If there is one cliché that will stay true over thousands of years, this will likely be “Dogs are human’s best friends.”
Imagine going home to a loyal companion with unconditional love – it’s an incomparable joy! With dogs around, everything seems more colorful. They have this infectious positivity that translates even in our well-being.
Studies have suggested that the construct of dog companionship promotes better quality in our lives. Scientific researches have proven that dogs have a direct impact on our cognitive, social and emotional development and can even improve our physical health.
However, the correlation doesn’t stop there. While pets can benefit us in many ways, they may also post risks to our health. It is of utmost importance to keep your furry babies healthy so you can keep your family in good shape.
Read on to learn what common diseases are to watch out for.
Rabies is one of the deadliest neurologic diseases caused by a virus that spreads primarily through bites of infected animals.
According to the Center for Disease Control, dogs infected with rabies show sudden rabid behavioral changes and progressive paralysis. Typically, the infected animals may die within a few days after the symptoms start.
If an owner suspects their pet may have rabies, they must be taken urgently to a veterinarian for immediate care.
Also, anyone bitten by a suspected rabid animal should seek medical attention right away.
There are lots of parasites-related zoonotic diseases that can be passed on to humans. These are usually due to the ingestion of flea tapeworms when the animal grooms itself.
Another is tick-borne infections, including Lyme disease, that can be passed on through the bite of an infected tick.
Usual symptoms for dogs and humans are: decreased appetite, energy and weight; vomiting; fever; bleeding and leg lameness. See your medical provider if you developed these symptoms and have been in a tick-infested habitat.
Toxoplasmosis is also a parasitic illness usually contracted by humans through contaminated animal feces. The single-celled parasite Toxoplasma gondii can cause damage to the brain and organs, especially the eye, and may pose congenital disabilities among unborn children.
If you’re pregnant, make sure your hands are squeaky clean before touching your face after petting your pups.
Infected fleas may also carry bacteria-causing illnesses like the well-known Plague. The CDC says that the symptoms of Bubonic Plague can show up in all different forms, from enlarged lymph notes to high fevers, chills, and even fatigue.
A healthy reminder from CDC is to reduce contact with sick pets and seek veterinary care as soon as possible.
Bacteria can also be found in feces, urine, food, water, shelter and toys of our favorite animal. Toddlers, senior adults and people with weakened immune systems are more at risk for serious illness. The common signs are flu-like symptoms and diarrhea.
Another to watch out for is Leptospirosis that can be contracted through the urine or body fluids of animals. If the animal’s urine has leptospira, it can infect the water, soil or materials like dogs’ beddings. To prevent this, dogs must be vaccinated.
Common indications of human infection are having an elevated temperature (fever), headaches or other body aches or pains in muscle tissue or the abdomen, potential chills and vomiting, and even more severe symptoms.
Have you ever heard of animal poisoning through a dog collar? You heard it right!
Flea and tick collars contain insecticides that can potentially poison you and your family. The advice is to talk to your vet for their product recommendations and safer treatment options.
What should you do?
Most of the health risks to our furry buddy and household are due to poor sanitation and improper disposals of animal wastes.
You should keep your house, including the pet home, spotless. Good hygiene, like frequent washing of hands, can prevent the most common pet-related infections.
Proper and quick disposal of animal litters can help prevent the spread of disease. Lastly, a regular visit to the Vet for updated vaccinations will ensure everyone’s safety.
Keeping our favorite four-legged buddy healthy is sure to benefit the health and well-being of both you and your dog.