- Pets and Animals
Diseases Humans May Get From Dogs
Can your dog make you sick?
Owners share many precious moments with their dogs. From walks in the park, to cozy evenings by the fireplace, these precious moments surely strengthen the dog and human bond. However, in some cases, dogs and humans share much more than precious memories, and owners may get more from their dogs than what they initially wished. Technically known as "zoonoses" dogs may transmit to humans various conditions and diseases that may cause owners to think twice before sharing that ice cream with their canine friend.
Should your dog present various areas of hairless round patches, you should suspect a case of ringworm. Ringworm is a skin disorder caused by a fungus which can be transmitted from dogs to humans. Humans may prevent this condition by practicing good hygiene measures such as thorough hand washing after petting a dog possibly affected by ringworm. Ringworm is treated in humans by using specific anti-fungal creams while dogs must undergo lime dips or a course of medication.
These are parasites resembling spaghetti often found in the digestive system of dogs. When a dog has a bowel movement several eggs may be deposited in the soil causing an egg infested area to develop. Children are particularly vulnerable since they often play in the dirt and then may bring their fingers to the mouth ingesting the eggs. The eggs then develop into larvae and because these larvae where not really meant to be in humans, they tend to migrate (larvae migrans) often establishing themselves in the eye causing blindness. All dogs should be properly dewormed and given de-wormers on a regular basis.
Puppies may often have this bacterial disease and typically develop diarrhea. Humans get the disease upon getting in contact with the dog's stool or with the dog in general. Hand washing after such exposure is very important. A dog may have licked its anal area or may have ingested its own stools and may contaminate humans thereafter upon licking them. Affected owners will develop bloody diarrhea,fever, nausea and vomiting.
The affected dog will itch and develop scabs throughout the body. The culprit is a mite that burrows itself in the skin causing persistent itching, the presence of scabs and hair loss. Fortunately, when humans are affected by Scabies the itchiness will mainly last for a few weeks going away on its own because humans are not their main host. However, continuous exposure to dogs affected by Scabies may cause continuous skin rashes, as more and more mites are transferred to humans.
Dog really are unable to transmit Lyme disease to humans, however ticks are often found on dogs and since ticks are vectors of Lyme disease, owners can ultimately get the disease if bit by an infected tick. For this reason, owners should be careful not to allow their dogs from getting ticks in the first place. This may be accomplished by using special topical products that are available by prescription.
Because Rabies is such a serious condition, it is now mandated by law in most States. In order to contract rabies the dog must be bit by a rabid animal and then the owner must be bit by the dog or the dog's saliva must somehow get in contact with an open wound. The disease is potentially fatal and owners of dogs bitten by wild life that are not vaccinated should report such instances promptly so the dog can be quarantined to rule out a rabies outbreak.
Of course there are many other diseases that dogs may transmit to humans. However, surprisingly the common cold is not one of them. In any case, just because there are various zoonoses doesn't mean that you cannot enjoy your pet. Simply use good hygienic measures by practising common sense. You will still be able the share the good things of life while leaving the nasty ones behind..
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to replace professional veterinarian advice and nor as a diagnostic tool. If you require any veterinary related advice, contact your veterinarian promptly.