diseases from dog to cat and vice versa: what they are and how to treat them.

Living with a dog and a cat at the same time certainly fills the house with joy, but the problems that this coexistence can entail should not be underestimated. Not only for reasons of quarrels and jealousies, but also more strictly for health problems: in fact there are some diseases that can infect each other dogs and cats who live in close contact. Here are the diseases that can be transmitted from dog to cat , and vice versa: what are the most suitable treatments and the most effective remedies.

Dogs and cats in the same house: what are the problems?

When two animals live together in the same house it is likely that problems of coexistence arise. They can arise from jealousies, the desire to dominate one over the other but also disputes related to spaces. In fact, if we want to ‘limit’ the problems we should try to divide our attention for each animal , but also try to divide the house into areas of feline or canine ‘competence’: in this way, problems related to ‘intrusions’ should not arise between them. Over time, the two could also become great friends, or ignore each other and in any case guarantee a somewhat peaceful coexistence.

Diseases communicable from dog to cat (and vice versa)

It should be specified that most animal diseases are zoonotic, that is, they are transmitted from creature to man. But it is equally true that most dog diseases are not transmitted to humans and feline diseases are hardly transmitted to dogs. But some of them may be common or have the same cause – that’s what they are.

From cat to dog: Toxoplasmosis

Being a typically feline disease, albeit asymptomatic, it is difficult for the dog to strike first. It is a danger for the dog because it can be infected by the cat, but most of the time it is not the other way around. If a cat infects a pregnant dog, the dog is likely to lose her kittens: abortion is one of the worst risks of this disease. If the dog is not pregnant, the risks are practically nil.

In any case it is better to be careful to ‘handle’ the feces of the feline: in fact they could be ‘dangerous’ even up to 48 hours from when they were issued, due to a phenomenon called sporulation.

From dog to cat: Anger and Leishmaniasis

Typically canine, Rabies affects dogs more often than cats, but cats can be infected with it. It is the only transmissible viral disease between the two species, as it is not a species-specific disease. Although in Italy it seems almost completely disappeared at least since the 1960s, it is better never to let your guard down. Also because the stay abroad can be very dangerous: therefore it is better to keep the two animals away when we suspect that there are some symptoms of disease in progress.

Leishmaniasis affects a cat very, very rarely: therefore it will be enough to treat the dog with an external pesticide to be calm. In fact, these parasites take root much better on the dog than on the cat.

Canine-to-cat communicable diseases that affect both (indiscriminately)

It happens that some diseases make no difference between one species and the other. These are: ringworm, the parasitic ones, due to fleas and ticks or mites.

  • Ringworm : the responsible is the Microsporum canis fungus but, despite the name, it can affect dogs, cats and humans (even at an early age). It is not very dangerous, but annoying due to the constant itching it causes. In fact, contact between infected animals can be fatal to be infected: it is better to keep them separate and at a distance.
  • Intestinal parasites : that is roundworms,  Dipylidium  we have already talked about, strongyl worms and Giardia. Transmission usually occurs via the fecal-oral route, so care must be taken to properly handle and clean the excrements of infected animals. In fact, the places where the dog or cat usually leave their excrements can become the main means of contagion of intestinal disease of this type.
  • Mites : like that of scabies, they cause an itch so annoying that it forces the animal to scratch until the skin cracks and blood comes out.
  • Fleas and ticks : they affect everyone, cats and dogs, and are also very dangerous. So in case of contagion, it is absolutely necessary to isolate the affected animal, since it is very likely that one will infect the other, albeit at different times: fleas are faster but ticks can reproduce much more easily. For this it is appropriate to burn them.

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