What animal carries an STD?

  • Date: September 19, 2021
  • Time to read: 4 min.

Animals can sometimes suffer from diseases and illnesses just like humans, and one of these illnesses is sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). STDs are typically spread through sexual contact, however, there are some types of animals that can carry an STD and spread it to other animals or even humans. This article will explore the different animal species that can spread STDs, the symptoms of these diseases in animals, and how to prevent them.


STD or Sexually Transmitted Diseases are a major global health concern. It is estimated that around 1 in 20 people are currently infected with a form of STD. While STDs can affect both humans and animals, there are some animals that can be carriers of the disease, spreading it to humans or other animals. In this article, we’ll explore which animals can carry STDs and the potential risks posed by them.

What Animals Carry STDs?

The animals which are known to carry STDs include cats, dogs, horses, cows, sheep, and goats. These animals can be infected with various STDs, including feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), bovine viral diarrhea (BVD), equine herpesvirus (EHV), and others. In addition, certain species of primates, such as chimpanzees, can be infected with HIV.

How Do Animals Contract STDs?

Animals can contract STDs in a variety of ways. For example, cats can contract FIV from contact with another infected cat’s saliva, while horses can contract EHV through contact with the saliva of an infected horse. Similarly, cows can contract BVD through contact with an infected cow’s saliva, milk, or urine.

Can Humans Contract STDs From Animals?

In general, it is unlikely that humans will contract STDs from animals. This is because most STDs are species-specific, meaning they can only be transmitted between members of the same species. For example, FIV can only be transmitted from cat to cat, while EHV can only be transmitted from horse to horse.

Are There Other Risks From Animals Carrying STDs?

Yes, there are other risks associated with animals carrying STDs. For example, infected animals can transmit the disease to other animals, leading to further spread of the infection. Additionally, animals infected with STDs may have weakened immune systems, making them more susceptible to other diseases and potentially reducing their lifespan.

How Can Animal Owners Prevent The Spread Of STDs?

There are several steps that animal owners can take to prevent the spread of STDs. First, animals should be regularly tested for STDs, and any infected animals should be isolated from the rest of the herd or group. Additionally, animals should be vaccinated against STDs if available, and contact with infected animals should be minimized. Finally, good hygiene practices should be used, such as washing hands after handling animals and avoiding contact with saliva.


In conclusion, animals can carry STDs, and there are potential risks associated with them. Humans can rarely contract STDs from animals, but they can spread the disease to other animals, potentially leading to an outbreak. Animal owners should take steps to prevent the spread of STDs, such as regular testing, vaccination, and good hygiene practices.

Common Myths about Animal-Transmitted STDs

Myth 1: All animals can transmit sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Fact: Only certain animals, such as apes and monkeys, can transmit certain STDs, such as Herpes B virus.

Myth 2: Any contact with an animal can transmit an STD.
Fact: STDs from animals can only be transmitted through contact with bodily fluids, such as saliva, blood, or semen.

Myth 3: Animals can transmit STDs to humans.
Fact: The only known cases of animal-transmitted STDs to humans involve zoonotic diseases, which are diseases that can be passed from animals to humans.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can animals carry STDs?

Yes, some animals can carry Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). This is most common in primates such as monkeys and apes, but infections can also occur in other species such as cats, dogs, and even birds.

How do animals transmit STDs?

Animals can transmit STDs through direct contact with an infected animal, or through contact with contaminated objects, such as food bowls. It is important to note that the risk of transmission is much lower than with human-to-human transmission.



Animals such as cats, dogs, horses, cows, sheep, and goats can carry Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). These STDs can be transmitted in a variety of ways, such as contact with saliva, milk, or urine. While humans rarely contract STDs from animals, they can spread the disease to other animals. To prevent the spread of STDs, animal owners should regularly test their animals, vaccinate them against STDs if available, minimize contact with infected animals, and practice good hygiene.

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