Pets are our best friends at home, but there are some important things that we should know about them. Pet transmitted diseases exist, and they can be very dangerous if we are not careful. That involves how we take care of our pets, the environment our pets live in, and many more. Pets can carry certain bacteria, viruses, parasites, and even fungi that can cause illness if transmitted to humans. Humans get pet-borne diseases when they’re bitten or scratched, or when they have contact with the animal’s waste, saliva, or dander. Such diseases can affect humans in many ways especially children, pregnant women, and people with weak immune systems. Let’s get into the details and see what diseases can pets transmit to their owner with me below.
Birds can also transmit diseases to humans even if they spend of most their time in cages. We get the infections that they transmit by inhaling particles or having direct contact with their waste. If you don’t keep your pet birds checked, there are a few diseases that they may transmit. Take a look and make sure you avoid the causes of infections and diseases. None of these diseases are pleasant to have.
Simply contracted by inhalation organisms especially fungus found in bird droppings, this disease can cause pneumonia. Cryptococcosis is caused by fungi from the genus Cryptococcus that are associated with many bird species, and it infects both humans and animals. The inhalation results in lung infection, and it may spread to the brain which causes meningoencephalitis. Noted that the birds themselves are not infected or sick, and the humans do not transmit the disease to others. The major symptoms include fever, malaise, sharp chest pain, headache, hemoptysis, vision changes, nausea and vomiting, seizure, meningitis, coma, and death. If symptoms develop, patients should seek for care immediately to prevent the conditions from spreading further.
With symptoms like the flu, most patients didn’t know they have Psittacosis at first. This disease refers to any infections or disease caused by Chlamydia Psittaci which transmits from birds to humans. The common pet birds that contract the infection are parrots, cockatiels, parakeets, macaws, and canaries. Pigeons and other poultry like chickens, ducks, and turkeys can also carry the disease as well.
Humans receive the infection by breathing in the organism when the urine, respiratory secretion, or dried feces of infected birds are aerosolized. The symptoms are fever, chills, cough, weakness, fatigue, muscle and chest pain, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, and sweating. Specific drugs are the treatment for the disease, and bird owners and people who work with birds should always have regular health checks.
2Cats & Dogs
When it comes to the most popular pets, cats and dogs are on top of the list. These two adorable animals provide both companionship and comfort, and having them at home brings us extra joy and fun. Along with the delightful moments they provide, cats and dogs also carry germs that can cause a variety of illnesses as well. From minor skin infections to serious diseases, here we have some that you should know.
This refers to a very common problem for both our pets and us because it causes enteritis. Enteritis is an inflammation of the intestinal tract, and that results in diarrhea. Your pets can be a carrier of the bacteria without showing any signs of the disease at all. What you should know is that they are often symptomatic when they are younger than 6 months of age. Puppies and kittens with such conditions are usually the ones who live in crowded conditions, have poor sanitation, or are under stress.
The stress can be from surgery, pregnancy, or illnesses. When the infection is spread to people, it causes diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fever in the patients. These infections are contagious, especially among members of the same family as well as kids in childcare or preschools. The good thing is that you can treat the infections with antibiotics which is not a very serious condition.
Cat Scratch Disease
Scratches and bites from cats are very common for cat owners, and that is very dangerous at some point. Young cats pose a greater risk than older cats, and the disease usually spreads by the cat’s saliva. The symptoms from the scratches or bites include a non-painful bump or blister and painful or swollen lymph nodes. The victims may feel tired, have a headache, or have a fever which begins within 3 to 14 days following infection. The good news is that cat scratch disease rarely causes long-term complications, and it is easy to treat.
This is a very viral and serious disease that causes inflammation of the brain in both humans and mammals. The virus enters the body through a bite or wound contaminated by saliva from an infected animal. The symptoms of this disease are violent movements, uncontrolled excitement, fear of water, an inability to move parts of the body, and confusion. Once those symptoms appear, the condition of the patients is always near death. Normally, rabies infections in humans are the direct result of dog bites. Vaccine is available for treatment following a bite from a potentially rabid animal, so that is okay.
As for this disease, it affects kids, especially those who touched infected animals mainly dogs and cats. Ringworm is a skin infection caused by several types of fungi in the soil as well as on pets’ skin. When infected, there will be a dry scaly round area with a raised red bumpy border and a clear center on the skin. Also, the area may be flaky, red, or swollen when the patient affects or scraps the scalp. There are a few ways to treat ringworm such as medications, lifestyle adjustments, and other home remedies. Ringworm is contagious, so make sure to treat it on time before it spreads to others.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF)
Comes out as a surprise because it is a bacterial disease spread by ticks. The thing is that dogs frequently carry ticks, and that is how we get the disease. When a person has RMSF, the symptoms are high fever, chills, muscle aches, and headaches. At the same time, there are also rashes spread across the wrists, ankles, palms, soles, and trunk of the body as well. Patients can treat the disease with antibiotics, but it is always better to make sure that your dog is tick-free.
This is one of the most common pet transmitted diseases that many pet owners’ young children have experienced. Toxocariasis is caused by the parasitic roundworms in the intestine of dogs and cats, and the pets’ feces contain the infections. The infections are the eggs of the worms, and the feces of the dogs and cats often contaminate the soil where the kids play.
That’s right, most of the patients with this disease are young kids who have direct contact with soil and dirt. When infected, the symptoms include fever, cough, wheezing, enlarged liver, rash, or swollen lymph nodes. The worst part is that the larvae sometimes make their way from the intestine through the bloodstream to the eye. That can lead to a permanent loss of vision known as Ocular Toxocariasis or Ocular Larve Migrans. The treatment is by seeing the doctor and prescription drugs to kill the larvae because things get serious.
The thing about this disease is that it causes no symptoms in most healthy people. Toxoplasmosis is contracted after contact with parasites in cat feces, and common symptoms for unhealthy people are swollen glands, tiredness, fever, rash, and more. On top of that, this dangerous pet transmitted disease can cause miscarriage, premature birth, severe illness, and blindness in newborns for pregnant women. To avoid the disease, cat lovers should keep their cats healthy, and they should avoid stray cats or kittens. For healthy people, your immune system keeps the parasites in check which is a good thing. For people with poor immune systems who own cats, having regular medical checkups is advisable.
3Reptiles & Amphibians
If you think these types of pets cannot transmit diseases, think again. Reptiles and amphibians like lizards, snakes, turtles, frogs, toads, and salamanders can spread some nasty diseases. The victims of the disease are not only adults but also kids, most importantly. Direct contact is the main cause of getting infections, and there is one main disease spread by them so check it out.
Many of us might think that consuming contaminated water or food is the only cause of salmonella. In fact, direct contact with reptiles by touching their skin, cage, and other contaminated surfaces can also lead to infection. The disease affects our intestinal tract, and it has no symptoms in most healthy people. For some other cases, the signs and symptoms of salmonella are generally between two to seven days. There are some certain signs such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fever, chills, headache, and blood in the stool. Young children are also at risk of even serious cases such as dehydration, meningitis, and sepsis (blood infection). The key is to keep your pet reptiles healthy and to keep children away from having direct contact with random reptiles.
Handling and playing with rodents are nice because those little fluffy balls are super cute. We are talking about hamsters, gerbils, and more, and they are also members of the pets that transmit diseases. The patients can be both adults and kids, and it is very dangerous at some point when not treated on time. There is one disease that you need to know if you love to play with rodents, so check it out.
Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus (LCMV)
Here is a rodent-borne viral infectious disease that can lead to aseptic meningitis, encephalitis, or meningoencephalitis. It is the viral infection of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord as well as the cerebrospinal fluid. This infection can cause flu-like symptoms like fever, tiredness, headaches, muscle aches, nausea, and vomiting. People can get LCMV by inhaling particles that come from urine, feces, or saliva from infected rodents like mice and hamsters. Just like some of the common pets transmitted diseases, this one has no specific treatment. More than that, the chances of passing it from an infected pregnant woman to her fetus are also possible.
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