It is true that dogs are man's best friend but that doesn't mean they can't infect us with diseases.
The importance of having a dog cannot be overemphasized because it brings many upsides to the life of the owner.
From improving the mood dramatically, to being a loyal companion, as well as increasing social interactions... the list can be said to be endless.
However, despite the beautiful side of this wonderful creature, dogs are capable of transmitting some certain diseases to humans. Although this does not happen quite often, it still doesn't change the fact that it happens sometimes.
Here are five diseases that can be transmitted from dogs to humans
Roundworm is one of those terrible diseases that can cause horrific skin and ocular lesions in affected humans.
Although we don't get to hear about this incidence everyday, it is higher in areas where population density puts children more likely to come in contact with the feces of infected pets.
It is, therefore, important to note that careful handling of dog feces is imperative. Also, the importance of washing your hands after handling feces or the dog prior to eating should be emphasized.
Giardia, which is a Protozoan parasite, is often gotten from contaminated drinking water. Unfortunately, infected dogs can transmit this disease to humans.
On the other hand, humans that are infected can also serve as a source for their dogs.
Symptoms are the same in pets as they are in people and can include nausea, diarrhea, gas, and other intestinal based signs. Some animals and people may have this disease with no symptoms at all.
This disease is not particular to dogs alone because it can be transmitted to people from different types of animals.
Ringworm is caused by a fungus and typically results in skin lesions that are red, itchy and crusty. it is usually transmitted by direct contact with infected animals.
However, if upon observation you find out that your pet has a skin lesion, it is important to see your vet quickly to properly diagnose the cause of the lesion and avoid potential exposure to ringworm.
Symptoms in pets: Diarrhea, visible worms in stool, vomiting, constipation, coughing, bloody stool
Symptoms in humans: Cough, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, blood in stool.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection caused by a particular type of bacteria called a spirochete. This disease can be spread through contact with the urine of an infected animal.
Just like ringworm, leptospirosis is not particular to only dogs. Potential sources can also be mice and rats. Also, contaminated standing water is thought to be a carrier of leptospirosis.
However, infected dogs can be a source for humans handling their urine. So if your dog is sick with fever, lethargy +/- jaundice, do not hesitate to contact your vet immediately.
Symptoms in pets: fever, muscle pain, vomiting and diarrhea, loss of appetite, lethargy, depression, and blood in the urine. More serious infections can cause jaundice and blood clotting problems.
Symptoms in people: High fever, headache chills, muscle aches, vomiting, jaundice (yellow skin/eyes), red eyes, abdominal pain.
It is impossible to talk about dog transmitted diseases without adding rabies to the list. Although this disease is more common in wild animals, dogs and cats are the potential carriers.
Rabies is typically transmitted to people through the bite of an infected animal. After a bite wound, it may take people up to years to exhibit symptoms, but generally, symptoms develop within a few months.
Symptoms in humans: Signs may include fever and achiness, but quickly change to include neurologic disease. And when neurologic symptoms occur, they generally become fatal.