When we’re feeling unhappy, we want to cuddle with our pet as much as possible for comfort. But when we’re sick, it’s best to steer clear of our furry friends even though we’re desperately craving for a warm, cosy, cuddle, because there are some illnesses that can be passed from human to pet.
Read on to discover which are the 5 medical ailments that pets can contract from humans!
Ringworm is a fungal infection of the skin that causes itchiness, red, scaly skin, hair loss in the affected area, and a ring-shaped rash that gives the condition its name. While ringworm only spreads through direct contact with the fungus itself, this means that cross-infection is possible if you, an infected person, comes in direct contact with your pet, or if your pet touches objects that has the ringworm fungal spores.
These spores can remain contagious for months, so if you ever get diagnosed with ringworm, make sure to isolate yourself and have someone to help you thoroughly clean areas that often have hair on it daily, such as your couch, bedding, furniture, and clothing.
2. Influenza / Flu
Us humans can catch the flu if we’re are in contact with someone who is already infected with the influenza virus. Similarly, our pets can get infected by our virus if it is constantly in close contact with us due to the virus’ air-borne nature.
Similar to that of human beings, the symptoms of influenza in cats and dogs include respiratory problems and inappetence. Although very uncommon, influenza can lead to death, with the first recorded case of a fatal human-to-feline transmission of the influenza virus happening in 2009 in Oregon.
3. Salmonella infection
Salmonella infection happens through food poisoning or transmission via human-to-human contact or human-to-animal contact through the faecal-oral route. This means that if you’re unfortunately down with salmonella, you may very well pass the bacteria to them by both direct and indirect contact. This includes via saliva, faecal-oral spread, using contaminated eating utensils, and more.
Abdominal cramps, fever, and rashes are some common symptoms of the infection to look out for, so keep your pets far away from you and restrict them to disinfected areas of the house if you are down with salmonella.
4. TB (Tuberculosis)
This chronic disease infects the respiratory system, causing harsh coughing, weight loss, fever, and inappetence. While most cases of TB in people are caused by a specific mycobacterium that rarely infects pets, there is still a slight possibility that your pet can get infected with TB if you have an infection as well.
In other words, it’s best to send your furkid for a medical checkup if you’ve been diagnosed, just to play safe.
5. Second-hand smoking-related diseases
While not exactly transmitted like the abovementioned ailments, smoking-related diseases can be contracted by pets because of us humans. Pets who live in the same home as smokers can experience breathing difficulties, cell damage, and even cancer due to the tobacco that they constantly breathe in, so it’s important to head outside for a puff if you wish to prolong your pet’s life.
With the current COVID-19 situation, many people are worried that they might contract diseases from their pets and vice versa. It’s therefore, important that you stay informed and have the correct information when it comes to transmittable diseases.
Thankfully, this trans-species transmission of diseases can often be avoided if good hygiene is not practised. So long as you stay away from your pet when you’re sick, all will be well, and if you suspect that your pet might be suffering from an illness, always double-check with the vets in Singapore.