Pet Owners

ISCAID aims to support the human-animal bond by promoting improved understanding, treatment, and prevention on all companion animal infectious diseases and zoonoses.

This page contains news items and articles relating to infectious diseases of companion animals, including zoonoses, which may be of interest to the general public. Please see our links tab for a list of other websites that provide additional quality information for the public relating to companion animals.


November 4, 2009. H1N1 influenza virus detected in a cat from Iowa.
ISCAID, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) remind pet owners that some viruses can pass between people and animals; this was not an altogether unexpected event. It is believed that the cat acquired the infection from a person in the household that was sick with H1N1 influenza, but there is no evidence of transmission from the cat. Pet
owners should monitor their pets’ health very closely, no matter what type of animal, and visit a veterinarian if there are any signs of illness.


Companion animals are pets that include dogs, cats, horses, birds, mice, guinea pigs and other exotic species kept by humans for company, amusement, psychological support, and all of the other functions that humans need to share with animals of other species. Companion animals may also help to relieve stress or serve a more active role, as do guide dogs for the blind and therapy animals, such as those brought to visit people in nursing homes or hospital environments.

Zoonoses are infectious diseases that can be transmitted from animal to people. Examples of zoonoses include rabies, salmonellosis, leptospirosis, toxoplasmosis, brucellosis and psittacosis. Some zoonoses are spread from animals to humans through arthropod vectors such as ticks and sandflies. Examples of vector-borne zoonoses are Lyme disease and leishmaniasis. Zoonoses become particularly important when the owners of pets are immunosuppressed, such as by HIV, chemotherapy, autoimmune disease, or anti-rejection therapy.

Examples of infectious diseases of companion animals that are not zoonotic include parvovirus, distemper, feline upper respiratory viral infections, feline retroviral infections (feline AIDS), and feline infectious peritonitis.


Please note that this website does not offer veterinary advice. If you have any queries about your pet’s health, please contact your veterinarian.