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how to prevent  zoonotic diseases

No messing around here, it's essential to keep your pets clean. Surely, cleanliness keeps odors away, but it also keeps germs at bay.

Pets genuinely are part of the family, and any diseases your pet has or parasites he brings home can be transmitted to you and your family.

One often-ignored aspect of owning a pet is that the animal can transmit parasites such as fleas and ticks and diseases to your family. These types of diseases are called zoonotic. 

Here are some of the things you can do to prevent zoonotic diseases from being transmitted to your family members.

How to Prevent Zoonotic Diseases

Here are 10 common diseases that can be transmitted from pets to humans, and how to stop them:

1.   Campylobacter:

Campylobacteriosis is a zoonotic disease found worldwide in the intestinal tracts of animals.

In people, it causes gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain, and fever.

Young animals, such as puppies and kittens are the most severely affected. It can spread to family members who come into contact with contaminated feces.

To prevent transmission, clean up pet stools carefully - with pooper scoopers and bags; and using gloves while cleaning the cat box.

Never touch animal feces with bare hands.

2.   Cat Scratch Fever (Bartonella Henselae Infection):

Cat scratches and bites spread this bacterial disease. It can cause fever, swollen lymph nodes, loss of appetite, and general weakness.

Kittens are more likely to carry it. To prevent this, wash scratches or bites with soap and water. 

3.   Mycobacterium:

This is a bacteria found in fish and aquarium water.

Exposure can result in swollen lymph glands in kids or more severe illnesses for the immune compromised.

To prevent transmission of this zoonotic disease, make sure you and the kids wear gloves and wash your hands thoroughly after cleaning out the fish tank.

4.   Ringworm:

Despite its name – ringworm is not a worm at all. This is a fungal infection caught from furry critters. It is a zoonotic disease transmitted from direct contact with an infected animal's skin or hair.

Dogs and cats, especially kittens or puppies, can have ringworm and pass it to people. Diligent cleaning and hand-washing will pay off here.

Regularly disinfect your home's surfaces, and make sure kids wash their hands after animal contact.

5.   Round Worms:

These worms are found in infected cat and dog feces. In humans, they can cause fever, cough, loss of appetite, and congestion. Never touch an animal's feces with bare hands. Period.

6.   Salmonellosis:

Salmonellosis can be transmitted through petting reptiles.

This bacteria passed through animal feces can cause diarrhea, fever, and vomiting.

You can also contact it by petting reptiles, snakes, and turtles - even horses.

Baby chicks and ducklings may also be infected.

Never let kids under age five pet baby chicks and ducks.

Wash hands thoroughly after handling pets or pet tanks and aquariums. 

7.   Toxoplasmosis:

A parasite found in animal feces causes this zoonotic disease.

In most cases, you feel like you have the flu, but it can be severe for immune-compromised people, pregnant women, and small children.

You can get this handling cat feces but also from eating raw meat or even gardening. 

It's easy to prevent by simply washing your hands after changing the litter. Don't let your cat eat raw meat and keep him inside, so he doesn't eat small animals.

8.   Cryptosporidium:

This is a bacterial disease carried in the feces of horses, cats, and dogs. In humans, it can cause diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Wash hands after handling animals take animals with diarrhea to the vet. 

9,   Leptospirosis:

This is a bacterium in dog and cat urine that can cause flu-like symptoms or more severe illnesses. Wash your hands after handling pets and prevent pets from drinking contaminated water. 

10.  Scabies:

This is a skin disease caused by itch mites that burrow under the skin. Take scratchy, uncomfortable pets to the vet before these mites find a human home. 

You might like these

  • 9 Pet Safety Tips

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  • Pet Pros and Cons to Consider Before You Bring an Animal Home

    To pet or not to pet? It's a major decision for families. Consider these pet pros and cons before agreeing to bring an animal home.

  • Pet Insurance: Yes of No?

    Pet insurance is designed to help cover some - but usually not all - of the costs of emergency and routine medical care for your pet.

› How to Prevent Zoonotic Diseases


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