Because pets are highly valued family members, pet and human health is interconnected, and veterinary and human healthcare professionals need to work together to ensure optimal household health. However, lack of communication often limits a coordinated effort.1 Identifying when veterinary and human healthcare professionals should communicate, determining communication barriers, and incorporating practices to overcome the barriers are critical to improve pet and human health.

Know When to Communicate

Zoonotic Pathogens

Diseases transmissible between animals and humans (ie, zoonoses)2 are frequently encountered in veterinary medicine. The pathogens pose a health risk to veterinary patients, clients, and their other household members; those who are immunocompromised (eg, diabetic, receiving chemotherapy), young or elderly (ie, <5 or >65 years of age), or pregnant are at the greatest risk.3

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