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Rabies to ringworm; 7 diseases you can get from pets

Published on Sep 16, 2022 04:03 PM IST

Experts say it is always best to take precautions to protect yourself and kids from diseases we can pick up from pets.

Rabies to ringworm; 7 diseases you can get from pets(Pixabay)
By, Delhi

Your pets could bring a whole lot of difference in your mental health and wellbeing with their soothing presence, heart-warming touch and their selfless love. However, just as we could carry germs home to our lovable canine or feline friends, they too can pass on certain infections and diseases to us that can make us very sick. Especially, people who have a weak immune system or kids need to be careful around pets. (Also read: Is it safe to let your dog lick your face? Here's what vets say)

Humans can catch infections from dogs or cats if the germs or micro-organisms like bacteria and virus penetrate the skin or enter our system through our mouth, nose or eyes. While your pet may be asymptomatic even with these germs, once they enter human body, they may cause skin infections, and other diseases. So, beware of those bites, kisses or scratches from your pets. Be cautious around your pets if you have a wound as they may lick it unknowingly and pass on some kind of infection.

Experts say it is always best to take precautions to protect yourself and kids from diseases we can pick up from pets. One must ensure hygiene and get the pets vaccinated.

Dr. Vinod Sharma, Head of Veterinary Services at DCC Animal Hospital talks about 7 diseases that one can get from pets.

1. Campylobacter infection: Campylobacteriosis is a bacterial intestinal infection that is caused by Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter upsaliensis. Dogs may become infected with this if they eat infected raw meat or come into contact with infected faeces or contaminated water.

While it is considered a normal bacterium in the intestinal tract of many animals, in people, this bacterial infection could cause diarrhoea, belly pain, and fever.

2. Cat scratch disease: Humans can acquire this bacterial infection from cats. The disease spreads when an infected cat licks a person's open wound, or bites or scratches a person hard enough to break the skin surface. Signs of this bacterial infection include swollen and tender lymph nodes, fever, headaches, and tiredness.

3. Rabies: A deadly infection, rabies progresses very fast in dogs and the fatality rate is high. This is the reason regular rabies vaccination in dogs is important. Your pet may contract rabies if bitten by a rabid animal or gets the saliva or brain/spinal tissue of an infected animal in their eyes, nose, mouth, or an open wound. While rabies can be spread by dog to human via bite, in some cases, it could spread through exposure of infected dog's saliva to scratches, abrasions or open wounds.

4. Diseases carried by ticks: Tick-borne diseases can happen when ticks attach to pets outdoors. Use tick prevention products on pets and safely remove and dispose of ticks as soon as possible. Ticks can cause fever, anaemia, paralysis, lameness, and other symptoms.

5. Ringworm: Kids can get ringworm from touching infected dogs and cats. This can cause a dry, scaly round area with a raised red bumpy border and a clear centre.

6. Toxocariasis: The eggs of a parasitic roundworm in the intestines of dogs and cats can pass from their poop into soil where kids play. An infected child can have a fever, cough or wheezing, enlarged liver, rash, or swollen lymph nodes.

7. Toxoplasmosis: An infection from a parasite found in cat poop usually causes no symptoms in healthy people but can cause serious problems for pregnant women and their unborn babies. So pregnant women and people with weak immune systems should not clean litter boxes.

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