We all are aware of the fact that a dog can fill your life with immense joy and your health with positive benefits. They can help in promoting the social and cognitive development in their owners. After bringing home a furry companion, he becomes a part of your family and you treat him the same way as you treat your kids but one should always be aware of the fact that dogs can transmit germs and parasites to your body which can result in diseases.

The diseases that one gets from animals is known as zoonotic illnesses. Humans with the strong immune system can easily fight off this issue but people with the weak immune system can easily get infected with this illness. Children have higher chances of getting zoonotic or pet-borne diseases as they don’t have enough antibodies to fight off disease.

We all love cuddling our furry companion but it is essential to know that they carry a number of germs and parasites which on getting transmitted to our body can make us fall ill. Zoonotic illness can cause a number of diseases ranging from a mild infection to a severe disease.

Let’s find out some contagious diseases that you can catch from your furry companion:

Rabies:

It’s a neurological disease that is caused by a virus. If your dog is infected with this virus then on coming in contact with the rabid dog, the virus can get transmitted to your body. It’s a fatal disease and the common symptoms that your dog will display if he has rabies are rapid changes in his behavior and progressive paralysis.

When a human gets infected with this virus then initially he will feel weakness and fever. After a few days, he will display certain behavioral changes and anxiety.

So, it is essential to visit a doctor before it gets too late.

Salmonella:

Salmonella is a bacteria which generally lives in the gastrointestinal tract. A dog infected with this bacteria may appear healthy from the outside. It is very hard to detect whether your furry companion is infected with this bacteria or not.

In order to avoid getting infected with this bacteria, you must consider washing hands after touching an infected dog. Also, sometimes this bacteria comes out of his body via feces so, one should always sanitize his hand thoroughly if he comes in contact with the feces.

Giardia:

Giardia is a parasite that is commonly found in contaminated water. Your dog can get infected with this parasite on drinking contaminated water. It is a contagious disease so the owner of the infected dog can also catch this disease.

The symptom that your dog will likely to show on getting infected is diarrhea. The dog owner should encourage his dog to drink only treated water.

Roundworm:

It’s an intestinal parasite generally found in dogs. The eggs of these worms come out with feces and if any human accidentally comes in its contact then this parasite can enter into his body. Risk of roundworms is high in the urban area.

To avoid this disease, the dog owner must always handle his dog’s feces carefully and must wash hands thoroughly.

The symptoms that are your dog is likely to show is diarrhea, vomiting, blood in the stool etc. and the symptoms that humans are likely to show on getting infected is a cough, breathing problem and blood in the stool.

Leptospirosis:

It is a bacterial infection that you can catch your dog. If your dog is infected with this bacteria then there is a high chance of getting infected while handling his urine.

Major symptoms that your dog will display on getting infected with this bacteria are fever, muscle pain, lethargy and loss of appetite.

And if a human gets infected then he will show symptoms like high fever, abdominal pain, vomiting etc.

Ringworm:

It is a fungal infection which occurs on the skin. Due to its highly contagious nature, it takes no time in spreading. If your dog is having this infection then you can get it too just by touching that surface.

It is essential to apply anti-fungal ointment over it and always keep the skin clean.

Tapeworms:

Kids are more likely to get infected with this parasite as they forget to wash their hands thoroughly after coming into contact with the infected dog. You can reduce the risk of tapeworm by controlling the fleas in the environment.

The common symptoms that an infected dog shows are rice-like substance in the stool and worms in the vomit.

The common symptoms an infected human is likely to show are weakness, nausea, and rice-like piece in the stool.

Sarcoptic Mange:

Mange is caused by mites and it can cause severe itching. If a dog is infected with mange and it can also spread to humans that come in a contact with that dog. If not treated well, an infected dog can end up losing all the hair from his body.

Regular grooming sessions can help in avoiding this issue. The most common symptoms are hair loss, itchy skin, and sores etc. If you notice any of these symptoms then you must check the commonly infected areas such as ears, elbow, and legs.

Prevention of zoonotic illness:

As it is said that “prevention is always better than cure” the best way to reduce the risk of zoonotic illness is by ensuring proper hygiene.

Let’s find out some ways by which you can eliminate the risk of the illness that you can catch from your dog:

  • Always treat your dog’s illness
  • Ensure to keep away small children from an ill dog
  • Always wash your hands thoroughly after handling an infected dog
  • Use tick control
  • Ensure to give your dog regular grooming sessions
  • Provide him proper vaccinations
  • Consider regular health check-ups of your dog

So, these are a few precautions that one needs to consider for reducing the risk of zoonotic illness.