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Animal Medical Clinic - St. Paul


Pets provide many health benefits for people. Some pets can transmit diseases to people. These diseases are called zoonoses. To protect yourself from getting sick from many animal diseases, wash your hands with running water and soap after contact with animals and their feces (stool). Avoid rough play with cats and dogs to prevent scratches and bites. If you do get an injury, wash the wound thoroughly and contact your physician.

Some people are more at risk and need to be more cautious. A person's age and health status may affect his or her immune system, increasing the chances of getting sick. Different types of animals can carry different diseases. Some may be more likely than others to carry diseases that make people sick.

These people include:
  • Infants and Children <5 years old
  • Elderly
  • Pregnant Women
  • People undergoing Cancer treatment
  • People who have received Organ Transplants
  • People with HIV/AIDS
If you fit into one of the at risk groups, you should avoid contact with the following:
  • Reptiles (turtles, lizards, and snakes)
  • Baby chicks and ducklings
  • Puppies and Kittens less than 6 months old
  • Pets with diarrhea

If you have any questions or concerns you should consult either your family physician or veterinarian.

This message was adapted from the Centers for Disease Control.