Can Humans Conract Upper Respiratory Infections from Dogs?

by Cathie
(Vero Beach, FL, USA)

Reader Question on Transmission of Respiratory Infections to Humans

I have two dogs - a 7 year St. Bernard mix and 7 month old Toy Chihuahua. The St. Bernard started with sneezing and cough. The vet diagnosed an upper respiratory infection.

The puppy came down with the same symptoms a few days later. Both dogs are on antibiotics. I was wondering if humans can contract this.

A few days ago my daughter came down with a cough.

Thank you.

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Aug 18, 2014
Veterinary Suggestion on Dogs Passing Respiratory Infections to Humans
by: Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM

Hi Cathie,

Some types of upper respiratory infections can pass from dogs to humans (and vice versa), though this is the exception rather than the rule.

Did either your veterinarian or your daughter’s pediatrician run any diagnostic tests to determine exactly what type of microorganism is involved in these illnesses?

Without that information it is impossible to say whether the same “bug” might have been involved or if the symptoms were simply coincidental. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to mention your concerns to both your veterinarian and pediatrician.

I hope everyone is feeling better.


Jennifer Coates, DVM

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