AIDS patients and pets; Bone marrow and organ transplant patients and pets; Chemotherapy patients and pets
If you have a weak immune system, having a pet can put you at risk for serious illness from diseases that can spread from animals to humans. Learn what you can do to protect yourself and stay healthy.
Some people with weakened immune systems may be advised to give up their pets to avoid getting diseases from the animals. People in this category include those who take high doses of steroids and others who have:
If you decide to keep your pet, you and your family must be aware of the risk of diseases that can be passed from animals to humans. Here are some tips:
Tips if you have a dog or cat:
If you have a cat litter box:
Other important tips:
For more information about pet-related infections, contact your veterinarian or the Humane Society in your area.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Healthy pets, healthy people. www.cdc.gov/healthypets/. Updated December 13, 2022. Accessed February 21, 2023.
Freifeld AG, Kaul DR. Infection in the patient with cancer. In: Niederhuber JE, Armitage JO, Kastan MB, Doroshow JH, Tepper JE, eds. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 34.
Goldstein EJC, Abrahamian FM. Bites. In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 315.
Lipkin WI. Zoonoses. In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 317.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 9/10/2022
Reviewed By: Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Associate Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Associate in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. Editorial update 02/21/2023.
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