Jun 13, 2001
I have a quick question regarding pets. I know that you can get certain infections especially from cats. But what about dogs? A friend of mine lets his dog lick his face a little more thoroughly than I think is healthy. He says that his HIV doc told him the dog's mouth was healthier than a human's. I can't believe that this is true. Also, I have another freind who only owns dogs, but who got toxoplasmosis. If a dog roots around in cat feces, can't a dog get the toxoplasmosis virus and then pass it on to a dogs owner? I would really appreciate your advice on all this. Thank you.
Response from Dr. Feinberg
There is no specific OI that is readily transmitted by dogs. Even though you don't find your firend's interaction with his dog very aesthetic, it is true that infections caused by human bites are a lot nastier than those caused by dog bites. I suppose it is conceivable that a dog who ate cat feces that contained toxoplasma cysts and then licked an HIV+ person's mouth could possibly transmit toxo, but this isn't very likely. By the way, toxo is a protozoan, not a virus.
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