Most pet owners know that they have to put up with a certain amount of grossness that goes with them. A little bit of slobber, the occasional accident to clean up, and more, but did you know that your pet can make you sick? Fido’s runny nose might be something you can catch, and before you snuggle up to your kitty when you’re not feeling well, consider that you can make her ill, as well.
Some of the most common pet illnesses can also have an effect on people. Here’s what to look out for:
- Ringworm. It’s a highly contagious fungal infection, and the spores can live up to months without a host, which means both you and your beloved pet can be at risk. It looks like patches of hair loss with a red center on your pet, and on you it will be a round, red patch on the skin. If you have it, make a trip to the doctor, who will give you an ointment to heal you up, and make sure to have your pet treated, too. Don’t forget about washing bedding for both of you to make sure that you don’t keep getting it.
- Hookworms. These worms are likely one of the worst things your dog could face. They suck on the intestines of an infected dog, and can potentially cause life threatening blood loss. If people step with a bare foot on feces of an infected dog, the eggs can transfer through the skin. In dogs, the symptoms are diarrhea and weight loss, in people, the symptoms are anemia, cough, rash, loss of appetite, wheezing, and stomach pain. It can be treated with prescription antiparasitic medications for both pooch and master.
- Salmonella. Some people love animals like turtles and certain types of lizards, but these guys often carry salmonella. Often, it can pass untreated, but in the very young or very old, it can spell significant problems. Wash hands thoroughly after handling these animals to prevent illness, and don’t kiss the turtles!
- Tapeworm. Yes, it’s gross, but it is totally treatable. It comes from fleas and can cause serious issues in both pets and people. Symptoms in pets include dragging the back end on the ground, rice like pieces in the feces and worms in vomit. In people, tapeworm shows up as rice like pieces in the stools. Make sure to keep pets flea free to protect them from getting it, and wash your hands after handling animals to make sure that you don’t become ill with them.
These are just a few of the illnesses that people can get from their beloved pets, but that doesn’t mean that having a pet isn’t worth it. By making sure to keep them healthy and vaccinated, and get the proper veterinary care for your pet, you can prevent many of these illnesses easily.