We love our feline friends, but it’s important to not only keep their health in mind, but also our own. There are some diseases that are zoonotic, which means they’re infectious between animals and people. Though these are rare, it’s better that pet owners know about these and how to spot, treat, and deal with
Everybody has heard about rabies, but do you know exactly what it is? Rabies is a virus that infects mammals and is spread in saliva or infected wounds. Bats and raccoons most commonly carry rabies, and sometimes our beloved pets get bitten or come in contact with the infected animals. If you suspect you, or your pet has come in contact with the virus, it’s important to seek medical treatment. When caught early, there are very effective vaccinations that help kill the virus. It’s important to keep your pets updated on their vaccines to reduce the chance they contract the virus.
2. DERMATOPHYTOSIS (RINGWORM)
Ringworm, contrary to popular belief, isn’t actually a worm at all. It’s a fungal infection of the skin that produces a red “ring” on the skin. Though ringworm can be found in random places, cats are usually the transmitters of it. The signs of ringworm is often hair loss or skin lesions that don’t appear normal. If you see these, handle your cat with gloves, as to keep from it getting transmitted, and bring your cat to the veterinarian for a professional diagnosis.
Ascarids, or roundworms, are indeed parasitic worms that cause pretty gruesome skin lesions. It’s most commonly transmitted by kittens who get them from nursing from their mother. Though these are some pretty gruesome parasites, they’re able to be cured with no lasting effects, as long as they are treated as soon as symptoms arise.
Hookworms are spread like roundworms, and are very dangerous to young kittens. Veterinarians start aggressively treating kittens for hookworms as early as 3 weeks from the day they’re born. Why? Hookworms are easily transmitted to kittens, and can be transmitted to humans just as easily. Effective parasite control, and excellent hygiene around kittens will significantly reduce both you and your feline’s chances of contracting the parasite.
Why is it important to pick up after your pets? There are certain diseases, like taxoplasmosis that are transmitted through feline fecal matter. Cats contract the disease from eating an infected rodent or bird. Healthy people aren’t usually at risk of contracting the disease, but pregnant women can contract the disease and pass it along to their baby, which wouldn’t be able to battle the taxoplasmosis. It’s best to just stay away from changing litter boxes if you’re pregnant!