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Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat
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Experience:  Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
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Can a human give a cat or dog hepatitis

Resolved Question:

I'm worried that someone I know with Hepatitis has given the disease to my cat and dog. Is this possible through rubbing or touching my animals noses, ect? I'm worried. Can they get it through the air too? Is it even possible for animals to get human hepatitis?
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Cher replied 10 years ago.
Hi Ashton,

From the research I've done, it is NOT possible for humans to transmit hepatitis B or C to dogs and cats. However, there IS an illness called Canine Infectious Hepatitis (CIH) which IS transferable from dog to dog, but from what I read, puppies are usually vaccinated against this.

Why are you worried that this person with hepatitis may have infected your dog and cat? Are your animals showing any signs of the disease or are you just worried because there was contact? Petting them or rubbing their noses shouldn't be a problem (even if it WAS contagious) because it's transmitted through contact with feces and saliva (bodily fluids).

If your animals start showing any symptoms of illness, or just to ease your mind, call your vet and ask his/her advice.

I'm sure you have nothing to worry about!

Cher   : )
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Jessesmom's Post: When I hit reply and send on the last email it vanished and my computer froze. Not sure if it reached you.
The jest of it was this. My father may have Hepatitis. The doctors aren't sure yet and before he ended up in the hospital he nose nuzzled our cat, Sophie. I'm worried about all the animals, but especially the fact his nose came into contact with hers and rubbed.
Have you ever heard of an animal getting hepatitis through human contact? I'm so concerned.
Expert:  Cher replied 10 years ago.
Hi again Ashton,

I'm sorry to hear that your father may have hepatitis and hope the tests prove otherwise!

I fully understand your concern, and no, I've never heard of an animal getting hepatitis through human contact. The research I did last night on 'zoonotic diseases' (diseases which are transmitted between species) mentioned specifically that dogs cannot get hepatitis from humans and also indicated in general that hepatitis is not a zoonotic disease.



Q: Mike is it possible for the family pet to contract Hepatitis C or B from an infectious member of the family (human) after contact with their bodily fluids or excrement. thanks

A: I checked two textbooks that I think are good references and there is no mention of any possibility of contagiousness of Hepatitis C or B from humans to dogs. I also checked an online database -- and was reminded that monkeys can harbor hepatitis B-- but no mention of dogs. I can't say for certain it doesn't occur based on this but it seems pretty unlikely.

Mike Richards, DVM"

Further research on this site also implied that human hepatitis cannot be passed to cats.

I hope this helped you further and my best thoughts are with your father at this time.

Cher : )
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