Whether you love them or hate them, it is hard to get away from pets. And while most interactions between humans and pets are likely to be overwhelmingly positive, pets can also carry some diseases that affect us. Anyone who’s watched their dog go through a bout of diarrhoea or the sniffles has probably wondered if they, too, were at risk of getting sick. While most zoonotic diseases are very mild, the rarer ones can be even more severe. We give you a low down on the most common ones.
1. Lyme Disease
If your pet is cruising the woods, they can get infected ticks to your home. While you can't get Lyme disease directly from your pets, the infected ticks can pass it on to you. In the days or weeks after a tick bite, early Lyme disease typically causes a rash and flu-like symptoms. Left untreated, advanced or late-stage Lyme disease can lead to several symptoms months or even years after the initial tick bite.
2. Psittacosis or Parrot Fever
Not just the pirates, you can also get this condition from your pets. Parrot fever is a type of infection caused by the bacteria found in the droppings of birds that spread to humans. While birds do not exhibit any exclusive symptoms, humans show symptoms that include blood-tinged sputum, dry cough, fatigue, fever and chills, headache, joint aches, muscle aches and shortness of breath. From Largest Rodent to a Hippopotamus, Some Craziest Pets That People Around The World Own.
3. Cat Scratch Fever
Commonly known as the cat scratch disease, this bacterial disease is usually a result of a bite or a scratch from a cat with a mild infection. The first sign of this infection is a blister or a small bump that develops several days after the scratch or bite. After a couple of weeks, symptoms such as fever, headache, swollen lymph nodes, fatigue, and a diminished appetite begin to show up.
4. Q Fever
The bacteria Coxiella burnetii is the culprit behind the curiously named Q fever. Although the cattle, goats, and sheep are the primary targets, a variety of species including home pets can be infected by this bacteria. The bacteria can survive for long periods in the environment and is found in the urine, milk, faeces of infected animals. The infection is usually spread to humans through tick bites or by consuming unpasturised dairy products.
Rabies is transmitted through the bite of an infected animal like dogs and bats. The symptoms of rabies are distinctive and can arise within days or weeks of being bitten. Fever, headache or general weakness are some of the early symptoms of rabies. As the disease progresses, more specific symptoms like insomnia, anxiety, confusion and hallucination and difficulty in swallowing start to occur. Rabies: How to Spot a Rabid Animal – 10 Signs and Symptoms to Look Out For.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that can infect your pet when it comes in contact with the bacteria in the environment or to other infected animals. In humans, the disease can either show no symptoms or certain symptoms that include fever, chills, headache, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhoea.
Ringworm can be easily transmitted from pets to humans and from humans to humans. It is a fungal infection that can form a ring-shaped rash on your skin or a bald patch on the scalp. From Lice to Herpes, 6 Nasty Infections You Can Get From a Salon.
And did you know that nearly all puppies and kittens get roundworms? Distributed by the pet faeces, the parasite can survive in the soil for years and when a human accidentally consumes the egg form, small worms hatch in the gut and move through the body.