Did you know that dogs are one of the main reservoirs of tuberculosis in humans? That’s right, this contagious disease is spread from dog to human through saliva. While many dogs are carriers of tuberculosis in their systems, a few are actually infectious and can cause a person to get sick. So, while you might not want to let your dog sleep in your bed at night, you should definitely be careful of how you interact with it. If your dog has TB, here’s what to do.
Overview of Canine Tuberculosis
Dogs, cats, and humans are all susceptible to tuberculosis, more often known as TB. Dogs and cats can contract TB from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (the germs that cause human tuberculosis) and Mycobacterium bovis (cattle tuberculosis bacteria). Although tuberculosis is most frequently associated with the lungs, it may also damage the intestines.
While both M. tuberculosis and M. bovis are capable of infecting dogs, research has shown that cats are far more resistant to M. TB and are more likely to be infected by the latter.
Inhalation of the germs or consumption of contaminated animal products are the two main routes through which tuberculosis is disseminated. How a person becomes infected is determined on how they got there. It is common for dogs to become infected through the air, and respiratory sickness is a common result. The gastrointestinal system is connected with cat TB, as opposed to canine tuberculosis, which is often spread through the consumption of contaminated animal products (mostly infected milk).
Tuberculosis is a zoonotic illness, which means that it may transmit from animals to people when they are infected with it. If you believe your pet has TB, you should use extreme caution. Canine TB is most commonly transmitted from person to dog through direct contact. Tuberculosis is sometimes discovered in a family member’s pet for the first time. Human TB testing may reveal that multiple members of the family are positive, despite the fact that they have not yet shown any symptoms of illness.
Can Dogs Get Tuberculosis From Humans?
YES! Mycobacterium TB may infect dogs as well. Unfortunately, if your dog is infected with this virus, you can pass it on to him or her. A dog’s prognosis for tuberculosis is bleak, and the disease can be fatal if left untreated. It’s a good thing that most dogs are immune to the bacterium, but there’s no way to tell until you expose your pup to the little bug yourself!
Can Dogs Get Tuberculosis?
Be on the lookout for indicators of TB infection in your dog if they’ve come into touch with someone or anything infected with the disease.
A TB-infected dog will deteriorate over time. He’ll be exhausted and underweight as a result of his inability to eat. Tuberculosis is also accompanied by a prolonged cough and vomiting.
Human TB is the most common source of infection in dogs. The cow strain is responsible for around a quarter of all cases. When a dog consumes contaminated cow’s flesh, he or she may contract TB. Take your dog to the vet if you think he has TB! They can do a physical examination and take x-rays to see if the aggressive illness is present.
Are you interested in learning more about canine tuberculosis? For additional information, see Tuberculosis in Dogs.
How Do I Treat My Dog’s Tuberculosis?
Tuberculosis diagnosis causes things to take a bad turn. When it comes to communicable illnesses, public health still takes precedence above canine comfort.
Once your veterinarian has confirmed that your dog has TB, they will ask that the pup be put to sleep. There are no effective treatments for canine TB at this time.
Dogs infected with this bacterial illness are doomed to die. At the very least, you may take comfort in the knowledge that your dear pet is no longer afflicted with this dreadful condition.
If you’d want to hear from dog owners who’ve dealt with TB firsthand, check out these tales. Check visit our page on Tuberculosis in Dogs.
How is Tuberculosis Similar in Dogs and Humans?
For both dogs and their humans, TB has a number of unpleasant side effects. There are a number of similarities, for example:
- Coughing up blood or other bodily fluids
- Reduced desire for food
How is Tuberculosis Different in Dogs and Humans?
Humans and their pets are treated differently when it comes to a disease like this. Differences include:
There are numerous therapy methods available, the most effective of which is a prolonged treatment regimen spanning several months.
People can be diagnosed with tuberculosis using better tests.
The bovine strain of TB can infect dogs, but humans cannot.
Diagnosis of Tuberculosis in Dogs
In dogs, tuberculosis can be difficult to detect because of its resemblance to pneumonia. Diagnosis may be made by doing a variety of tests, such as
Most unwell dogs will have a full blood count performed on them at some point in time. An increased white blood cell count may be seen as a result of this test’s outcomes.
A dog’s biochemical profile can reveal the health of its organs and electrolytes, as well as its general state of well-being.
Chest radiographs (x-rays) can show if pneumonia is present, but they cannot establish the diagnosis of TB in dogs with respiratory difficulties. Since both have similar x-ray signals, TB and lung cancer are often mistaken for one another.
Tuberculosis can only be diagnosed conclusively with an organ biopsy. Due to their age and health, dogs are often too sick to undergo a biopsy of their lungs or digestive tracts, making the procedure risky. Pet owners are worried the animal won’t make it through the anesthetic and surgery.
Tuberculosis bacteria can be found by doing a microscopic examination of any discharge.
Autopsies are the most common method of detecting TB.
Tuberculosis cannot be diagnosed by a skin test, which is routinely used on humans but which is unreliable in animals.
Treatment of Tuberculosis in Dogs
Treatment is not suggested because of the significant risk of transmission of TB from an infected dog or cat to humans, particularly youngsters. The vast majority of animals with TB are euthanized rather than treated.
Some pets may benefit from long-term medication therapy as a treatment option. Therapy has the potential to be ineffective and to have harmful side effects.
Home Care and Prevention
Tuberculosis care cannot be provided at home. Antibiotic resistance is making tuberculosis an increasingly frequent illness. You should seek prompt medical attention if you fear that your dog has TB or that a member of your household has tuberculosis.
People who have TB should use extreme caution while near dogs. The bacterium may spread through the air when a person coughs, and neighboring pets may become infected.
Can dogs get tuberculosis? Dogs are susceptible to TB because their immune systems are not as strong as those of humans and because they live in close proximity with other animals that are more likely to develop the disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Most dogs that have been infected with TB are not infectious to people and have a normal life expectancy. The only way a dog can spread the disease is if it inhales airborne bacteria, such as those found in droppings left by infected animals.” However, you can protect yourself from getting the disease by following proper hygiene. The most important thing you can do is to keep your hands clean.
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