Do dogs get AIDS?
September 1, 2011 11:25 AM   Subscribe

I was walking through cracktown with my dog. Do I need to worry if he steps on a needle?
posted by angrybeaver to Pets & Animals (8 answers total)
Did he step on a needle? Do you walk through cracktown often?
posted by TheBones at 11:26 AM on September 1, 2011

Human aids is non-zoonotic.
posted by TheBones at 11:27 AM on September 1, 2011

According to the CDC, HIV cannot be transmitted to dogs or any other pets.

So no, dogs do not get AIDS.
posted by empyrean at 11:39 AM on September 1, 2011

First time we walked through that neighbourhood, and it made me wonder. No he didn't step on a needle. Is there a risk of infection or any other diseases?
posted by angrybeaver at 11:48 AM on September 1, 2011

Here is a list of illnesses that are shared by humans and dogs.

I would imagine one of the biggest concerns in cracktown would be TB. While the disease's reincidence in conjunction with the HIV epidemic peaked almost 20 years ago, there's still a large reservoir out there in minority and drug-addicted populations. It still seems like even getting stuck wouldn't be that likely an event, let alone transmission of a disease, but it's good to consider.

Try wearing dog boots next time (your dog, that is).
posted by dhartung at 11:55 AM on September 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

The biggest risk from your dog stepping on a needle is simply the puncture wound. That could get infected, I suppose. I wouldn't worry at all about AIDS or what's left in the needle (all the drugs are usually gone by the time it's abandoned on the sidewalk).

Of course, a picture of the dog in question would help with the risk assessment.
posted by bluejayway at 11:56 AM on September 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

Your pet won't get aids, but a needle that has been left out and has decaying biological matter in it is likely to spread diseases, and very like, as noted above, to spread infection. Believe it or not, there are rubber-soled shoes for dogs (here's an example), and they will protect your dogs fee the way your shoes protect yours. If you think there is a significant risk of your dog stepping on a needle (or broken glass; I've lived in bad neighborhoods, and remember a lot of broken glass), this might be worth considering.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:58 PM on September 1, 2011

Thanks for your answers. The best solution is not to take my dog to that part of town.
posted by angrybeaver at 6:11 PM on September 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

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