How your pets can make you sick?

More than 80 million American households own a cat, dog or both. Many animals are treated more like family members than pets, sharing beds and couches with their owners and eating in close proximity, all of which raises some health questions. Even if a pet is not sick, it may still harbor organisms that can infect humans. The bacteria that cause cat scratch disease, for example, can be passed from an infected cat with no signs of illness through a bite or scratch. Leptospirosis, a less common but more serious bacterial disease, can be passed from dog urine into human mucous membranes.And toxoplasmosis, a parasitic disease, can be transmitted from cats through feces. There are many other diseases which are-

1. Roundworm

The most common internal parasite in cats, roundworms resemble spaghetti up to 4 inches long (yikes). Kittens can be exposed through an infected mother's milk, while older cats can catch worms by eating an infected rodent. When it comes to humans, about 10,000 children are infected with roundworms annually. Worst case scenario, the untreated parasite infection could lead to blindness in humans. It’s symptoms include Diarrhea, visible worms in stool, vomiting, constipation, coughing and bloody stool in pet. On the other hand, in humans they are Cough, shortness of breath, abdominal pain and blood in stool.

You can prevent roundworm infection by washing your hands after handling cats. Also,  bitter and spicy foods like turmeric, cayenne peppers, figs, ginger, olives, and garlic could naturally deter a roundworm infection.

2. Giardia

More common in dogs than in cats, this waterborne, one-cell organism lives in streams, rivers, and lakes.  Symptoms of giardia infection includes diarrhea in both pets and human. You can prevent it by managing clean drinking water  for your dog when you go on hikes and favor dog parks where owners are responsible about cleaning up feces. Also, remember to wash your hands after handling your pet's poop to avoid coming in contact with the disease. In order to treat this infection, you can buy  Antiparasitic medicines online, and visit your vet to determine proper treatment for pets.

3. Campylobacter

There’s nothing cuter than baby critters, but even the most smitten human can unknowingly pick up this common bug through kittens, puppies, and even young horses, ferrets, rabbits, and birds. Campylobacter is one of the most common diarrhea-inducing diseases in the United States. Symptoms of Campylobacter includes diarrhea in both pets and human. If a kitten or puppy is sick with diarrhea, avoid excessive holding or kissing. Even after the pet has recovered, wash your hands after touching him; an animal infected with campylobacter will continue to shed germs for up to seven weeks if left untreated.

As far as treatment is concerned for humans, you need to stay hydrated and take proper medical attention, if needed. or pets, head to the vet to see if your furry friend will require pet meds.

 Also Read: 4 horrible diseases you won't believe exist

4. Salmonella

Attention turtle lovers: between 77 to 90% of reptiles harbor salmonella. Baby chicks can also carry the germ. Reptile pets and chicks often don't show symptoms, but in humans its symptoms includes Abdominal pain, fever, vomiting, headache and nausea. Most people recover without treatment, but some need to be hospitalized. If you have a reptile or chickens as pets, make sure everyone always washes their hands after handling. And never wash a tank in your kitchen sink. If you wash it in the bathtub, be sure to disinfect the tub before people use it again.  

5. Rabies

Rabies comes last to our list because it is quite rare in the US. It is fatal once symptoms appear in both pets and animals, meaning prevention needs to be an absolute priority. Symptoms vary but could include behavioral changes, fever, hypersensitivity to touch, light, and sound, hiding in dark places, foaming of the mouth, staggering, loss of appetite, seizures, loss of appetite, sudden death. In humans, Flu-like symptoms, general weakness, headache, discomfort, prickling, or itching at the site of the bite, anxiety, confusion, agitation, hallucinations.

If you believe you may have been exposed to a rabid animal, seek immediate medical attention. Doctors may start a series of post-exposure shots to protect you from the virus. Left untreated, rabies is almost always fatal. Call the vet immediately if you believe you pet was exposed. If vaccinated, they may do a booster shot. If unvaccinated, they may suggest euthanasia, but you could also quarantine your pet to see if symptoms develop.


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