Canine Zoonoses - diseases passed from canine/feline to human
Exactly what are zoonoses? Canine Zoonoses is the term applied to a grouping of diseases that are very easily transferable from canine (or feline) to human.
Basically, these diseases fall into three separate groupings based on their means of transmission from dog to human.
This also groups these diseases, ideally, in the means of how they are treated and controlled.
The three groupings of canine zoonoses diseases are as follows -diseases spread through :1) urine or feces, 2) hair and skin contact, or 3) bites and scratches.
Canine Zoonoses - Spread through Urine or Feces
Hookworms enter the German Shepherd's body in the area that directly comes in contact with the feces-contaminated soil. Seen more commonly in the South, these parasites are unsuited to ideally live in human beings.
Tapeworms can easily be ingested by any German Shepherd who swallows a flea carrying the infected form when biting at or chewing their coat. Children may get it virtually the same way- minus the coat chewing.
Tapeworm infestation in humans this way is actually quite rare when compared to infestation from eating undercooked pork or beef.
Rarely this may cause death in humans since most people develop a resistance to it during normal exposure. It can cause many types of birth deformities in children born to mothers who have been infected for the first time without having developed an immunity before becoming pregnant. Most commonly this is “picked up” through contact with infected cat feces or in contact with contaminated soil.
Canine Zoonoses - Prevention of
Most commonly found in children (though anyone may be infected), this disease is caused by a skin/hair eating fungus which first appears on people as a round, red, scaly area. It grows outward in a circular formation and is the most common fungal disease currently reported.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Tick borne, this disease or Canine Zoonose can cause symptoms such as fever, chills and headache though it is not usually fatal. Symptoms may last many weeks and it can be treated with antibiotics.
Most commonly this disease is transmitted through the bite of an infected tick. Also, you may become infected while pulling a tick off your German Shepherd. It is best to wear gloves when removing ticks from your dogs.
The less commonly found version of mange (as opposed to the demodetic version), this may still cause intense itching , irritation and thickening of the skin. Animal mange may live in human skin though it cannot reproduce there. Humans have their own version of the scabies mite.
Overall, proper nutritional care and health of your German Shepherd is the best defense against the chance of your dog harboring any of these diseases.
|Frequent grooming and herbal repellents are good choices in combating most of these diseases and conditions, aka Canine Zoonoses before they become major.
Stress, roaming and contact with other dogs are the three most common points of transmission among any of the canine / feline diseases mentioned above.
Wash your hands after dog contact and minimize contact with any infected pet or animal until the problem is cured.
Canine Zoonoses - Diseases Caused by Bites and Scratches
Cat Scratch Fever
Some people will develop a fever, enlarged lymph nodes and malaise near the area of a bite or scratch from a cat a few weeks after the occurrence. Though not fatal it can be very uncomfortable and can be followed by complications. Infected cat bites may become infected with an entirely different bacteria though the symptoms are similar.
Probably best, is to thoroughly wash an area bitten or scratched by a cat and to clean it liberally on a frequent basis to, hopefully, prevent infection.
Virtually 100% fatal once the clinical symptoms appear, this canine disease is carried by a virus transmitted through the saliva of an infected biting animal. Symptoms include frothing at the mouth, extreme behavioral/personality changes and convulsions which usually ends in the aggressive, staggering and bleary- eyed condition.
If you happen upon an animal showing any of these disease symptoms, get away from it as quickly as possible and call your nearest animal control unit. If by chance you are bitten, try to follow it to where it lives (if it is a stray) so that the proper officials may capture it for testing.
If you do kill it, do not injure the head as this will be needed for verification. Also, if you are bitten by an animal exhibiting any of the symptoms above, thoroughly wash out the wound as quickly as possible and contact your personal physician immediately. Overall, your chances of getting rabies are rare though you can never be over cautious.
Best advice, keep your German Shepherd and all of your dogs in tip-top physical condition through exercise, canine dietary supplements and proper nutrition to reduce its chances of picking up any diseases or parasites from less healthy animals. Also, try to minimize your pets contact with wild animals or sick pets and make sure that it is always current on its vaccination schedule.
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Thank you for this web site. Very informative and well written. I often advise my shepherd people to visit here for information. Again GREAT JOB. Laura Page Warden, DVM
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