Diseases You Can Get from Your Pet | Hakeem Talks Pets

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If you’re a pet lover, you probably treat your furry or furless creature like family. The animal is a part of your daily routine, and science says that people with pets live a longer and happier life. So, with such an adorable companion, what could go wrong? Well, you don’t have to be allergic to your pet for it to make you ill. You could be falling sick without even knowing it. So let’s break it down for you. There are some diseases that you can actually catch from your pet:

1.      Rabies

Commonly found in dogs, this disease is passed on from its saliva, or scratches onto open wounds. The signs of rabies in humans include headache and fever. When the disease progresses, anxiety, partial paralysis, terror, hallucinations, and insomnia can occur. The individual may also experience irritability and aggression. Around 99% of the time, the disease is passed on from domestic dogs. Rabies shots can be given to prevent the virus from spreading.

Hakeem fact: Pets help lower depression!

2.      Rocky Mountain spotted fever

This infection is transmitted by a tick. Early symptoms of the disease include headache, nausea, fever and vomiting. Soon after the rash where the ticks have bitten appears. It is distinct and can be spotted. If not treated, the infection can cause severe damage to internal organs. If your pet has ticks, those ticks can hatch on to your skin and feed off you. If untreated, the death percentage in history has been a whopping 80%.

3.      Ringworm

Ringworm is highly contagious and this zoonotic disease is mostly transmitted from dogs to humans. It can also be passed on from cats, cows, goats, and guinea pigs. This fungus causes red and itchy sores. It can be treated with antibiotics and ointments.

4.      Toxocariasis

This infection is caused by worms found in the stomach of cats and dogs. Humans can be impacted if they accidentally swallow the dirt that has been contaminated by the affected animal’s feces. In most cases, the disease is treated with antiparasitic medications. Though usually never serious, a severe case can cause damage to the eye.

5.      Dog and cat bites

If you’re ever bitten by your pet, you should thoroughly examine the wound. If it’s deep and the bleeding isn’t stopping, if you feel that a muscle or the bone has been injured, if you’ve bitten by an unvaccinated pet and if the injury gets swollen and infected with pus, visit a specialist at once. In order to prevent bites, one can get a pet or breed without an aggressive nature and can also not try to intervene between two pets fighting.

A German shepherd biting a man.
Hakeem fact: Dogs can bite when scared or startled!

6.      Psittacosis

Also known as bird disease or parrot fever, this bacterial infection is passed on from kissing a sick bird or breathing in particles of its excretion. Most cases go undiagnosed because the symptoms of it are similar to other illnesses. Symptoms include cough, diarrhea, joint pain, and fatigue. The disease is treated with antibiotics.

7.      Lyme disease

Also transmitted by ticks, Lyme disease can be carried by dogs, mice, chipmunks, and even cattle. Symptoms include fever, headache and fatigue accompanied by a rash. If untreated, it can spread to the nervous system. Ticks can be removed using tweezers however, prevention by wearing full clothing, using pesticides and keeping the pets clean is advised.

Microscopic image of a tick.
Microscopic image of a tick. 

8.      Hantavirus

Passed on by infected rodents, the disease has a 38% mortality rate. Early symptoms include fever, chills, and fatigue and as the illness progresses, shortness of breath can occur. Cases have been seen where this sickness has been transmitted from person to person as well. Set up cleaning procedures, close tiny holes, set traps and avoid keeping food uncovered. If you have a rodent as a pet, make sure that it does not carry the virus.

Other than the above mentioned known diseases, you can also fall victim to other sickness passed on through your pet(s). It is important to keep your pet vaccinated to get it thoroughly checked from a vet. Make sure that when you are buying a pet from a shelter or pet store, the cleanliness of the animals is not compromised. You do not want to bring sickness into your house. Moreover, feed your pet nutritious food to prevent weaknesses and illnesses. With that being said, happy pet keeping!


Hello, I'm Ayesha and I would love to hear your feedback. P.S If you want to be featured on the Hakeem website, send me an email at [email protected]!

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Diseases You Can Get from Your Pet | Hakeem Talks Pets
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