Approximately 70% (90.5 million) of United States (US) households own at least one pet. Dogs are the most common, making up about 38% of all household pets, followed by cats, which make up 25%. Other pets such as fish, birds, reptiles, and small animals such as hamsters, gerbils, and rabbits are less common household members. Pets are often considered a part of the family and there are significant medical and psychosocial benefits to pet ownership; however, the possibility of disease transmission exists related to the type of animal and infectious organism, and specific human risk factors. Immunocompromised individuals may be at increased risk of serious illness from zoonotic infections. During the transplant evaluation and routinely posttransplant, the multidisciplinary team should inquire about pet ownership and animal exposures to guide on potential risks. This review discusses the most common diseases seen in various household pets including dogs, cats, birds, fish, and some farm animals. We will also present guidelines for pet safety and include strategies to decrease the risk of infection while supporting the benefits of pet ownership after transplant.
- infectious risk
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health