The term streptococcus refers to a group of bacteria that is routinely present on the skin of both people and animals. Certain strains of strep can cause a wide range of symptoms and problems if they enter the body. Common reactions to strep include a very sore throat, skin infections and abscesses, pneumonia, joint infections and mastitis. In some cases strep can cause death if not properly treated.
Strep is zoonotic, meaning it is a disease that can be passed between humans and animals. You can get strep from your dog and he can get it from you. You may get it from your dog if he bites you or if you come into contact with the bacteria from an infected wound on your pet. Your dog is most likely to get it from you if you accidentally contaminate him while treating an injury for him.
Prevent the transmission of strep by washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after treating any injury on your dog. If you know you have a strep infection or are concerned about sanitation, use gloves before treating him to provide your pet with an extra layer of protection. If your dog shows signs of illness, such as coughing, trembling or weakness, get him to his veterinarian immediately, since these can all be signs of a potentially fatal strep infection.
- Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images