Our pets give us lots of love and affection but did you know they also have germs and bacteria they can pass on to us unknowingly? While most of these conditions aren’t the norm it is a good idea to be prepared and know what they are so you don’t find yourself gravely ill. Following a few simple precautions can give you hours of enjoyment with your little friend and keep you disease free. Today we are going to review the top ten diseases you could possibly catch from your pet and how to avoid them.
1 Your Little Kitty and Puppy Could Possibly Give you Ringworm
Ringworm is a fungus infection that you normally can catch from your young kitty or puppy. Normally this condition doesn’t exist in older dogs and cats. Ringworm is a red scale like infection that can appear on your skin or on a bald spot on your head. You can catch the disease from petting your little kitty if they are infected, any towels or clothing they may have touched as well as in your garden or wherever they do their business. Doctors recommend to avoid this that you wash your hands after you pet your little guy and always wear gloves if you do any gardening. If you do catch the condition it can easily be treated with anti fungal ointment and in severe cases your physician can prescribe an oral prescription.
2 Roundworms, Hookworms, and Tapeworms
Most puppies and kittens are born with roundworms. It is advised that your little guy be routinely tested to make sure none of these illnesses exist. The eggs from these critters can last up to a month and can easily be left in your soil or where your pet does its business. If you eat without washing your hands then you can easily catch the condition. Some symptoms of roundworm include eye, heart, lung and neurological symptoms. While this is rare it is best to play it safe if you feel odd or not right to seek medical help right away. Your physician can normally prescribe an anti-parasitic drug and quickly treat the condition. Hookworms also can be easily penetrated through the skin from contaminated soil. If you do become infected the condition normally resolves itself on its own. You may also get an anti-parasitic prescription from your family doctor. This is one reason why many beaches don’t allow dogs. Tapeworms can easily get onto your dogs and cats when they groom themselves and eat an infected flea. It is always suggested that you have your pets wear flea and tick collars and keep them on an anti-flea regimen. If you do get infected with a tapeworm you can experience such issues as weight loss and other gastrointestinal issues. This can be easily treated with an oral medication prescribed from your doctor.
3 Reptile Pets can give you Salmonellosis
Reptile pet owners have to pay extra attention to their reptile friends as they can easily infect their owners with salmonellosis caused by the salmonella bacteria. The bacteria does no harm to reptiles but can post a host of problems for humans. Symptoms include diarrhea, cramps, and fever which can last about a week. If you have very young children or elderly in your home it is not advised that you bring reptiles in due to the serious effects of this illness. You never want to wash your pet’s cage in the kitchen sink where you cook and clean dishes as the illness can easily be transposed from here causing infection. Other tips include washing your hands every time you feed your pet and holding them to reduce the risk of the disease spreading to you.
4 Parrot Fever
Also known as Psittacosis your pet parrot, parakeet, or macaw could be infected with this bacteria. While your feathered friends may not appear sick they can easily make you sick by inhaling dried bird droppings. It is advised that when cleaning your bird’s cage that you use gloves and if you are in an area that isn’t well ventilated that you also wear a mask to reduce the disease from being transmitted. Symptoms of the illness include fever, chills, muscle aches, and a dry cough. The condition can be treated by your family physician easily enough with antibiotics.
5 Toxoplasmosis from your Pet Cats
This condition is normally transmitted through a cats feces. You want to vigorously wash your hands anytime you clean your kitty’s litter box. Also keeping your pet indoors is best as outdoor cats have a higher chance of contracting the illness. While the illness can cause flu like symptoms which often go away in a few weeks pregnant women who come in contact with the infection can have serious health issues transmitted to their unborn child which can include birth defects. This is why it is often recommended that pregnant women don’t go near litter boxes or clean up after their kitty during pregnancies.
6 Cat Scratch Disease from Flea Infected Cats
If you have a cat that is infected with fleas and scratches you you can easily catch a bacteria known as Bartonella Henselae. This condition can cause a host of health issues for humans including fever, enlarged lymph nodes, and fever to name a few. If the illness gets worse or becomes severe you want to seek medical attention right away. It is advised that you wash a cat scratch wound or even a cat bite right away with warm soup and water to prevent any infection. This is another reason why it is advised that cat owners give their feline friends a monthly flea medication.
7 Avian Tuberculosis
Avian Tuberculosis is a rare condition that is like Tuberculosis in humans however different in many ways. For one it is very hard to treat with traditional medications and while the risk of contradicting it is extremely rare those who have compromised immune systems pose a higher chance of becoming infected. It is advised that when you buy your pet birds that you make sure it is one that is registered and from a reputable pet store. There is a huge illegal bird trade market out there. If you buy from one of these your chances of becoming contaminated increase significantly.
If you have a dog that goes outside you want to ensure he is regularly vaccinated against rabies. If your dog gets into a fight with an infected animal such as a fox, bat, or raccoon then they can easily catch the illness. The rabies disease is almost always fatal in humans and there is really no medical treatment that can be provided. Some symptoms include delirium and hallucinations along with flu like symptoms. If your dog bit you and you experience any of these symptoms seek medical help right away.
Leptospirosis is a bacteria that is commonly found in dogs, mice, rats, and squirrels. This bacteria can survive for weeks or even months in infected soil. You can easily catch the illness if your dog goes out into the yard where the contaminated soil is. Some of the symptoms of the condition include fever, vomiting, chills, and a rash which eventually can lead to kidney failure. However most times this illness can be stopped dead in its tracks by going to your family doctor and taking a prescribed antibiotic medication. This condition can easily be avoided by keeping up with your veterinary appointments and ensuring your dog has all their shots and vaccinations. Another suggestion would be to ensure you keep rodents such as mice and rats out of your yard to avoid chances of infection being spread.
10 Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis
If you have a pet hamster you can easily catch this illness if they are infected. It is always suggested that after you clean your pets cage that you vigorously wash your hands as infected hamsters can easily pass this illness onto you through infected urine and droppings. If you do become infected you can experience flu like symptoms. In some severe cases you can wind up in the hospital. In pregnant women the seriousness of the condition intensifies as it has been linked to mental retardation along with other brain development conditions.