5 diseases transmitted by your pet and how you can protect yourself

5 diseases transmitted by your pet

The unconditional love of a dog or a cat improves health and reduces the stress. Moreover, every day outdoor walks  with your dog reduce your risk of overweight and heart diseases.

However, your pet can transmit diseases to you of which some can be deadly. The diseases, which are transmitted between the animal and the human, are called “zoonotic diseases”. Here are the five most serious zoonotic diseases:

1- Toxoplasmosis

The toxoplasmosis concerns especially the owners of cats. Its name comes from the parasite that is responsible: Toxoplasma gondii.

It is particularly dangerous for the people whose immune system is weakened. They risk convulsive crisis or severe infections of the nervous system (encephalitis).

Pregnant women must also be careful. In 30 % of the cases, the toxoplasmosis is transmitted to the fetus. That increases the risk of miscarriage and congenital diseases (infections of the eyes, sight and hearing loss, mental retardation).

The cat is used as a host for the reproduction of the parasite, which infects it when eats contaminated meat, or quite simply by chasing birds, mice or rats already contaminated. It can be also infected by introducing parasites which were excreted by other infected animals. The parasites are found on the wall of the small intestine of the cat, where they reproduce. Thus we find the parasite in its excrement.

You can be contaminated by this microorganism protozoon if you breathe the dust in contact with the excrements of cat. Do not approach your head to the litter of your cat when you clean it. If you do not have the choice, carry glasses and a protection mask which covers the nose and the mouth.

However, if your cat lives in apartment, never eats raw meat, there isn’t any risk.

2- Salmonellosis

Most of the time, the salmonellosis is spread through contaminated food. But animals can also contaminate you, especially tortoises and lizards, but also dogs, cats, birds and horses.

Salmonella causes dehydration, diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps during approximately a week.

If you suspect that your pet is contaminated, a veterinarian will be able to carry out on him a test of salmonellosis. In this case, the safest thing to do is to wash your hands after having touched your pet.

3- Avian chlamydiosis

This infection is spread without contact, just while breathing volatile particles coming from dry excrements of birds. Most domestic birds are likely to be contaminated: parrots, parakeets, etc.

For human, the symptoms are muscular pains, fever and shivers.

To avoid contamination, regularly wash the cage of your bird by protecting you the eyes, the nose and the mouth.

If you think that your bird has the avian chlamydiosis, your veterinarian will be able to cure it.

4- Cat scratch disease

Fleas carry the disease from cat to cat. Human can catch it with a scratch or a bite.

The symptoms for human are close to the flu. The complications can be serious, as damage on the valves, which are essential for the heartbeats.

To reduce your risk of infection, check regularly that your cat does not have fleas.

To repel these small undesirable creatures, mix 5 drops of essential lavender oil in 3 tablespoons of water and apply the solution on the collar of your cat.

Try to avoid games where your cat is likely to scratch you. If you were scratched, quickly wash the wound with water and soap.

5- Roundworms

Pups and kittens often transmit larvae and eggs of roundworms. We can find them in their feces or vomit.

Infections from roundworms are not serious. However, for certain people they can cause serious damage for the eyes and the nerves.

It is important for your pet to get rid of roundworms. For that you can bring it to the veterinarian. Otherwise, there exist wormers containing plants that fight intestinal parasites. Plants that are effective are garlic, clove, neem, and absinthe. These formulas are diluted in water or mix with the food you give your pet.