Dog & Cat Parasites Can Infect Humans

November 9, 2011

Owning a pet can bring companionship. They say spending time with a dog or cat can lower blood pressure—and it might even get you exercising more, if you take them for a walk. Plus, cats in particular will keep some pests away, like mice (which can themselves carry disease from hantavirus to the plague).

But animals don’t wear shoes, and they tend to roll around when outdoors, making them excellent vehicles for parasites and other diseases. Even if you own amphibians, reptiles, or fish, there’s a risk for the spread of infection.

According to a Washington Post article, there’s over 100 diseases that can be transmitted from pets to humans.

Dogs & Cats (& Parasites)

Hookworm, whipworm, roundworm, ringworm. Parasites don’t cause fast acting or obvious symptoms, so it’s easy for your pets to get them without you noticing, and then spread them to the family.

Certain medications and collars are designed to help keep parasites off pets and out of their systems. You can also add a few drops of colloidal silver to their water bowl to ward off pathogens like parasites. The most important thing to do, though, is watch.

Symptoms of parasites vary depending on whether they’re internal or external. Hair loss, discoloration, fidgeting, lack of appetite or other behavioral changes may all indicate a parasite. Keep watch of pet ears. Ears that stick straight up are most prone to mites, while droopy ears are more prone to infection. Pet stool changes can also indicate a parasite.

Clean up pet leavings frequently, if they do have a parasite you don’t want it spreading into the soil where bare feet can pick it up.

Reptiles & Amphibians

Salmonella is naturally present in the stomachs of these animals. In fact, one theory suggests that chicken eggs are contaminated with salmonella from small reptiles that invade the chickens (a few eggs were found with dead baby reptiles inside, and a light bulb went off).

Whenever you clean aquariums extra care (like bleach) must be taken to clean up the area/sink where you emptied and cleaned the aquarium.

Fish

The most commonly owned pet fish are deemed cheap and replaceable, so although there are few cases of disease transmission in the US, keep in mind there’s no incentive to make sure that pet store fish are particularly healthy.

All fish carry parasites, viruses, and bacteria (just as all humans of good parasite colonies) and most fish can keep these pathogens in check. Problems arise if the fish don’t have a good aquarium environment—again, plastic plants and a small bowl is cheap, and easy for kids to take care of, especially when it’s cheap to replace a dead fish, but this sort of ecosystem is ripe for disease to grow and spread.

If you clean your fish tank inside, clean the sink/tub with bleach afterward. Even better, clean the tank outside in an area where kids and pets won’t play.

Naturally fight Dog & Cat Parasites

Fragrant plants, natural oils, and hard observation may be enough to keep your pets parasite free. If you live in an area that’s known for ticks, stray animals (including wild life), or other risk factors, chemicals and medications available from your vet may be the better choice.

14% of Americans have roundworm alone, so if you think you have a parasite, try Parasite CLNz & DTX to help your body rid itself of the infection.

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