Who benefits when you take your pet to the vets for their vaccinations or boosters? Is it just the pet that’s being protected or are there more risks than we think? Well it turns out that when we’re vaccinating our pets against common diseases and problems, we’re also protecting ourselves!
Some diseases are capable of moving between animals and humans, diseases that can make this jump are called Zoonoses and they move from animal to human in a process called Zoonosis. There are currently over 200 diseases that we know are capable of making this jump including Lyme disease, rabies or bovine tuberculosis and yellow fever. These diseases can be anything from specific to a local area to global, which means it’s important that we do what we can to protect ourselves and our pets against them.
As we as people begin to travel and see more of the world, the problem only gets worse, we come into contact with more animals, more chances to be infected and more chances for the diseases to spread. We’re also domesticating more and more animals these days, animal companionship is not a new thing and the increasing population with an increasing number of pet owners means that the chances for infection are only increasing.
But how can these infections go from animal to human? Unfortunately, there’s not only one single way to catch one of these zoonotic diseases, the types of transmission are vast. Ranging from a mosquito or tick bite to spread malaria or Lyme disease, to something as simple as handling or eating raw or undercooked meat from an infected animal. In these simple ways zoonotic diseases can make the big jump from animal to human, which means the diseases is then more easily spread between humans in most cases.
Who’s most at risk? Well, most of the time children under 5, pregnant women or elderly over the age of 65 are the most at risk although it is still very possible for anyone of any age or health can contract a zoonotic disease. This means that taking a few simple steps to avoid the problem is the way best thing to do. Simple things like using bug repellent to prevent mosquito and tick bites can helps loads, as well as regular hand washing when interacting with possibly infected animals or any kind of uncooked or raw meat can go a long way towards stopping the spread. This includes thorough hand washing after visiting any sort of place where farm animals are kept, places like farms, zoos or any place where loads of people can interact directly with animals.
Of course, we’re not always visiting zoos are visiting mosquito ridden countries, what about day to day at home? Well, our domesticated cats and dogs can be just at risk from these diseases which means we’re also at risk. Common problems like leptospirosis, influenza or ringworm are common examples of zoonotic diseases, this means if your pet is at risk, so are you.
This is why vaccinating your pet against these common problems and taking the preventative measures to make sure your pet doesn't become infected. Vaccinating your pet and keeping their treatments and boosters up to date can protect not only your pet from these common, sometimes deadly diseases, but can also protect you and your family.