Zooneses: Diseases Passable From Dogs To Humans

Zoonoses are diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans, even the dog can be affected by these diseases, and consequently transmit them to humans. In this article we will discover together what the most common zoonoses of dog are and what methods can be implemented to prevent them.

Zoonoses or diseases that animals transmit to humans

Zooneses

Dogs are an integral part of the lives of millions of people around the world. For many their dogs are real family members with whom there is a wonderful relationship. However, this often leads to deleterious behaviors that endanger the mental and physical health of the dog, in fact humanizing the dog is an error often committed involuntarily by many masters.

The consequences of this humanization of the dog are often found in inappropriate behavior such as feeding the dog with food suitable for man but deleterious for the dog or satisfying any whim of the dog until it becomes dominated. However, there are other dangerous aspects in the relationship between dogs and human beings and they are in serious risk that these beautiful animals can contract diseases that can be transmitted to humans. In medicine these diseases have been called zoonoses, and are a serious problem especially in the case of animals that are used for human nutrition. Nevertheless, many pets can transmit serious diseases to humans, and dogs are not less, so it is good to be informed in this regard.

The main diseases that dogs transmit to humans

There are many zoonoses that dogs can transmit to humans. The range of these diseases is vast and includes parasitosis and diseases of viral and bacterial nature. Below we will describe only the main zoonoses that most affect the dog.

Rabies

Canine rabies is transmissible to humans. Rabies is certainly one of the most famous canine zoonoses. It is a very dangerous disease that the dog transmits to other dogs or to humans through the bite. It affects the warm-blooded animals and is viral in nature. It consists of a strong inflammation of the brain, and the first symptoms include fever and itching in the area of ​​infection. Subsequently, the symptoms worsen and are found: violent movements, uncontrolled emotions, the fear of water, the inability to move parts of the body, confusion and loss of consciousness. When these symptoms appear, it usually comes to death. In some parts of the world it is still a serious danger but in the U.S. it has now been eradicated. However it is always advisable to vaccinate our four-legged friends, considering that in some parts of Europe this danger still exists.

Lyme disease

Lyme disease is transmissible to humans. Lyme disease or Lyme borreliosis, is an infectious disease of a bacterial nature, which cannot be transmitted to humans directly by the dog, but from a parasite that often infests this animal: the tick. The first symptom of the disease is a reddening that starts from the place of the sting and gradually extends. Generally this redness does not cause itching or pain and in 25% of cases it does not appear at all.

Other initial symptoms may include fever, headache, and a feeling of tiredness. If not treated promptly, it may present this symptom: loss of ability to move one or both sides of the face, joint pain, severe headache with stiffness of the neck, heart palpitations.

Despite treatment, around 10-20% of people develop joint pain, memory problems and feel tired most of the time. The carriers of this disease are ticks of the genus Ixodes, which must however remain attached to the host at least 36-48 hours before transferring the bacteria. Obviously to avert the infection it is essential to take all measures to prevent tick infestations, then use repellents and pesticides for dogs.

Canine scabies

Canine scabies is transmissible to humans. Sarcoptic scabies or canine scabies are caused by a Sarcoptes canis mite that penetrates under the host’s skin and causes severe skin irritations that can become infected and cause the hair to fall off. Fortunately, canine scabies does not survive more than two weeks on humans because the main host is the dog, so on humans it is transitory and usually not even a pharmaceutical treatment is necessary. The contagion occurs above all with the direct contact between human and animal. For better health outcomes you can try combining medical treatment with home remedies scabies are sensitive to. Discover more about scabies home remedies at https://www.besthomeremedies.com/home-remedies-for-scabies.html.

Dermatophytosis

Dermatophytosis is transmissible to humans. Dermatophytosis or ringworm is a skin infection caused by a fungus (Microsporum). The symptoms of this disease consist in the formation of patches of round hairless on dog’s fur. This fungal infection can easily be transmitted from the dog to humans. To prevent infection, it is advisable to wash hands and all the areas that have come into contact with the infected dog with antibacterial soap. It is not a worrisome disease so if your dog contracted it, just contact the vet who will prescribe an appropriate therapy. In case you have been infected, contact the doctor who will recommend an ointment which will solve the problem in a very short time.

Roundworms

Ascarids are transmissible to humans. The ascarids are parasitic worms of the family of nematodes, also called cylindrical worms and often infect the digestive system of dogs. They can prove to be very dangerous, causing damage to various organs such as the eyes, which can also lead to blindness.

The danger comes from the feces of infected animals, in fact when they defecate in the gardens, the eggs of these worms infest the soil and it is from the ground that humans can contract the parasite.

Children in particular, love to play outdoors in direct contact with the ground and, especially the smaller ones who have not yet learned the basic hygiene rules, they usually put their hands in their mouths without washing them. Just by doing this they can accidentally ingest some of the roundworm eggs.

If these ascarids are of the genus Toxocara, the worms that hatch will be able to cross the visceral wall and go around reaching the other organs, this phenomenon is called a syndrome called larva migrans or toxocariasis.  The worms dispersed throughout the body remain alive for a few weeks causing extensive damage to the various organs affected. Sometimes these worms can also reach the eyes, causing loss of vision for days or weeks and causing other symptoms such as: red eyes, white pupil, fixed pupil, retinal fibrosis, retinal detachment, inflammation of ocular tissues, retina granulomas and strabismus.

Unfortunately, the disease is asymptomatic and when the first disorders are perceived, it means that the affected organs have already been damaged. The best way to avert the risk of being infected by ascarids is to regularly give dogs to dogs and teach children the basic rules of hygiene such as washing their hands constantly after playing in the garden or in any case not putting their hands in their mouths while play. Keep in mind that the greatest risks are when the puppies are infected and not the adult dogs, it is also important to know that potentially any surface can be a source of contagion, so not only the soil, also because often the flies that feed of feces act as a vector.

Salmonellosis

Salmonellosis (view disease info on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salmonellosis) is an infection caused by the salmonella bacteria. Usually infected people show the following symptoms: diarrhea, fever, vomiting and abdominal cramps from 12 to 72 hours after infection.

In most cases, the disease lasts four to seven days and many people recover without treatment. It is usually contracted by eating poultry or infected and uncooked beef. But the bacterium can also be present in fish, milk and even vegetables. Reptiles are also famous vectors of this disease, but what many ignore is that it can also be transmitted by dogs. In fact, dogs are particularly resistant to these bacteria so to get sick they have to ingest a greater number of bacteria than humans, however the infection happens, even these (like all others, including humans) can act as a container of the bacterium and infect other living beings.

Usually dogs with salmonellosis have the following symptoms: high fever (40º-41º), abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration. If these or other symptoms occur, it is necessary to promptly contact the vet who will prescribe the right therapy. To avoid infection, just follow the normal rules of hygiene and wash your hands with antibacterial soap after touching the infected dog. In the case of human contagion, as mentioned, everything is resolved in a few days even without specific treatments, however it is always essential to contact the attending physician.

Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis, a contagious disease that affects both animals and humans, is caused by spirochetes of the genus Leptospira. The disease is more common in tropical and developing countries where there are no adequate hygiene standards. The main vector and the rat, usually the animals and the dogs are infected by drinking water contaminated by the urine of rats or other infected animals or simply walking on the ground or contaminated mud.

The man usually infects himself through the mucous membranes or open wounds that come into contact with the infected urine of the animals, in our case of the dog. The symptoms in the dog are as follows. During the first 4-12 days after infection, the dog may have high fever, depression, vomiting, loss of appetite, conjunctivitis, and generalized pain. Within 2 days of the onset of these primary symptoms, body temperature may drop suddenly, often concurrently with a strong increase in thirst. The urine changes color and becomes lemon yellow to intense orange.

Over time there is a deep depression, difficulty breathing, muscle tremors, vomiting and bloody stools. In humans, Leptospirosis is a biphasic disease that is, it evolves into two distinct phases. The first begins suddenly with fever and chills, severe headaches and muscle pain, abdominal pain, red eyes. Symptoms appear after an incubation period of 7-12 days. The first phase ends after 3-7.

After this phase there is the disappearance of symptoms that coincides with the appearance of antibodies against Leptospira and the consequent disappearance of bacteria from the blood. This asymptomatic phase lasts about 3-4 days until the second phase that begins with another episode of fever that develops in a meningitis or the inflammation of the membranes that cover the brain. In order to prevent infection, it is important to practice the dog’s leptospirosis vaccine in addition to respecting the hygiene rules.

Read full Zoonoses reports and additional information: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/zoonoses-uk-annual-reports

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