The diseases that spread from animals to humans are called zoonotic diseases. Pet animals can also cause infectious illnesses. Do not be too alarmed, because getting diseases from pets is pretty uncommon. But, staying safe and practicing healthy habits like good nutrition, exercise and some dog supplements UK never hurt. Pets that can potentially spread diseases to their owners include dogs, cats, birds, and reptiles. Let’s have a look at some of these diseases and how to avoid them.
Rabies is a viral disease that can spread through the bite of an animal infected with the virus. Rabies causes damage to the central nervous system and almost always ends up in the death of the person. The disease starts with a fever and headache. It quickly develops into signs of confusion, agitation, and drowsiness. Mostly wild animals are prone to cause rabies but pets might cause it as well. To avoid rabies:
- Keep your pet vaccinated.
- Keep your pet from having contact with wild animals.
- Contact a doctor immediately if an animal bites you.
- Call animal control for stray animals.
It is an infection that occurs by coming in contact with infected cat feces while gardening or eating partially cooked meat containing the virus. Pregnant women should beware of toxoplasmosis because it can cause miscarriage. To avoid the disease:
- Change cat litter boxes daily.
- Cook meat properly.
- Avoid any contact with cat feces during pregnancy.
- Wash hands regularly
3. Cat Scratch Disease:
A cat scratch can cause this disease; also called Bartonella. The mild disease presents in the form of flu-like symptoms. If the disease is severe, heart valves can be damaged. To avoid this disease:
- Control fleas in your homes because they spread bacteria from cat to cat.
- Avoid getting scratched by cats.
- Wash cat scratches right away.
- Don’t let your cat lick her open wounds.
- See a doctor if you develop an infection.
Although salmonella primarily spreads by eating undercooked and contaminated food, pets can spread it too by improper hand cleaning after feces handling. Reptiles, dogs, and cats carry it. The signs of disease show in the form of diarrhea, fever, pain, and stomach ache. To avoid the disease:
- Always wash your hands with soap after handling pet feces and touching the skin of reptiles.
- People with weak immune systems (HIV positive) should stay away from pets altogether.
5. Lyme Disease:
Pets do not directly transmit Lyme disease. But, the ticks brought in by your cat and dog can surely cause the disease. The symptoms of the disease include a bull’s eye rash, bells palsy, fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, heart problems, etc. If it becomes chronic, it can cause inflammation of nerves. To avoid the disease,
- Avoid areas with tick infestation, especially in summer and spring.
- Use tick preventative on your pets.
- Cover legs and arms while hiking.
- Do not crush the tick, it releases harmful bacteria.
It is uncommon to get diseases from pets that are kept clean and healthy, but all the necessary preventative measures should be taken for your and your children’s safety.