Submit Content

Healthy Paws: Can I Catch That From My Pet? No!

Editor’s Note: Healthy Paws is a column sponsored and written by the owners of Clarendon Animal Care, a full-service, general practice veterinary clinic and winner of a 2017 Arlington Chamber of Commerce Best Business Award. The clinic is located 3000 10th Street N., Suite B. and can be reached at 703-997-9776.

Can I catch that from my pet? This is a common question we hear as veterinarians, and as such have made this a recurring topic. This week we debunk some myths and talk about stuff pets are sometimes blamed for — but are highly unlikely to have been obtained from your pet.

Zoonotic diseases are infectious illnesses — think viruses, bacterial infections, fungal infections, or parasites — that can be spread between animals and humans. Zoonotic diseases can be spread both ways, from animal to person AND from person to animal.

In veterinary medicine, we take zoonotic diseases very seriously to keep both the pets we care for and their humans healthy! That said, we have had, at times needed to field questions about diseases that perhaps a misinformed friend, “Dr. Google” and on occasion human medical doctors have blamed on the pets.

Pinworms & Head Lice 

Pinworms is an intestinal worm that is commonly found in young school-aged children. The primary symptom is having an itchy rear-end and they are passed easily from child to child — mostly because children don’t think to wash their hands after scratching their bums.

Sandboxes can also be common places for pinworms to pass between children. The important thing to know is that pinworms do not infect dogs and cats, so your pets are innocent.

Head Lice are tiny insects that love to live on human heads and hair, feeding on human blood. They often cause an itchy scalp and the lice or eggs may be visible on close inspection. There are many types of lice that exist, but the human head louse only wants to live on people. You won’t find these lice on other animals, so no need to inspect Fluffy.

Strep Throat

Streptococcal pharyngitis or “strep throat” is caused by a bacterial infection from Streptococcus pyogenes (group A strep). The natural host for this bacteria is humans. Some people even carry this bacteria as part of their normal flora without having symptoms. This bacteria is not found on our pets, except very transiently — i.e. for a day or two, but it doesn’t truly colonize in dogs.

The reality is that if you catch strep throat, you got it from another human. Some human doctors will request that dogs in the household be treated in family situations where people are repeatedly getting infected. The only time this remotely almost makes sense is if all the humans are also treated at the same time — but even then, the human carrier in the family will likely continue to be a carrier and continue to be a source of repeated infections.

Strep throat:

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease can infect both dogs and humans, but you can’t catch it directly from Fido. Lyme disease is a tick-borne disease, meaning that ticks carry this disease transmit it to a dog or person that they bite for a blood-meal. This is one of the many reasons we recommend year-round flea and tick prevention and annual screening for Lyme disease for all dogs!

It’s also why people should check themselves thoroughly for ticks after spending time in the woods… ticks are very skilled at crawling up under a pant leg or sleeve.

Lyme disease in people:

Lyme disease in dogs:

Recent Stories

Arlington police cruisers were “significantly” damaged in two separate DUI crashes in September, according to ACPD. The police department said on social media that the crashes happened while “officers were…

The Arlington Mill neighborhood was the scene of one of the more unusual crashes in recent memory yesterday afternoon. Just before 4 p.m. Sunday, police and firefighters were dispatched to…

An Atlanta suburb is known for its “miles of natural, wooded beauty” — and its 10,000 golf carts. At 26.04 square miles, Peachtree City is just a touch smaller than…

Morning Notes

Grumbles About Car Tax — “County Board members have been getting their share of comments, too. ‘We have definitely heard some concerns,’ County Board Chairman Katie Cristol acknowledged, as elected…

Now you can have fun with your family and friends when deciding where to eat!

Just hop aboard The Lunch Train and set the destination for: breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, or nightlife!

– No app necessary. Simply go to the website if you’d like!
– No account necessary
– Use your current location or a desired location
– Add restaurants you’re interested in, invite your friends, and play the game!

Submit your own Community Post here.

Lyon Park & Ashton Heights’ biennial home & garden biennial tour is back. The tour will include contemporary custom homes, older historic bungalows as well as renovated properties. One of the stunning homes on the tour is pictured above.  In addition to beautiful & unique homes, the Villa & Vistas ’22 event will conclude with a festive reception at the Lyon Park Community Center at 414 N Fillmore Street, Arlington VA 22201. What could be better right?

All proceeds from this event will go to the Lyon Park Citizens Association (LPCA) towards our neighborhood jewel & hub, the Lyon Park Community Center (LPCC).

When: Sunday, October 2nd, Noon – 4 PM. 

Where: Meet to get your tickets and the tour map at the Lyon Park Community Center (414 N Fillmore Street) We will have a table with information outside.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

Homebuying 101: Steps to Getting Pre-Approved

Are you ready to jump into homeownership or started considering it but don’t know where to start? Financial preparation is key when thinking about purchasing your first home and the first step to getting pre-approved. Join ACFCU for our Homebuying

Pink Carpet Event Charity Fashion Show

The Pink Carpet Event Charity Fashion Show will feature our fabulous breast cancer survivors slaying the runway! Designers from Baltimore and the Washington, DC Metropolitan area will bring exquisite fashion and glamour to this event. Professional male and female designs


Subscribe to our mailing list