Tetanus is caused by a toxin produced by the clostridium bacteria, which is present in soil, dust and manure. Youíre not going to get tetanus from an animal. People generally tend to pick up the bacteriaís spores in the environment. Infection sets in when the bacteria enters a wound on the skin and begins producing toxins triggered by the anaerobic conditions of the wound site. Animals are actually much less susceptible to tetanus infection than people, although some animals, such as horses, do contract tetanus from time to time.
Ring worm is caused by a fungal organism commonly found in young kittens and puppies. It is transmitted through handling an infected pet, but is fairly easy to clear up.
Salmonella is a bacteria common to all reptiles. Snakes, lizards and turtles are the most common sources of household infection, according to the Mayo Clinic. Salmonella can also grow in spoiled meat and can be present on processed, uncooked chicken meat. The bacteria causes inflammation of the stomach and intestines. Diarrhea and vomiting are common symptoms.
Commonly known as cat-scratch fever, the disease is caused by an opportunistic bacteria that doesnít infect the cat itself but can be present in the saliva or on the claws. Possibly the reason itís called cat-scratch fever is if people get scratched, the organism gets into the skin and it sets up an infection. Itís not real common.
Sometimes called litter box disease, toxoplasmosis is caused by a parasite present in cat feces or uncooked meat. Cats are the definitive hosts for the parasite, which reproduces in the catís body and sheds its eggs in the catís feces. It can be a bad thing. It can cause abortions in pregnant women. There are a lot of recommendations for pregnant women as far as having a cat. One safe thing to do is have someone else clean the litter box out and make sure itís cleaned out twice a day and use good hygiene. To get toxoplasmosis from a cat youíd have to have fecal-oral contact. It is possible for the organism to become aerosolized or airborne, but most people contract toxoplasmosis from eating undercooked meat. In nondefinitive hosts, it encysts. It sits in organ tissue or muscle tissue and forms a cyst. If you eat meat that is not fully cooked (and contains a cyst) then you will become infected.
Parrot fever, or psittacosis, is a bacterial disease that affects more than 100 species of wild and domestic birds. Infection in humans occurs through contact with feces or the dust that accumulates in birdcages, according to the Mayo Clinic. Treatment for affected animals and humans includes antibiotics.
Found in fish aquariums and some swimming pools, mycobacteria causes infection when it is exposed to minor skin injuries. Usually, symptoms are mild.