Pets are an important part of our lives. We care for them, feed them and ensure their well being and the pets, too, give back. People who keep pets tend to have lower levels of cholesterol and get more exercise. However, these animals also have their own pathogens to carry, some of which they can transmit to us.
A lot of these diseases can be mild but some of them can also linger and be fatal. The most common outbreak for many can be the allergic reaction. Curiously, the problem in the US is not the fatal diseases- it is the milder ones which have become common.
Cat Scratch Disease
Some cats can carry the bacterium known as Bartonella henselea, which they can transfer onto a person through a bite or a scratch.Its symptoms include the swelling of lymph nodes around the head, neck and arms. Additionally, it can also cause headache, fever and fatigue in a person. Though not fatal in itself, some rare infections of this pet infected ill can also cause Parinaud’s Oculandular Syndrome..
Humans can get this infection if they come into contact with water containing urine from an infected animal. Leptopsiros has varying symptoms going from high fever, vomiting , muscle aches and headaches. It can be serious however, if untreated, leading to liver failure, kidney damage and even spinal cord damage. So it is best advised to always be very careful of any standing water around your house if you’re keeping pets.
The dog keepers need to be especially careful of this one. Tapeworm is a parasite which can enter a person if they swallow a flea, by accident or otherwise. The best prevention against this? Regular flea baths for your dogs.
Cats can pick up a particular parasite called toxoplasma gondii If they roam outside excessively. They can fight off the infection, but in case they do get infected- they shed forms of the virus in their feces. The symptoms of such an illness are usually a prolonged flu- like fever or muscle pains. However, in people with weaker immune systems it can be much more serious. It can be even more damaging to pregnant women, carrying itself to the fetus and further illness.
We have to bring this one up. Usually it is the rodents that carry the viruses that cause this infection. However, cats can get this virus from the rodents via fleas and pass it on to humans. The happening is rare, but it is dangerous. So in case you do own a cat, make sure you subject it to cleaning.
This illness is liable to be spread from pet birds, though a rare case. Parrots, parakeets and canaries are some of the known carriers and the infection can cause fever, chills and headaches. Though in more serious cases, pneumonia can also develop.
Ideally, if you are keeping pets, then ensure you do not rough play with them. Scratches and bites are the most common medium for infections via animals, and if you do get a scratch from a pet, then ensure that you wash that area immediately and thoroughly. Also train your pets to not drink from the toilet bowl and clean up after them. Pets are one of the joys to have in life so make sure you take the steps to not let them become a source of illness to you.