Whether you have cats, dogs, horses, snakes, or whatever animal, you need to be aware of any zoonotic diseases that could pose a threat to your health.
Zoonotic diseases are those diseases that can be passed from an animal to humans. It can be from any animal, but for our purposes, I will be talking about domesticated animals. Let me go over some of the things that you need to do to prevent any transmission of diseases from your pets to you.
– Any time you touch, handle, or work with an animal, you should wash your hands.
– When you pick up animal waste, always wear gloves, use a tool such as a pick-up rake so your hands never have to get near the waste, or use some type of barrier such as a plastic bag. Wash your hands immediately afterwards.
– I know this is hard to resist, but you should never kiss your pet, or let them lick your face.
– Always be on the lookout for ticks and fleas. These two pests carry a host of diseases. Remove ticks from your pets, from yourself, or from family members as soon as you find them. Wash the area with soap and water. Put your pet on a flea and tick program such as Frontline or Advantix, and rid your home of any fleas and flea eggs.
– If you are pregnant, you should never clean the litter box. Get someone else in your family to do it.
– If you are working in the yard where your pets may have eliminated, wash your hands immediately afterwards. You should be wearing gloves. Be careful if your child plays in any areas where an animal may have eliminated. Be sure to wash their hands immediately. Do not let them touch their face with their hands before washing.
– If you or a loved one are ever bitten or scratched, immediately wash the area with soap and water. Administer first aid, and call or visit your physician for advice. This is especially true for cat bites. Cat’s mouths harbor harmful bacteria. If you are not sure if the animal that bit you has had rabies shots, then definitely call or visit your physician.
– There are many diseases that are widespread, and there are many that are localized. Make sure to consult with your vet to determine which preventative measure you need to take with your pets. Make sure that your pets are protected against all local diseases as well.
– Proper pet care will greatly decrease any chances of your pets getting any diseases that may also pose a threat to you and your family. Have them checked out regularly by your vet.
– When you are out on a walk with your pets, do not let them drink from any type of standing water.
– Don’t let your pets come in contact with any fecal matter, or urine waste from other animals.
Zoonotic diseases are a concern for all animal owners. People with comprimised immune systems and children are more susceptible to these diseases, and should take all precautions to help prevent transmission.
If you want to know more about the diseases that animals may carry, and which are a threat to you, I found a great webpage on the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website which will tell you all that you need to know. You can browse by animal. Check it out.