Pets are our best friends. We love them as a part of our family
It can be easy to forget that our pets aren’t human, and their enormously different biology can pass on illnesses to us. Furthermore, these diseases may not even produce symptoms in our pets.
We may only find out about them once a human loved one is experiencing life-threatening symptoms. Inform yourself of the risks of pet ownership. Learn the precautions you must take when you invite an animal into your family home. We will now look at what risks pets can have to your health:
Dog Poop Kills Kids!
If you fail to pick up your pet dog’s poop, and it comes into contact with a child, you could become a potential murderer. Contained in the feces of a dog are viruses, bacteria, and parasites, according to the CDC. Frighteningly, these can be deadly to children, or immunocompromised people.
A dog’s feces are fatally toxic. They contain more bacteria than a combination of a horse, a cow and a human’s feces put together. Using Dog feces as fertilizer makes soil toxic, poisoning your garden. Horrifyingly, dog feces are also the 3rd highest factor in contaminated water supplies. In many countries, it is a criminal act not to scoop up your dog’s poop when out on a walk.
Diseases your pet dog can pass to you include:
- Campylobacter: life-threatening for infants, the elderly, or those with a compromised immune system.
- Hookworm: Enters through just skin contact. Causes itching.
- Rabies: Deadly to everyone when symptoms show up. IMMEDIATELY seek medical attention for bites from a dog you do not know. Their vaccination status is unknown.
- Roundworm: can potentially cause blindness in humans.
A Pet Turtle or Lizard Could Give You Salmonellosis!
11 percent of all reported Salmonella infections come from pet reptiles. 31 percent of those were children under the age of 5. The CDC specifically recommends that children do not keep turtles as pets.
Furthermore, handling these animals can be deceptive. The reason is that the animals themselves don’t experience any symptoms. Furthermore, it is important that you have your reptilian pet checked annually for the disease.
Also, restrict handling by children. Someone who has contracted salmonellosis will experience cramping, fever, vomiting and diarrhea.
Other diseases from your reptilian pet can include:
- Aeromonas spp: Can cause blood infections and diarrhea in humans.
- Mycobacteriosis: Humans can develop deep skin infections that could require surgery.
Your Pet Bird Could Give You Meningitis!
Over exposure to bird droppings over time can cause a person to contract cryptococcal meningitis. Pigeon feces have been found to contain this fungal disease. People most likely contract it through feeding pigeons in public places. You can also contract it if you allow these birds to nest in your roof.
The odds of surviving the disease are only 50%. It starts with a migraine that can send a person into a coma. Even if you survive, you will experience after effects for the rest of your life.
Other diseases you can contract from your pet bird include:
- Cryptococcosis: Symptoms are similar to pneumonia, and there may be a skin infection.
- Histoplasmosis: Symptoms similar to pneumonia, this fungus can develop into a more severe disease.
- Mycobacterium avium complex: abdominal pain, diarrhea, and anemia.
- Parrot Fever: difficulty breathing, muscle aches, headache, cough and high fever.
Your Cat Could Cause Birth Defects in Your Unborn Child!
You may never know if you contracted toxoplasmosis before you were pregnant. It shows no active symptoms. If you contract it for the first time while you are pregnant, you put your unborn baby at risk. These risks include brain damage, blindness, deafness or mental retardation. Sadly, it can also cause stillbirth.
If you are not sure if you have contracted it before, avoid cats throughout your pregnancy. The chance of a pregnant woman contracting toxoplasmosis for the first time in her life is 5 in 1000.
Other diseases you can contract from your pet cat include:
- Campylobacteriosis: life-threatening to infants, the elderly and immunocompromised people. Fever, cramping, and diarrhea.
- Cat-scratch Disease: exhaustion, fever, loss of appetite, headaches. A severe infection at the scratch site that requires medical attention.
- Cryptosporidiosis: nausea, watery diarrhea, cramping.
- Tapeworm: cysts that gradually grow and interrupt the functioning of organs including the liver and the lungs.
- Giardiasis: dehydration, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.
- MRSA: can lead to life-threatening lung or blood infections.
- Pasteurellosis: can result in infections of the nervous system.
- Plague: fever which can lead to pneumonic and septicemic.
- Rabies: see above.
- Salmonellosis: see above.
- Sporotrichosis: ulcerated skin infections that can invade bones and internal organs. When inhaled, it can lead to a disease in the tuberculosis family.
How to Protect Yourself from Your Pets
Your Loving Pet Could Make You Fatally ill – How to Protect Yourself from Your Pets
- Always wash your hands after handling your pet, and cleaning up after them. Use disinfectant.
- Always dispose of their feces and urine in a safe way, keeping children safe.
- Don’t let your animals defecate in public places unless you have a bag to pick up their poop immediately.
- Don’t allow your pets to lick you.
- Avoid acquiring a new pet, or visiting a petting zoo with a new baby, or someone who is immunocompromised. Wash your hands thoroughly when you leave.
- Make sure your pet has all its vaccinations and regular vet check-ups.
- Don’t put litter boxes in areas where you prepare food.
- Urgently seek medical attention if you suspect you have contracted an illness from your pet.