7 Diseases You Can Get From Your Pet

7 Diseases You Can Get From Your Pet

Most people love to own a pet in their houses. The pets might be a freshwater fish, bird, cat or dog. Every day, they bring a smile to your face. Perhaps, you like watching your fish swimming around his bowl. You might laugh at your cat playing with objects inside the house. And, maybe you enjoy scratching your dog’s ears when he wags the tail and greets you at the door. Your pets do bring many memories and laughs. But, they can also bring annoying illnesses. The following are 7 unwelcome diseases that you can get from your pets.

  1. Salmonella

Salmonella is a genus of rod-shaped gram-negative bacteria that lives in the gastrointestinal tract. It includes many different types. However, the most common types in the United States are Salmonella serotype Enteritidis and Salmonella serotype Typhimurium.

Salmonella strikes mostly older adults, children and people who have a weakened immune system. Commonly, you get these bacteria by eating undercooked meats. But, you can also get Salmonella from animals around your house, especially chickens. In fact, animals might contract salmonellosis, then spread to you through their fur or feces. If you touch an infected animal but don’t wash your hands immediately, the bacteria could easily pass to you. To reduce your risk, wash your hands with hot and soapy water after coming into contact with animals.

Symptoms of salmonella include fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Salmonella usually develops 12 to 72 hours after infection. And, the disease often lasts 4 to 7 days. In some cases, people could recover without treatment. But, if you suffer diarrhea and dehydration, you need to go to the hospital.

To treat salmonella, you should avoid bad food and stay with your diet as much as possible. If the infection has spread, antibiotics are recommended.

  1. Ringworm

Ringworm is a common fungal skin infection in both humans and animals. You can get the infection from locker rooms and swimming rooms as well as from an infected pet.

The condition commonly appears with a circular rash like a ring. The rashes are usually flaky, red and itchy. Then, these can develop blisters and begin to ooze. Ringworm mainly affects the skin of feet, hands, groin and scalp. It is not serious, but very contagious. You can spread the disease to another part of the body if you touch or scratch the area with ringworm. Children may get ringworm when spending much time playing with dogs, cats or sheep.

To treat ringworm, you are recommended to use prescribed medicines. These are Itraconazole, Griseofulvin and Terbinafine. You can also apply OTC antifungal creams, powder and lotion. Many pharmacists suggest Fugacil to kill fungi and prevent recurrence of ringworm. In fact, most sufferers apply Fugacil 2-3 times daily and observe the best result in 4 days.

  1. Cat Scratch Disease

Cat scratch disease is a common infection caused by bartonella bacteria. According to a study, 40 percent of cats carry the bacteria and cause the disease at some point in their lives. These bacteria are believed to be transmitted by flea bites, cat bites or cat scratches. Besides, humans can contract the disease through a lick of an open wound or a playful bite of cats.

The symptoms of cat scratch disease are:

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Overall discomfort
  • Blister or bumps at site of injury
  • Swollen lymph node near the site of the bite or scratch

Cat scratch disease is not serious. You may need no medical treatment. In some cases, antibiotics can be very helpful in relieving the scratches.

To prevent infection, you should limit playing with your. If you get cat bites or cat scratches, wash your wound with warm water and soap immediately.

  1. Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is caused by borrelia burgdorferi from the ticks that survive on your pets (dogs, cats). These ticks often hide and live in the fur of pets for a long time.

Lyme disease can develop from 3 to 30 days after the tick bite. Depending on the stage of the infection, the symptoms can be wide-ranging. For example,

  • Neck stiffness or severe headache
  • Rashes on the body
  • Swelling and severe joint pain, especially in the knees
  • Tingling, numbness or shooting pains in the feet or hands

Lyme disease can be treated by antibiotics amoxicillin and tetracycline. Other antibiotics, including doxycycline and cefuroxime, can also be helpful. Treat the disease at your earliest convenience, and you’re likely to get a full recovery.

To prevent yourself from Lyme disease, avoid taking your pets to grassy, thick areas, especially in the summer and spring. When being indoors, check for ticks on your pets and even on yourself. Then, remove them immediately.

  1. Worms

Worms sometimes live on your pets. You may not realize them, but you can contract the disease from your pets. These worms commonly live inside the gastrointestinal tract. Also, they hide in feces of the pets. Thus, humans can contract worms by walking barefoot when being outdoors.

The symptoms are sometimes:

  • An itchy bottom
  • Sudden appetite loss
  • Restless sleep or trouble sleeping
  • Redness and itching around the vagina in girls.

You can ask a pharmacist for worm treatment.

  1. Toxoplasmosis

Toxoplasmosis is caused by a parasite named Toxoplasma gondii. This parasite commonly survives in undercooked meat or cat feces. The disease can be contagious through contaminated water. In some cases, toxoplasmosis can be deadly. If a mother becomes infected, the disease can cause serious birth defects to a fetus.

The symptoms are:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Swollen lymph nodes, particularly in the neck

The symptoms of Toxoplasmosis can last for a month or more. Sometimes, they go away on their own.

To treat it, doctors may prescribe some medicines such as sulfadiazine and pyrimethamine.

  1. Rabies

Rabies is an important contagious disease from pets. The rabies virus affects the central nervous system, causes disease in the brain and even leads to death. Symptoms of rabies are general weakness, fever and discomfort. Besides, patients may suffer anxiety, insomnia, confusion and paralysis.

To prevent rabies, you should avoid wild animals. And, keep all pets up-to-date on the rabies vaccine. People who never get vaccinated against rabies previously should get rabies postexposure vaccinations.

In conclusion, pets give you laughs, love and affection. However, you should be aware of these diseases to protect yourself and your pets. Besides, always take care of your pets well can reduce your risk of getting these diseases.

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