Love Your Pets A Lot? See These 5 Pet Diseases Affecting Humans

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Any pet lovers out there? I have a really important announcement to make! Turns out your adorable pet might be carrying some weird and deadly diseases that you’re unaware of.

Getting a pet is like getting a whole package of happiness: all the unconditional love, wagging tails, snuggling, icky licks and kisses and loads of fun! But unfortunately, this whole package might come with something more than you bargained for like pet germs! But the big question is,

“Can all the pet germs make you sick?”

The answer is affirmative!

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Apparently, pet can serve as a vector in transferring various life-threatening disease to human either through their saliva, sneeze or fur. A disease that is transmitted from animal to human is termed as a zoonotic disease. I had no idea that my adorable dogs are capable of spreading such diseases until this one time my friend told me that she got ring worm from her pet as she and her pet used to sleep together sharing same blankets. Apparently, the spores of ringworm can survive for months in the environment and inhaling or in-taking such spores can make you infected! This story scared the shit out of me! I went home and impulsively cleaned everything that me and my pet shared.

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Then I went on to research other possible disease that me and my family are at risks of getting from my two adorable dogs. I know you might all be thinking ‘Rabies’ but we all know that. I came to some shocking revelation about other diseases which I am about to share with you guys. So, here’s the list of some of the infections people can catch from their pets:

1.Ringworm

Ringworm is the result of fungal infection that usually affects the dermis (top layer of the skin). Also termed as tinea corporis, this infection is gets easily transferred by your pets. Once your pets get infected, they shed spores from their infected areas, the skin. These spores can survive for days in contaminated towels, clothings, blankets and so on. The symptoms of ring worm in your pets include hair loss with red mark and skin lesions whereas you might see the symptoms of red circular patches on your skin. You can wash the bedding using hot water and avoid sharing blankets or sleeping on the same bed to prevent the disease.

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2.Psittacosis(Parrot Fever)

Psittacosis or parrot fever is another disease that you can get infected from your pets. Its a bacterial infection caused due to breathing dried feces or respiratory tract fluids from infected birds like parrots, macaws, cockatiels, parakeets and so on. The symptoms on humans include flu like or respiratory symptoms. Your bird,on the other hand, might not show any symptoms, hence you have to be very careful while buying a bird. Avoid purchasing the bird with symptoms like eye or nasal discharge, diarrhea, light body weight, fever and so on.

3.Giardia

Giardia is another common vector-borne disease that affects human just as likely as your dogs. It’s more common in dogs than cats. The major symptom of giardia is diarrhea. The mode of transmission is feaco-oral route when the cysts from the infected feaces or feacally contaminated surfaces comes into contact with mouth. You can prevent the disease by giving your dog clean drinking water as giardia is a water-borne infection. Always wash your hands after handling your pet’s poop and in case infected, contact your doctor immediately and consume anti-parasitic medicines.

4.Hookworms

Just as deadly as it sounds, hookworms infest themselves on your intestine and suck the blood. Once your dogs get infected, hookworms reproduce inside the intestinal lining of dogs, causing life threatening blood loss, especially in puppies. The eggs found in their feces can transfer through skin in the pet owners. The symptoms of hookworms in pets include diarrhea and weight loss. In humans the symptoms is more visible,including itchy rash, cough, wheezing, anemia, loss of appetite and so on. You can prevent this disease by picking up the dog’s feces in the yard as they might attach on to your feet while walking barefoot on the grass.

5.Cat Scratch disease

Cat scratch disease is a benign infectious disease caused by the bacterial infection, Bartonella. It mostly affects young children that occurs after scratch or a bite from a cat. The first symptom of infection occurs after 3-14 days of bite or injury. The symptoms in pet includes fatigue, tick infestation and swollen lymph nodes whereas in human, the symptoms shows swollen painful lymph nodes, fever, headache, fatigue, joint pain, red bump near bite or scratch. The treatment is usually not advised as most of the healthy people clear the infection without treatment but in rare cases, the bacteria might spread and infect the vital organs like spleen, eyes or central nervous system. Hence, antibiotic treatment is required for you and your cats. To avoid the infection, keep your cats away from children, avoid rough play with kittens and don’t let your cats lick your open wounds.

Also read: Encephalitis: Causes, Symptoms, Prevention & Treatment

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