Steps to Avoid Infections You Can Get From Your Pet

By on April 10, 2019

Cohabiting with pets can be a risk factor for diseases. Infections transmitted by pets could be fungal, bacterial or parasitic. Currently, there are more than 250 diseases caused by animals to humans. Of these, 40 are transmitted by cats and dogs. Among the pets that can quickly spread infections to humans are chinchillas, reptiles, and hedgehogs.

Ways to minimize parasitic infections

The bright side is that most of these infections can be prevented by observing proper hygiene practices. Also, regular visits to the veterinarian can minimize the risk of transmission. Fortunately, there are measures that when taken can cure illnesses caused by parasites. This site offers a solution to people on how to recover from these infections through natural cleaning methods.

1. Hand washing

Sounds simple; however, most people do not wash their hands as often as required. They tend to do a quick rinse when they should thoroughly clean up. Ideally, people should use soap and scrub their hands under a stream of water for at least 20 seconds. Children are at a higher risk of contracting infections hence the need to sensitize hand washing in a house with pets. The use of hand sanitizer can also be crucial in destroying bacteria, fungi, debris, or fungi that one may be exposed.

2. Fecal management

The litter box should be stored at a safe distance from spaces where people in the house spend a lot of time. It is because fecal matter from cats may expose people to the risk of Toxoplasma gondii. This parasite is found in the cat’s fecal matters and is responsible for causing the disease toxoplasmosis.

In pregnant women with an impaired immune system, it could have serious health implications. For this reason, the litter box should be changed, and people should use gloves when handling this litter. Also, cats can be kept indoors as they acquire toxoplasma from consuming birds and rodents. Lastly, they should be fed well-cooked food, and pregnant women should be discouraged from handling stray cats.

3. Discourage face licking by pets

Most people enjoy it when their pets particularly dogs lick their faces. This act may seem flattering but could have serious effects. To begin with, dogs lick the faces of people because they relish the sweaty and salty feel of the skin.

The disadvantage is that the dog’s intestine harbors numerous parasites and bacteria such as Clostridium, E. coli, and Campylobacter. Often, these bacteria are released through the fecal route. Given that dogs lick their bottoms a lot, these bacteria normally end up on their mouth. Therefore, whenever they lick a person’s face, they are transferring the bacteria to them.

4. Schedule regular veterinary visits

It is critical to have pets checked by a physician. During these visits to the veterinarian, the pet will have a chance to deworm and get investigated for fleas. They will also be checked for parasites that could affect them and ultimately infect the person who cares for them.

5. Clean animal cages regularly

Routinely cleaning the places where pets reside is important to minimize the risk of transmission. Their bedding and feeding areas should also be cleaned often and the litter boxes stored far from where food preparation and dining takes place. In case the pet kept is an aquatic animal, protective gear should be worn when cleaning the aquarium. Additionally, the wastewater on the aquarium should not be disposed of in the kitchen or bathroom sinks.

6. Keep pets away from immune-compromised people

It is always refreshing when an ailing person is given a pet to keep them company when receiving treatment or recovering from a sickness. However, a person’s illness can be a risk factor for zoonotic diseases especially if they are being treated for cancer. Hence, it is advisable to wait until the patient’s immune system has improved significantly before bringing them a pet.

7. Handle young pets with caution

Young pets of less than six months have the potential to transmit infections than mature ones. It is therefore advisable to avoid adopting much younger pets like rodents, amphibians, chicks, ducklings or reptiles. For people looking to adopt pets for their young children, they should opt for older pets to prevent their children from infections.

8. Keep sandboxes covered when not in use

Pets like children are fond of sandboxes. However, pets can defecate on sandboxes which can put young children at risk of infection. Dogs that litter in the sandbox can leave behind fecal matter contaminated with Toxocara canis. Children playing in this space can easily get an infection from eggs of the parasite present in the fecal matter. The effect is toxocariasis infection. Thus, it is important to sensitize good hygiene in children. The sandbox should also remain closed or covered to prevent pets from littering in it.

Check out this info about how to keep cats out of sandboxes.

9. Keep off exotic animals

Animals like monkeys, lions, tigers, bears, and reptiles should not be domesticated as they belong to their natural habitats. Keeping them in confined spaces can be both dangerous and a health risk. Some carry a broad range of diseases like Herpes B, salmonellosis, and monkeypox all of which can infect human beings. Some animals like monkeys are known to deadly harbor diseases like the Ebola virus that cause a high mortality rate.

10. Limiting contact with animals

Be it in the parks, farms or medical settings, and people should limit their contact with animals. Biosecurity protocols should be initiated in settings where animals stay like farms or when animals are being moved. Biosecurity ensures that diseases are controlled. These measures include the use of protective clothing when in close contact with animals.

Also, the use of disposable and protective clothing when handling sick animals should be encouraged. Other standard biosecurity measures include banning clothing, equipment, and vehicles contaminated with animal fecal matter. Additionally, boots should be disinfected before leaving areas where animals are kept.

Infections from animals can be life-threatening especially to pregnant women, young children, and older people. For this reason, it is essential to put up measures to minimize the risk of infection among people. General hygiene practices like washing hands, minimizing contact with animals, and taking the pet to the veterinarian can reduce the risk of transmission significantly. Thus, people who keep pets should consider putting up measures to prevent themselves from contracting zoonotic diseases.

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