Pets usually bring us a lot of joy and protect us from being lonely and never judge us, but there are also some dangers that might come with owning one. In this article we try to present the most important pet diseases transmitted to humans as well as some ways of protecting yourself against them.
As you will see from this list hygiene is the most important thing in preventing most of these and oftentimes you just have to wash your hands thoroughly each time after coming in contact with your pet, but this is why children are more susceptible to these problems.
Hookworms and Roundworms
They are called Ancylostoma and Ascaris and they are common to dogs and cats. They lay their eggs in the pet’s stool and if you get in contact with them they will hatch in the intestines and migrate through your body. These worms were made to live in dogs or cats, so when they get in a human body they often end up in the liver or eyes and the disease is called visceral larval migrans.
The symptoms are inflammation and blindness in the eyes, while in the liver they give you fever, chills, malaise and a raised white blood cell count. It occurs when hygiene is lacking and this is why children are usually exposed to it.
As prevention you should check the pet’s stool for parasites each year and give preventatives for these worms each month. The outdoor pets are much more likely to get them and around 10,000 children are infected by them each year!
This small protozoan lives in the intestines of mammals and birds with many strains existent. It is more common in dogs and they can get if from streams, or lakes. There are many cases when it doesn’t cause any overs symptoms, but the others give you diarrhea for one or two weeks. The outbreaks are caused by contaminated water supplies and thus to prevent it only give your dog clean water when going for rides.
Despite their name, these are actually fungi that feed on dead skin cells and hair of all mammal species. Microsporum canis is the most common and it appears as oval patches of broken off hair on small cats or dogs.
The spores of the fungi contaminate cloth and brushes and if the spores come in contact with abraded skin the disease spreads. They can survive for months without a host and you notice them when you see red circular patches on your skin.
To prevent this disease you need to wash the bedding in hot water once or twice a month and don’t share your blankets or grooming tools with other pet owners. Ointments will treat it once you get it along with some oral medication.
Even if this doesn’t seem very threatening, it is one of the most common diarrhea-inducing diseases you can get since most of us love small fluffy animals and want to pet them. A kitten, puppy or even birds or rabbits can carry this disease and to prevent getting it you need to wash your hands after touching the animal. Even when the pet is cured you still need to do this because the germs will live up to seven weeks.
Felines are the most often the ones infected because they can eat raw prey and dogs that have such habits can also get it. Cats develop immunity to it, but kittens are vulnerable and might get diarrhea as well as lung, brain or liver damage.
In humans it might not show any symptoms but you might get swollen lymph nodes and other signs similar to the flu. It is really dangerous to pregnant women because the disease can lead to developmental problems for the child and thus it is recommended to never allow pregnant women to change cat litter boxes.
It is not very frequent but this is the most known virus when we think of wildlife. All warm-blooded animals can get this and foxes, rats or bats are among the most common carriers. The problem is that once the symptoms appear it is fatal, so prevention is crucial.
The disease is passed through a bite that puts your body in contact with the contaminated saliva and this is a good way of noticing an animal with rabies.
In humans the symptoms are flu-like along with headaches, pricking or itching at the place of the bite, anxiety, agitation, confusion and even hallucinations. For the pets you will notice behavioral changes, fever, hypersensitivity to light and foaming of the mouth.
To prevent it you need to keep your pets vaccinated and away from wild animals. If you or your pet were scratched or bitten by an unknown dog or wild animal then you need to go to seek medical attention as soon as possible.