What with the H1N1 virus being a common topic of both conversations and worries, several questions are slowly arising involving Zoonotic Diseases and viruses. Just what types of conditions can you and your pet dog share or spread?
While many pet owners are aware of the risks of rabies, the majority do not understand exactly what this virus consists of. Rabies greatly affects the nervous system and can only be transmitted through bite from an infected animal. Keeping all pets updated on vaccines is the best preventative measure.
Commonly known as Scabies, Sarcoptic Mange is a skin condition in which a mite burrows under the skin. In dogs, this may cause severe itching, hair loss, scabs, and flu-like symptoms (in extreme cases). In humans, the condition generally causes an itchy, red rash across the chest and abdomen. Frequent veterinary check-ups and paying close attention to your own as well as your pet’s skin condition is the recommended form of prevention.
This common parasite infection is found in the intestines of puppies and dogs. While infections typically are not serious in nature, complications sometimes occur which include various eye and vision problems which may lead to blindness and dangerous swelling of organs. Worm portions are shed through the stool of an infected animal and can easily be detected by humans. To prevent infection, keep your dog updated on all vaccines and necessary treatments, wash hands thoroughly after playing with an infected dog or when near feces, and avoid areas in which the dog may use the bathroom outside.
If you have ever heard that it is dangerous for a pregnant woman to be near dog or cat feces, Toxoplasmosis is the culprit for this popular advice. It is estimated that 30 to 40% of all adults have been infected with this virus at some point during their lives. While infection is generally mild and may include swollen glands, muscle aches, and flu-like symptoms, this virus can cause serious complications and birth defects in pregnant women – who should avoid dog waste throughout their entire pregnancy. Undercooked meat is also a common cause of this virus. To prevent infection, wash hands after handing dog feces and cook all meat thoroughly.
Despite popular belief, ringworm is not an actual worm, but rather a fungal infection. Infection generally causes a round or ring-like patch of rough and scaly skin with surrounding hair loss in both humans and canines. Keeping your dog up to date on vaccines is the best preventative measure, as dogs may often carry the infection without showing any symptoms.
Proper sanitation after handling an ill pet or dog feces is the best preventative measure concerning most Zoonotic Diseases and viruses. Keeping your dog up to date on all vaccines and necessary treatments as well as regular veterinarian check-ups is also very important for the sake of your pet’s health – and your own.