Can Dogs Get Tuberculosis From Humans?

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While most of you have not experienced tuberculosis, the majority will have heard about before on the news. That's because this slow-growing bacterial infection can wreak havoc in humans. It attacks the lungs more often than any other body part. This infection has become infamous because of its super contagious nature, spreading in droplets of spit from a cough or sneeze. We know that humans definitely get tuberculosis, but what about dogs? Are they also at risk for this nasty infection?

Can Dogs Get Tuberculosis From Humans?

YES!

Dogs are also susceptible to Mycobacterium tuberculosis. What's worse, if you have this infection you can actually pass it to your dog, especially if you're one who loves puppy kisses. Tuberculosis in dogs is totally devastating, and it carries a very grim prognosis. Thankfully, most dogs are actually immune to the bacteria, but there is no way of knowing until the pooch has been exposed to the mini-bug.

Does My Dog Have Tuberculosis?

If your pup has been in contact with someone or something that has tuberculosis, watch them carefully for the onset of infection signs.

A pupper with TB will progressively get more and more sick. He will be tired and his lack of appetite will cause him to drastically thin out. Tuberculosis also brings with it a nasty cough and persistent vomiting.

Most often, a dog gets this infection from a human with TB. About a quarter of cases come from contact with the cow strain of the disease. If your pooch eats infected meat from a cow with the bacteria, he could possibly get tuberculosis.

If you're concerned that your dog has tuberculosis, take him to your vet! They can do a physical examination and run x-rays to try and confirm the presence of this vicious infection.

Would you like to learn more about tuberculosis in dogs? Head over to Tuberculosis in Dogs for more details.

How Do I Treat My Dog's Tuberculosis?

Things take a bit of a dark turn after a diagnosis of tuberculosis. The safety of the public still comes ahead of canine relief, especially when dealing with contagious diseases.

As soon as your vet confirms TB in your dog, they will request that the pup be euthanized. There currently are no safe treatment options for tuberculosis in dogs.


There is no recovery for dogs with this bacterial infection. At least you can hold on to the fact that your poor fur-baby is no longer suffering from this nasty disease.

Want to read stories from owners who deal first hand with TB in dogs? Check out our guide to Tuberculosis in Dogs .

How is Tuberculosis Similar in Dogs and Humans?

For both canines and their owners, tuberculosis brings with it some issues that are anything but fun. Similarities include:

  • A cough that may contain blood

  • Fatigue

  • Shortness of breath

  • Fever

  • Decreased appetite

How is Tuberculosis Different in Dogs and Humans?

There are some pretty significant differences with how this infection is handled in people vs. their pets. Main differences are:

  • Treatment options - humans can undergo a lengthened treatment regime lasting several months that is pretty effective at getting rid of the bacteria

  • Diagnosis - there are more accurate tests available for testing TB in people

  • Types of tuberculosis - dogs can catch the bovine strain but humans cannot

Case Study

Act quickly if someone in your family is diagnosed with tuberculosis! One Weimaraner was in danger of getting the incurable infection after his owner was confirmed with TB. Getting him out of the house for the duration of the treatment was absolutely necessary to keep him safe. Once the owner tested clean of tuberculosis, the pup was able to return home, safe and sound!