Daily LifeHealth and Medical

5 Diseases that Your Pet Can Pass on to Affect Your Health

Pets make awesome companions. People with pets are usually happier and outlive others without pets. Pets not only make us feel better when we are mentally down but also cheer us up when we’re sick and suffering. But, sometimes they can get us sick too. Thus, we often keep wondering if we can also fall sick to whatever the disease that is making our pets sick. An experienced veterinary doctor is London says the answer can never be in a simple yes or no. It depends on the factor or factors that are making your pet sick.

Common illnesses among pets usually don’t affect you

Usually, the common illnesses that affect pets do not affect humans and vice versa. Even if you’re affected, it won’t affect you the same way it affected your pet. To elaborate it further, suppose your cat has a cold; you can be assured, you won’t catch it from the feline. This happens because the viruses that cause illness in humans are different from those that make the animals sick.

Certain diseases spill a different story

Yet there are certain diseases that can easily contaminate you and your household members from the pet. Here’s such a list of diseases that gets passed on to humans easily from the common household animals.

Ringworm

One of the most common diseases in this category is ringworm. The spores of a ringworm are easily known to survive for months together even in the absence of a host.

  • Symptoms in pets: Lesions on the skin, patches of hair loss coupled with red marks in the center
  • Symptoms in man: Red, prominent patches on the skin, usually in a circular shape
  • Effective treatment: Oral medication and prescription ointment for both humans and animals
  • Prevention: Wash the bed sheets and pillow covers at least once a month in hot water. It’s also important to avoid sharing unwashed grooming tools and blankets with others owning pets.

Roundworm

Roundworms can present themselves in the shape of a spaghetti, about 4 inches in length and this is the commonest parasite found in cats. Kittens are usually affected by feeding on an infected mother’s milk. Older felines fall prey to it by feasting on an infected rodents. On the other hand, roundworms affect thousands of children every year. If left untreated, it can lead man to blindness.

  • Symptoms in animals: Visible worm in stool, diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, bloody stool
  • Symptoms in man: Cough and shortness of breath, blood in stool accompanied by severe stomach pain
  • Treatment: Anti parasitic medication for both man and animals
  • Prevention: Keep your cat indoors. Remember to wash the hands thoroughly after cuddling your feline or scooping the litter box. Having spicy and bitter foods, including ginger, garlic, olive, peppers, figs and others minimise your chances of being infected with roundworms.

Hookworms

These parasitic worms suck the essential nutrition from the intestine of a dog. As a result, the animal suffers from blood loss. Hookworm infection can be potentially life-threatening for puppies. The eggs of hookworms get passed into the environment from the dog’s feces. The eggs can get you contaminated, if your skin comes in direct contact to the feces. Even stepping on the feces barefooted can get you affected.

  • Symptoms in animals: Weight loss, diarrhea
  • Symptoms in animals: Stomach pain, loss of appetite, itchy rashes, cough and in exterme cases iron deficiency
  • Treatment: Anti parasitic medication for both man and animals
  • Prevention: As a general prevention against all types of parasitic worm infection, make it a point to pick up your dog’s feces in backyard, so that the eggs don’t hatch indoors.

Giardia

This single cell, waterborne organism lives in water bodies and affects dogs the most than any other pet.

  • Symptom in animals: Diarrhea
  • Symptom in man: Diarrhea
  • Treatment: Anti parasitic medicines are available for man. Take your pet to a vet at the earliest for proper treatment.
  • Prevention: Carry clean drinking water for your dog when you go on hikes. Prefer dog parks where it’s owner’s responsibility to clean up the feces. Wash your hands well every time after putting your dog’s feces in the litter bin.

Campylobacter

This disease is passed on to humans from puppies, kittens, birds, ferrets, rabbits and even young horses. It is to be noted that cyanobacteria is one of the commonest diarrhea-causing diseases in many developed countries, including the United States.

  • Symptom in animals: Diarrhea
  • Symptom in man: Diarrhea
  • Treatment: You have to drink as much water as possible to wash out the infection from your body. Usually, medicines are not required and the problem resolves on its own. As far your pet is concerned, take it to a vet as soon as possible.
  • Prevention: If your pet is suffering from diarrhea, don’t mollycoddle or kiss it excessively. More importantly, even when the animal is recovered, wash your hands properly every time after holding it. This precaution is necessary because the campylobacter germs are known to stay active even after 7 weeks from recovery.

Pets are one of the best companions you can have. But, according to our private GP at Medical Express Clinic, it is important to shoulder their responsibility just as you would for your child. Our lead clinician Dr Mohammad Bakhtiar ends up with a positive note, “Make sure your pets stay healthy. Take care so that their shots are up to date. The healthier your pet is, the lesser health risks you and your family family enjoy.”

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