There are many amazing benefits of pet ownership. From companionship, and a wagging tail to come home to after work, our pets can drastically improve our moods and change our lives for the better. However, there are a few health concerns to be mindful of when it comes to our pets. There are several people and pet diseases to look out for.
Let’s explore some common diseases that we can catch from our pets.
3 Diseases We Can Get From Our Pets
We’ve narrowed down some people and pet diseases that are prevalent in Maine, such as Lyme Disease, as well as those you may have heard about on the news, such as Rabies.
#1. Lyme disease
Unfortunately, Lyme disease has been on the rise due to the increase in tick population over the last few years. Maine actually ranks as the #1 state for Lyme Disease instances. Ticks are responsible for spreading the disease by biting a victim. Therefore, you cannot directly contract Lyme from your pet, however if they bring ticks that are infected with Lyme Disease into your home, they can travel onto your family members, potentially biting you as well.
Rabies is a disease you may have heard about in the media. Oftentimes, we think of rabid animals as acting very strangely, foaming at the mouth and with significant hair loss. Most rabies cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention occur raccoons, skunks, bats, and foxes. If your pet interacts with an infected animal and is bitten, they can contract the disease as well. The best way to prevent Rabies is by ensuring your pet is up to date on their vaccines.
We often hear about the bacteria known as Salmonella from contaminated food. However, it ranks on our list of people and pet diseases because people can get it from their pets’ feces as well. Reptiles such as lizards, snakes, and turtles along with chickens are likely sources of this infection.
This fungal infection forms a ring-shaped rash on the skin or a bald patch on the scalp. It is transmitted easily from pets to people. Ringworm is commonly spread between people who come into the infected area, as well as people who have direct contact with an infected animal.
Left untreated, nearly all puppies and kittens get roundworm. Distributed by pet feces, the egg form (the oocyst) can survive in the soil for years. If these eggs somehow enter a person’s body (by accidental digestion), small worms hatch in the gut and move through the body. These worms can also enter through the eye and cause blindness.
So, Should I Be Really Worried?
As we’ve mentioned, pets have incredible benefits on our lives. They can help us emotionally, promote a more active lifestyle, and so much more. Although they can spread certain types of bacteria’s and diseases, it is generally pretty rare.
To prevent the occurrence of people and pet diseases spreading, consider some of the following tips:
- Seek routine veterinary care for your pet and ensure they’re always up to date on their vaccines, year-round.
- If they display concerning signs of skin irritations, or sickness, be sure to get them to the vet immediately.
- Always wash your hands and the hands of children with running water and soap after contact with dogs, their stool, and their food.
By providing your pet with routine veterinary care and practicing some simple health tips, you are less likely to get sick from touching, petting, or owning pets.