People love domestic animals – cats, dogs, parrots and hamsters – for their unique ability to raise our spirits and make homes cozier. But in addition to joy pets bring big problems too. Broken vases and ruined furniture are just the smallest of them.
It often happens that people turn out to be allergic to domestic pets and get peppered with red itching spots, have running eyes and noses, begin to gasp and sneeze, cough and have headache when find themselves in the same room with pets.
Step one to solve this problem is to consult an allergologist. Doctors may help adapt your organism to an allergen with special hyposensitization. If the method does not help you will have to give up keeping your pet and let some good people have it instead of you.
Bites and scratches of domestic pets are not mere very painful wounds but an open entry for various infections starting from staphylococcus to rather exotic ones. And it is a mistake to believe that indoor pets never transmit any infections. On the contrary, healthy cats have the microorganism of Bartonella in their mouths that may cause an unpleasant disease, bartonellosis with people. If a cat bites someone then within a period from 3 to 20 days this person gets a painful spot with a thin red rim or a vesicle with muddy liquid inside right on the area of biting. Later, this person will feel that glands located closer to the wound grow and also begins to suffer from headache, weakness and fever. The trouble can be avoided if areas of cats’ bites and scratches are immediately treated with hydrogen peroxide and then with iodine.
Rabies is a less exotic disease that can be obtained after contacts with pets belonging to other people or even with stray animals. Never ignore vaccination against rabies if you were beaten with an unknown animal. Domestic pets are as a rule vaccinated against rabies. It is known that about 30,000 people die of rabies every year worldwide.
People may catch unpleasant diseases even when keeping domestic pets or contacts with them are unhygienic. Dogs carry leptospirosis, cats may infect owners with toxoplasmosis and clamidiosis, rodents carry rabbit-fever and birds may infect people with ornithosis. What is more, there is no guarantee that horses that ride children in central parks for money have no tuberculosis. It is known that almost all mammals can be carriers of microsporia and trichophytosis that are generally known as lichen. These diseases are called dog’s or cat’s lichen but in fact they can also be transmitted by other animals and rodents. Fungus that causes the diseases is transmitted from animals to humans through direct contacts. The disease reveals itself in rounded red peeling spots on the skin. If these spots appear on hairy areas of the body then hairs get broken there leaving just bristle. In some cases fungus diseases require longer and more complex treatment. Humans must not liquidate pets as the source of fungus diseases as treatment of animals’ fungus diseases with pets is easier than with people.
Dogs infected with liptospirosis feel weakness, lack of appetite, shortness of breath, bad smell or bleeding from the mouth. The dangerous disease reveals with humans in fever, sick headache, muscle pains and inflammatory processes of internal organs. Owners of unvaccinated pets are most of all exposed to the disease as they contact with saliva and urine of infected animals.
Toxoplasmosis is particularly dangerous for people with weak health and for pregnant women as it causes foetus malformations. To prevent your pet from getting toxoplasmosis never feed it with raw meat and do not let it hunt mice. Better clean pets’ toilets wearing gloves.
Pigeons and parrots can carry ornithosis, the disease caused by Chlamydia psittaci. Birds with their feathers dishevelled, with sleepy behavior and reluctant to eat are highly likely suffering from ornithosis. Some vets may take the disease for acute intestinal infection. Humans may catch ornithosis if inhale dust or eat meals infected with the disease. With humans the disease reveals in shivering, headache and muscle pains, fever, coughing and tracheitis.
Other domestic pets, cats for instance, may be also diseased with chlamidiosis. Vaccination may help pets avoid the disease. Mice, hare, rabbits and other rodents can be carriers of rabbit-fever, the acute infectious disease that entails fever, intoxication and lymph node involvement. Rabbit-fever is transmitted through bites or saliva of infected animals. Wildlife animals are particularly dangerous as concerning rabbit-fever.
If pet owners want to protect their animals from tuberculosis they should stop their contacts with stray animals and never feed them with raw meat and unboiled milk.
If pets that are allowed to walk outdoor love to jump on dinner tables and like to taste everything they find then they will sooner or later have intestinal worms. Humans and pets have similar symptoms of having intestinal worms: they suffer from diarrhea, abdominal swelling, weight reduction, itch and so on. Never let your pets eat grass on areas where they may come across excrement of other animals. Consult a vet in case find your pet infected with intestinal worms.
Reptiles secrete some amount of salmonella that cause the dangerous diseases of salmonellosis with humans. At that, this microflora is normal for reptiles. Better wash your hands each time you contact with turtles, iguana or grass-snakes.
It is quite natural that exotic animals may reveal and carry very exotic diseases that turn out to be a real problem for vets. Epidemiologists say that monkeys that are very popular domestic pets today are especially dangerous for people’s health as they may be carriers of yellow fever, exotic hepatitis or fatal diseases such as Ebola fever. When planning to buy an exotic animal find out first of all if it was in quarantine and has all documents proving it is healthy.
These are the most widely-spread diseases transmitted by domestic pets. But pet owners know that pets they keep at home bring more psychological comfort to them and their families than harm. People may avoid many problems if purchase and keep pets correctly and never treat them as helpless toys.
Translated by Maria Gousseva
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