Pet Ownership
Robert Ellis and Carrie Ellis

This interactive case study will educate health professional learners on many aspects of human-animal interactions through a problem based learning format. It will be easily adaptable to other formats that may better fit an institution's curriculum. Topics will include benefits and risks of human-animal interaction and pet ownership, issues related to special populations such as children and immunocompromised individuals, prevention and treatment of animal bites, and prevention of common zoonotic infections. This case study will empower learners to educate the community they serve to improve the health of both humans and animals. The case will begin with parents of a child presenting to a health professional inquiring about the benefits and risks of pet ownership. After some discussion, it is found out that the child underwent a bone marrow transplant for leukemia 8 months earlier. Learners will explore issues of risks and benefits of pet ownership in different situations. The family elects to get a dog and subsequently presents to the health professional to advise on minimizing health risks. The learners will explore issues related to minimizing health risks in human-animal interactions including prevention of common zoonotic diseases and animal bites. Six months later, the dog gets tangled in wire while running through a field and suffers multiple lacerations. While freeing the dog, the dad sustains a bite wound to the hand. The learners will explore issues related to animal bites including initial treatment and triage, definitive treatment, risk of infection, issues related to rabies, and applicable laws and regulations.

Abstract | Student Materials | Risks and Benefits | Zoonotic Infections | Animal Bites | Cat Scratch Disease | Dog Bite | Leptospirosis in Dogs and Cats | Toxoplasmosis: An Important Message for Cat Owners | Worms (Toxocariasis) | Toxocariasis Fact Sheet | infections | Request Facilitator Materials