Almost everyone has at one time or another fantasized about having a pet they could call their own, and pets do make a delightful addition to any home apart from being a proven method of distressing .They are also great for seniors especially those living alone. However, with pets also comes the risk of contracting the numerous diseases they are prone to carry. While not all of these diseases can jump the species barrier, some can still do so and pose a threat to their human owners.
These diseases are called zoonotic diseases i.e. diseases that can spread from animals to humans. While most of these diseases do not pose a fatal risk to humans, they can still be very bothersome. Some diseases which can be spread from pets to humans include:
Ringworm is one of the most contagious diseases which can be transferred from pets to human beings, especially children. Ringworm spores can stay alive for months on end without having a host, meaning your pets may just go and pick one up from almost anyone and put you at risk of contracting it from them. An important precaution you should take is to wash your pet’s bedding at least once or twice every month.
Campylobacter is a diarrhea-inducing virus which is common in pets like cats, dogs, or rabbits etc. When contracted by humans, it can cause diarrhea in sufferers. If you notice that your pet is sick with diarrhea, ensure you limit contact and take your pet to the vet as soon as possible.
Roundworms are the most common internal parasites your feline pets could give you, with some roundworms growing up to 4 inches long. If not treated as soon as possible can cause blindness in the sufferers. It is transferred between cats through mother’s milk or if they eat a rodent that has already been infected. Symptoms in pets include worms in stool, coughing, diarrhea etc. It can be prevented by keeping all cats indoors and ensuring you always wash hands after carrying cats.
Salmonella infection is caused by consuming foods which are infected with the salmonella bacteria. Salmonella is common in reptiles e.g. snakes, turtles, or other animals like ducks and dogs etc. Symptoms are not always present in animal carriers but symptoms in humans include fever, vomiting, nausea etc. Ensure you always wash your hands after handling these pets to prevent it from spreading to you.
Rabies is a very deadly disease and focus should be on preventing it in both pets and animals. As soon as symptoms appear, it is fatal and cannot be treated. Symptoms in pets include fever, foaming from the mouth, loss of appetite and increased sensitivity to touch, sounds and light etc. Symptoms in humans include headache, foaming from the mouth, confusion, and anxiety etc. Ensure you have your pet’s vaccinations up to date and keep your pets away from wild animals or animals that have begun exhibiting symptoms.
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