Office of Emergency Management | Environment, Health & Safety | Biological Safety | Zootonic Diseases |

Diseases Primarily Affecting Dogs & Cats

Cat & Dog Bites & Cuts

  1. Etiology
    1. Pasteurella multocida is reported to be the most common cause of infection following a cat or dog bite.
    2. Pasteurella multocida is a non-spore forming, gram-negative coccobacillus.
  2. Hosts
    1. P. multocida is part of the normal mouth flora of dogs (66% incidence), cats (70% incidence) and other domestic species.
  3. Disease in Animals
    1. None in dogs or cats.
    2. In rabbits, clinical signs include rhinitis (snuffles), pneumonia, otitis media and interna, conjunctivitis, abscesses. Vulvovacinitis pyometra, balanoposthitis, orchitis and septicemia.
  4. Mode of Transmission
    1. Bites or scratches from carrier animals.
  5. Disease in Humans
    1. Signs develop at the wound site, usually a hand or finger.
    2. Incubation is 12 to 72 hours.
    3. Signs include local cellulitis, pain, swelling, serosanguineous or purulent drainage and Iymphangitis in the affected limb.
    4. Complications may include septicemia, meningoencephalitis, osteomyelitis and purulent tenosynovitis.
  6. Risk
    1. Since P. multocida may be part of the normal mouth flora of dogs and cats, infection may occur following a bite or scratch.
  7. Prevention
    1. Avoid bites and scratches.
    2. If a bite or scratch occurs, prompt first aid treatment is necessary followed at an emergency room or local health authority.
First aid treatment should include cleansing with an antibacterial detergent and irrigation with large amounts of water.

Diseases Primarily Affecting Dogs & Cats

Dermatophytoses (Ringworm, Dermatomycoses)

  1. Etiology
    1. Fungi (dermatophytes) principally in the genus Microsporum or Trichophyton.
    2. The most common species are M. cants, M. gypseum and T. mentagrophytes.
    3. M. gypseum inhabits the soil (geophilic)
    4. others are parasitic on animals (zoophilic) and humans.
  2. Hosts
    1. All common laboratory animal and domestic species.
  3. Disease in Animals
    1. Lesions on animals are variable depending on the specific pathogen, animal species and other factors affecting host resistance.
    2. Ringworm infection in rodents is often asymptomatic.
    3. Ringworm infection in other species, clinical signs include dermal erythema, alopecia, and crusty circular lesions.
  4. Mode of Transmission
    1. Both direct or indirect contact with
      1. asymptomatic carriers
      2. skin lesions of infected animals
      3. contaminated bedding and equipment
      4. fungi present on dust which settles in animal rooms.
  5. Disease in Humans
    1. Infection in humans is often mild and self-­limiting.
    2. Lesions may include dermalscaling, erythema, vesicles, and fissures.
    3. Other demmatophytes may produce eczema, folliculitis, circular lesions, tines capitis (infection of the scalp and hair), tines corporis (generalized body infection), tinea pedis (infection of the foot), and tinea unguim (infection of the nails).
  6. Risk
    1. Ringworm is seldom reported and since these fungi are commonly found in the environment, the source of a human infection would be difficult to determine.
    2. Clinical manifestations of ringworm in animals are rarely observed.
    3. It is possible that some animals, such as dogs or primates, may be asymptomatic carriers.
    4. Rodents obtained from approved vendors should be free of pathogenic dermatophytes.
  7. Prevention
    1. The use of latex examination gloves prevents direct transmission when handling animals.
    2. High-level sanitation practices followed in animal facilities reduces the risk to employees.

 

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