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Pet Disease

What animal diseases can be transmitted to the owners?

Pets often become full members of the family. However, pets can not only give their owner positive emotions, but also infect him with some dangerous diseases. There are many myths in society about how you can become infected from a four-legged pet. Some pet owners are afraid of transmitting from the pet not only rabies, but also chlamydia, leukemia and tuberculosis. found out what diseases can really be infected from a cat or dog.

What diseases can I get from pets?

  • Rabies

Rabies is a deadly infectious disease that is transmitted with saliva when bitten by sick animals. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 60 thousand people die from rabies every year in the world. The main vectors of the causative agent of the disease in Russia are such wild animals as foxes, raccoon dogs and wolves, but pets can also get rabies. Only in August 2019, according to the Central Scientific and Methodological Veterinary Laboratory (TsNMVL), in Russia this disease was found in 20 cats and 14 dogs. Head doctor of the veterinary clinic Natalya Solovievatold that rabies is the worst disease that can be transmitted from pets. “You can get rabies, so you need to get vaccinated,” she said. Rabies vaccination should be carried out once a year.

How to understand that your cat or dog has rabies?More details

  • Helminths

Helminths, better known as worms, affect a large number of animals and people. They can be infected through poorly fried meat or fish, insufficiently washed vegetables and fruits, raw water, etc. Most often, animals come into contact with worms when they eat an infected rodent. In the future, the pet can transfer them to a person. In order to avoid infection, timely prophylaxis is necessary. “It consists in the planned deworming of animals every three months and the periodic deworming of the owners at least twice a year,” Natalya Solovyova explained. Also, pet owners should not forget about the rules of hygiene. “After you touch the dog, you need to wash your hands. If you wash the bowls, you must definitely process everything, ”the veterinarian added. She emphasized that special attention should be paid to young children.

  • Other parasites

Pets often suffer from fleas, ticks and other parasites. However, they can’t infect a person with them, said Solovyova. “You can get infected only with helminths. Anything else that parasitizes animals does not usually infect humans, but causes some concern and discomfort. For example, a flea bite can cause flea dermatitis in a person, but, naturally, fleas cannot live on a person. The same applies to scabies mites that parasitize on dogs and cats, but do not live on humans. If a child or an adult hugs or strokes the animal and does not wash their hands, then ticks can remain on the person’s hands and cause itching. But this does not lead to disease, ”said the doctor.

  • Lichen

The term “lichen” is used for several bacterial skin diseases. These diseases cause the animal to lose hair in the affected area, as well as the formation of red spots. Lichen can be transmitted to a person whose disease is manifested by the appearance of round red spots on the skin. “The incubation period is quite long, so it often happens that the animal has already been cured, and the person just got sick,” said the veterinarian. For infection, it is enough to stroke a sick pet.

A responsible approach to interacting with stray animals will help protect against lichen, since it is from them that a person most often becomes infected with this disease. “The rules for receiving animals from the street imply a luminescent diagnosis,” said Natalya Solovieva. This is a method in which the skin of an animal is highlighted using a Wood lamp, which allows you to see a suspicious glow and diagnose the disease. This diagnosis can not detect all types of lichen, so baldness on the animal’s body should also be taken into account. In addition, pet owners should not forget about the rules of hygiene. “Washing hands by 99.9% prevents the disease from being deprived. And, of course, do not take animals to bed, sleep on one pillow. This applies to everything: transmission of helminths and transmission depriving, ”the veterinarian emphasized.

  • Toxoplasmosis

Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic disease in humans and animals. It poses a special danger to pregnant women, because it causes serious pathologies in the fetus. “Basically, animals that freely go out and have the ability to hunt mice are at risk of contracting and secreting toxoplasma. Such animals must first be tested if a woman becomes pregnant, ”said Natalya Solovyova. For the diagnosis of toxoplasmosis, various methods of testing are used, including blood, feces, etc.

What diseases are almost impossible to get?

  • Salmonellosis

Salmonellosis is an infectious disease that can affect both humans and animals. Usually a person becomes infected through poorly fried meat and chicken eggs. Also a possible transmission route is water. The transmission of salmonella from animal to human is unlikely. “It is impossible to get infected directly, because salmonella, as a rule, lives in liquid media. And only if the dog’s intestines are infected with salmonella, a terrible violation of hygiene rules, of course, can lead to this disease. But most often food products that have not undergone normal processing lead to this, ”said Natalya Solovyova.

Not just eggs. What products can infect salmonellosis?

  • Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis is an acute infectious disease. It is characterized by damage to the capillaries, liver, kidneys and muscles, intoxication and persistent fever. This disease is known as typhoid fever, although almost all mammals can get it. Dogs usually become infected while drinking or swimming in water. In the future, the transmission of the pathogen to the host is possible, however, this requires contact of the urine or blood of the animal with an open wound on the human body. “Leptospira is secreted by a dog with urine and blood, and if, for example, urine is blocked with a hand that is cut, then there is some chance that the leptospira will fall into the wound on the person’s arm. No matter how you pet the dog, leptospira will not get to you. For this we need contact through cuts, ”explained Natalya Solovyova

  • Tuberculosis

“Koch’s wand is characteristic of people and animals, it has no species affiliation. Purely theoretically, if a dog with an open form of tuberculosis coughs, you can get infected, ”the expert said. However, she notes that animals rarely become infected with this disease and in her practice she has not seen such cases.

What diseases are not transmitted from animals?

  • Chlamydia

Chlamydia is a common infectious disease that is sexually transmitted. It can cause serious harm to a woman’s reproductive organs and even lead to infertility. This disease affects not only people, but also animals. However, pet owners have nothing to fear, I’m sure Solovieva. “Previously, there was such a myth that chlamydia can be obtained from a cat. At the moment, it has been proved that the species affiliation of a cat’s chlamydia is in no way connected with the species of human chlamydia, ”she said.

In addition, a person cannot be infected with viral leukemia from a cat or a plague from a dog. These diseases are strictly species-specific, so transmission from an animal to a person is impossible, Natalya Solovyova emphasized. Also, a person can not get infected from an animal with conjunctivitis, flu or SARS.


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