Neuse River Golden Retiever Rescue
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Healthy Pets and Healthy People

by User Not Found | Mar 09, 2012

In rescue we see a fair amount of “weird” stuff.  One of the most common questions I get asked is, are my dogs safe?  No, the people I deal with aren’t generally worried about themselves, just their dogs.  It’s just another reason why I love them.   

 

It is an interesting fact that people can be infected by some things that animals carry.  This is another reason why annual exams and taking care of your dog are so important.  This topic will come up more in future posts and may also be the making of another soap box of which I will build to stand on.  These pesky little illnesses are called Zoonotic.  Zoonotic (zoo-oh-NOT-ick) diseases are contagious diseases that can be spread between humans and animals.  They can be bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungus and can be carried by animals or insects.  The risk of becoming infected is low as long as you practice good hygiene and keep your pet healthy.  Those with immune systems who are not working properly, very old and very young at more risk (more likely).  People who are receiving chemotherapy or are taking immune suppressing drugs should talk to their veterinarian about having your dog around and what kind of precautions to take.  My advice will be a bit less scientific.  And here it is….

 

WASH YOUR HANDS!  Seriously, just wash your hands, oh and don’t play with your dog’s poop.

 

If you are having a snack right now and have a weak stomach, you may want to save reading the next part for later.  This will not be as fascinating as the “Monsters in Me” show on Animal Planet, but for your next dazzle your friends conversation, I offer some examples of some pesky little zoonotic critters.  Ticks and mosquitos are famous for providing a lift to zoonotics such as Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Dengue Fever.  Puppies may pass the bacterium Campylobacter in their poop and this germ can cause diarrhea in people.  Dogs in urban or rural areas can carry the bacterium Leptospira (lep-TO-spy-ruh) which causes the disease leptospirosis in people and animals.  Something more common that we’ve all heard of is rabies and it is deadly.  Let’s not forget fleas and intestinal worms and mites.  We can certainly get flea bites and some forms of mites are contagious to people.  There isn’t any way to cover all on the topic of zoonotics but it’s more important to remember it is simple to keep your family and your pets healthy.  Wash your hands.  I know it’s fun to get doggie kisses, but avoid letting them lick you on the mouth.  I hate cleaning up dog poop, but cleaning up after your pet will keep parasites at bay and your shoes clean.  Wash your hands.  Keep your pup up to date on vaccinations and monthly heart worm prevention.

 

Oh and wash your hands.

 

Cheers!
Katie

Neuse River Golden Retiever Rescue
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