As lovable as cats and dogs may be, they can also harbor zoonotic parasites, which are capable of jumping to humans. Contact with infected pets or exposure to contaminated feces can lead to transmission. Children—who love their furry friends and are less picky about where they play—are at higher risk.
Veterinarians Explain What You Should Know About Zoonotic Parasitic Infections
A great veterinarian can support prevention of parasite transmission by keeping cats and dogs healthy. They can also help by educating pet owners. Here, the animal hospital professionals of Perry Animal Hospital in Georgia, provide their expert insights into some common parasitic infections—and how to avoid them.
Common types of zoonotic parasitic infection include the following:
- Roundworms: Roundworms can infect humans if infective eggs are ingested from contaminated environments. The severity of the effects depends on how the larvae are ingested, as well as how frequently; serious cases can result in total blindness. Household dogs, in particular puppies, have been pinpointed as a principal risk factor.
- Hookworms: Hookworms can infect humans via contact with larvae found in moist or wet sand or loam soil—think sand boxes and beaches. The larvae usually find their way into these ground substances via cat or dog feces. Infection can also occur via ingestion of the larvae in soil or host tissues. In rare cases, hookworms may localize in the intestines and cause eosinophilic enteritis, a condition impacting the gastrointestinal tissue.
- Tapeworms: The most common tapeworms are usually contracted when a person—usually a child—ingests a flea that is carrying a tapeworm larva. The infection can lead to symptoms like diarrhea and itching. While it rarely causes serious symptoms, it’s undoubtedly a shock to find tapeworm segments.
Proper pet care can help prevent problems. Address issues like fleas immediately, dispose of feces appropriately, and take your pet for regular checkups—and deworming, if needed. Your veterinarian can advise you regarding additional precautions.
If you’re in need of a reliable veterinary clinic in Georgia, put your trust in Perry Animal Hospital. In addition to top-quality veterinary care, these professionals also offer state-of-the-art procedures like microchip pet identification and innovative laser surgery. Visit the veterinarian’s website to find out about their services. To request an appointment, call (478) 224-7387.