Being a Cat Lover Could Make You Sick

We all love our pets. Do we love them enough to take the chance of catching a disease from them? It is rare, but it could actually happen. If you are the pet lover that I am , you probably won’t give this another thought. But It was something I did not know.

These diseases that can be transmitted between animal and human are called zoonotic diseases. It is not very common for this to happen since most diseases are passed from cats to cats, or from one dog to another dog.

There are many that can be transmitted from cats especially. They can carry these diseases whether they live in one part of the country or another. Here are some examples of those: Cryptosporidiosis, Giardia, Salmonellosis, and Toxoplasmosis. These are diseases that attack the gastrointestinal system. These types of illnesses are transmitted through the cat’s secretions, and contaminated food and water.

Toxoplasmosis is a parasite that will affect kittens more than adult cats. It can cause loss of appetite and fever, as well as attacking the lungs, nervous system and the eyes of the infected cat. This is very contagious to humans and especially dangerous for pregnant women.

Salmonella’s is a bacteria that is more common to affect cats that feed on raw meat or even other prey such as wild birds. It causes stomach pain, diarrhea and fever.

Cryptosporidosis is a parasitic disease which will cause nausea and vomiting, abdominal cramps, fever and diarrhea. This disease affects those with the lower immune system more often than the healthier person.

And last is giardia, which is also a parasitic disease. It causes flatulence, diarrhea, vomiting, and weight loss.Giardia affects humans, domestic birds and animals, especially the younger animals and the pets that come from kennels.

Because these diseases can be passed from your cat to you, if you suspect your cat is ill in any way, you should take them to the vet. Your kitten could have gotten something from unsanitary conditions before you adopted him. These cases can be prevented. If one ever suspects that their cat has passed something to someone in the household, their doctor can get results from blood work, and a full exam for you. Do not delay as these can be serious.

Your veterinarian can do test on your pet such as blood cultures, urinalysis, an intestinal biopsy, and fecal examinations. There are also biochemistry profiles and other tests if needed. Since these diseases are serious and cause dehydration, your pet may need to be hospitalized. Short term should be all that is needed to do some electrolyte therapy, temporary food restrictions, and intravenous fluids with antibiotics to not only kill the parasites but help them to pass them.

Always feed your cats a good high fiber cat food with no raw meats or food. You can never keep your cat totally safe and out of danger but you have a good chance of preventing these diseases if your cat is an indoor only cat. As an indoor cat, you are able to control what your cat eats.

To help you and your pet to stay healthy, always wash your hands and utensils with hot soapy water after you have handled any kind of raw meat or vegetables. Doing your part will assure that you have done your best to keep you and your pet healthy.

sources:The effects of feline diseases on their humans- Rockford pet care

http://[email protected] Rockford Pet Care Examiner

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Patricia Burke