You may never have considered the possibility that your dog would need to be checked for sexually transmitted diseases.
However, it may surprise you to know that dogs can get chlamydia. How is that? Dogs catch it either by touching a bird carcass or dried bird poo.
Yes, it’s rare to see it happen, but it can. If you have pet birds or your dog is in an area with a lot of birds, the chances of them catching syphilis are high.
Both canines and felines can also catch chlamydia.
How can you know if your pet has an STD? The signs for the disease is different in animals than in humans. The disease affects their eyes. Their eyes may become swollen, red and watery. They may also have a yellow/green discharge. They may also scratch at their eyes more often. Dogs may also pant more with the disease.
The chlamydia bacteria is known as psittacosis, but thankfully can be treated with antibiotics. Within several weeks, the infection will clear up. If left untreated, however, it can cause them to become lethargic, have pneumonia, diarrhea and buildup of fluid around their heart (known as pericarditis.
According to experts, this strain of chlamydia is different from the more common chlamydia strain, and humans catching it from animals is quite rare. It can be transferred if you touched the dry bird poo on your dog’s facial area but nearly impossible to catch it by touching your dog’s wet eyes.
That’s not to say it can’t happen, but it’s rare.
The important take away is to remember that animals infected with the chlamydia bacteria will show symptoms in their eyes and breathing. Chlamydia in humans affect the reproductive organs and is spread by sexual contact. For animals, it’s spread by touching bird poop. If you believe your dog has this disease, take them to the vet and get checked out and treated with antibiotics.
Written by Mark Riegel, MD
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