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Starts at $9.98 per contact hour
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4 hours $8.98
8 hours $7.98
12 hours $6.98
20 hours $5.98
30 hours $4.98

Zoonoses: Can Your Pet Make You Sick?

2.0 Contact Hours
Target Audience: Nurses, healthcare professionals, and interested individuals
Purpose/Goal: The outcome of this course is for the learner to describe some of the most common zoonoses in the United States and to describe symptoms, treatment, and methods of prevention and treatment for these diseases.
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For many people, animals are an important part of their lives, providing valuable social bonds, emotional support, and joy. Pets and other animals can contribute to a healing environment with their companionship, assistance, sensory stimulation, need for exercise, sense of calmness, and level of acceptance that is often difficult to find from any other source. Yet many diseases can be spread from pets to people. These diseases, called zoonoses, can involve bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections. People can also infect pets, as well. Maintaining a healing environment for all includes the prevention of infections from our pets and other animals.

Upon completion of the course, you will be able to do the following:

  • Define zoonoses.
  • Describe dermatophytes and types of animals most likely to transmit them.
  • Identify the four major categories of zoonoses as listed by the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • Describe the causes, signs, symptoms, treatments of salmonellosis, campylobacteriosis, cat-scratch disease (CSD), leptospirosis, trematodosis, toxoplasmosis, rabies, avian influenza, dermatophytosis, and sporotrichosis.
  • Describe the role of animals in each of the zoonoses categories.
  • Identify common human diseases in which animals are not the source of transmission.
  • Identify diseases spread from humans to animals.
  • Explain methods of preventing zoonoses.

For many people, pets are part of the family. Because of these special bonds, animals are often seen as companions. The human/animal bond has been described and lauded in ancient literature, modern fiction, and research reports in current professional literature. The presence of animals yields many health benefits to humans, whether through pet ownership or through therapy or service programs. Pet owners exercise more and have less anxiety. They have an external focus of attention that provides physical contact, decreases loneliness and depression, and promotes an interactive and interesting lifestyle. In healthcare settings, animals of all types are being used more and more often to provide acutely and chronically ill patients with unconditional love, an opportunity to touch and be touched, and healing benefits. For example, animals have been shown to improve the socialization of psychiatric patients, calm prison inmates, and decrease hyperactivity in emotionally disturbed boys (Parshall, 2003).

Despite the valuable contributions that animals make, there is a growing concern about human-animal interactions and the possibility for disease exchange. While the focus is often on wild animals, many zoonoses can be transmitted via our household pets. Maintaining a healing environment involves the prevention of diseases that can be transmitted by pets and other animals.

Zoonoses (pronounced zo-on-o-seas) are defined as those diseases and infections that are naturally transmitted between vertebrate animals and man, with the animals serving as the reservoir where a pathogen lives or persists and multiplies (Bender & Minicucci, 2007). They can impact public health and the social and economic well-being of the world population. Zoonoses can be transmitted from animals to humans through direct contact or through food, water, and the environment (World Health Organization [WHO], 2017c).

Complete the course post exam (CE Test) with a score of 80% or greater. Complete all fields of the course evaluation form. Certificate of Completion is provided once the course post exam is passed per criteria above.

  • American Board of Managed Care Nursing
  • ANCC - American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • AOTA - American Occupational Therapy Association
  • ASWB - Association of Social Work Boards
  • California Board of Behavioral Sciences
  • California Board of Registered Nursing
  • California Department of Health, Aid, and Technician Certification Section
  • District of Columbia Board of Nursing
  • Florida Board of Nursing
  • Florida Board of Nursing - Certified Nursing Assistants
  • Florida Board of Respiratory Care
  • Florida Council of Dietetics and Nutrition
  • Florida Council of Licensed Midwifery
  • NAADAC - The National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors
  • NCBTMB -National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork
  • Florida Board of Massage Therapists


Practice Level:


Content Focus:

Domain of OT

Course Expires:

September 09, 2021

  • Cyndie Koopsen, RN, BSN, MBA, HNB-BC, RN-BC, HWNC-BC
  • Caroline Young, MPH
Jurisdictional Requirements:

Continuing education (CE) licensing requirements vary by jurisdiction, are not well defined, and may change. These CE requirements may vary in terms of the number of hours required to the types of courses that must be taken. ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC recommends you contact your licensing board or accrediting organization for the latest continuing education requirements of your state or territory. Compliance with CE requirements is the responsibility of the individual health care provider. Health care providers must understand the CE requirements in their jurisdictions, and be sure they are up-to-date on any rule changes that affect their license. For further information, please see our Accreditation Information.

Accommodations for Disabilities:

Every effort will be made to accommodate your special needs. To request accommodations, please contact us.

Conflicts of Interest and Relevant Financial Relationships:

The authors/planning committee members have no conflicts of interests or relevant financial relationships to declare relevant to this activity.

Commercial Support:

No commercial support has been received for this activity.

Non-endorsement of products:

Accreditation refers to recognition of continuing nursing education only and does not imply ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC approval or endorsement of any commercial product.

Off-label Use of Products:

None of the authors intend to discuss off-label uses of drugs, mechanical devices, biologics, or diagnostics not approved by the FDA for use in the United States.