What is a Zoonosis Consultation?
A zoonosis is a disease that can be transmitted to humans from animals. Although many people might think that these diseases would be rare, studies show that around 61% of human diseases are believed to originate from animals and new zoonotic diseases are being discovered every year.
Whilst many zoonotic diseases aren’t serious, there are plenty that can have debilitating, severe and even life-threatening consequences should they be contracted. If you have any reasons to suspect that your pet may be suffering from a zoonotic disease, you will need to arrange for a zoonosis consultation with your vet which will establish which disease is affecting your pet and what treatment is available.
Common Zoonotic Diseases
You have probably heard of more zoonotic diseases than you actually realize. The following are just some of a large list of zoonotic diseases that have been identified as affecting humans.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Cat Scratch Fever
West Nile Virus
The Transmission of Zoonotic Diseases
Zoonotic diseases can be transmitted from animals to humans in a number of different ways.
Direct contact: This is the most common way in which a human can contract a zoonotic disease. To do so you must come into direct contact with the bodily fluids of an animal that is carrying the infection. This means its feces, urine, mucous, saliva or blood.
Indirect contact: As you may have surmised from the name, this type of transmission occurs when you touch an object that has come into contact with an infected animal – for example, a food bowl or water dish.
Food-borne transmission: As unpalatable as it is, studies suggest that around 1 in every 6 U.S. adults become sick each year as a result of eating food that has been contaminated with fecal matter from an infected animal.
Vector-borne transmission: This refers to the transmission that occurs when a human is bitten by an animal carrying the infection, be that a flea, tick or mosquito.
Staying Safe From Zoonotic Diseases
Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to reduce the threat of the transmission of zoonotic disease. Your vet will be able to discuss these with you in great detail, but the simplest things that you can do include:
Ensuring your pet is up to date with all of their preventative medications – particularly those which keep parasites at bay. This includes fleas, tick, mosquito and worm medications since these creatures present one of the biggest threats when it comes to the transmission of zoonotic diseases.
Avoid being bitten or scratched by any animal, including your pet but particularly wide animals. If you come across a wild animal, leave it well alone and don’t be tempted to handle it.
Handwashing diligently every time you touch your pet or any of their objects e.g. their bedding, bowls, and toys.
If you have any further questions about zoonotic diseases, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our expert veterinary team in Geneva, OH.