8 Major Similarities between Human Health and Pet Health

8 Major Similarities between Human Health and Pet Health

Humans share a close bond with their pets. They treat them like family, sharing their home and sometimes even their beds with their four-legged friends. Now scientists have discovered something else humans and pets share in common: certain health issues. Listed below are just eight of the many health problems humans and their pets can experience.

1- Obesity

Like humans, pets can put on extra pounds from insufficient exercise and a fatty diet. Cats that live in small apartments are especially vulnerable since they can’t hunt and chase prey. Like humans, pets are built to move.

2- Diabetes

Diabetes goes hand in hand with obesity, although genetics can also play a part in pet diabetes. Pets and humans both exhibit similar symptoms of diabetes – excess thirst and frequent urination. Insulin has been successful for both humans and animals.

3- Thyroid Problems

The gland that is found in the base of the neck is called the thyroid gland and it produces hormones. Cats are more likely to have hyperthyroidism and an over-productive thyroid. This can cause them to be hyperactive and lose weight despite scarfing down huge quantities of food. This is often treated with radioactive iodine. Dogs are more likely to have hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid and are treated with thyroid hormone replacement therapy like humans.

4- Cancer

Another disease pets and humans share is cancer, a disease caused by abnormal cell growth. However, certain cancers are more likely to occur in pets, such as breast cancer, skin cancer, bone cancer, oral cancer, and lymphoma. Treatments used in human cancers, such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, are also used in animal cancers.

5- Hypertension

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can occur in dogs and cats. As in humans, hypertension can be tied to other health issues, such as chronic kidney disease or diabetes. Certain drugs, such as amlodipine, have been used to treat hypertension in animals.

6- Immunodeficiency Virus

Similar to humans, cats can have a virus that affects the immune system, making them unable to fight off diseases. It is called Feline Immunodeficiency Virus or FIV, just like the human version, HIV. There is no known equivalent version for dogs.

7- Epilepsy

It isn’t just humans who can have epilepsy. Roughly 0.75% of dogs have epilepsy. The condition is less common in cats. The older anti-seizure medications phenobarbital and bromide are usually the first treatments used for epilepsy in pets. If the animal is still having seizures, other medications such as levetiracetam and gabapentin are used.

8- Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis, or TB, is a bacterial disease that affects the lungs. Though it is more common in humans, a form of the bacteria can also show up in cats. The occurrence of TB is much lower in dogs.
Since our pets share a surprising amount of DNA with humans, studies of animal health issues can lead to breakthroughs that benefit humans as well as their pets. Drugs developed for pets could be used to treat humans, just as drugs developed for humans could benefit Fido or Fluffy.

The intersection of human and animal health research, often referred to as “One Health,” has the potential to bring about groundbreaking advancements. As we gain a deeper understanding of common health issues across species, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and infectious diseases, we can develop treatments and therapies that are effective for both humans and animals. This synergy not only benefits our pets by providing access to cutting-edge medical care but also offers new perspectives and solutions for addressing human health challenges.