First broadcast on  As part of Provet's Veterinary Jargon Busting week

This information is provided by Provet for educational purposes only.

You should seek the advice of your veterinarian if your pet is ill as only he or she can correctly advise on the diagnosis and recommend the treatment that is most appropriate for your pet.

Contagious is a commonly used term - but what does it mean ?

A disease that is "contagious" can be spread by direct contact of an animal with an affected individual, body secretions or by indirect contact with inanimate objects such as drinking utensils, bedding, food troughs, cages, kennels, stables, and so on that the affected individual has been in contact with.

To prevent a contagious disease being passed from one animal to another it is important to :

  • Isolate affected animals
  • Treat affected animals
  • Disinfect the environment and remove or sterilize any objects that affected animals have been in contact with
  • Provide preventative treatments to unaffected animals that may have been in contact directly or indirectly with an affected animal - eg vaccinations, worming treatments

Last updated : October 2013