Woof-woof! If you are a dog lover, then they can do no wrong. Dogs are just the best: loyal, loving, and simply adorable. However, there are a few diseases to watch out for if you spend time with dogs.
Rabies – Rabies is a viral disease which is transmitted by the bite or scratch of an infected animal. The disease can cause inflammation of the central nervous system and the brain in humans, leading to death. Rabies is rarer today than it was a generation ago, with 17 deaths nationally in 2018, all because treatment was sought too late. The good news is that it is both preventable and treatable. So get your rabies shots up to date and if you ever suspect you have been exposed, then seek medical treatment immediately.
Leptospirosis – This bacterial infection is spread through the urine of a dog. It can enter the body through the eyes or open wounds that come in contact with the urine in water or soil, being found more often during the monsoon seasons. Leptospirosis can cause a wide range of symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and jaundice. Without treatment, infected persons may take a few months to recover. Each year thousands suffer from this infection in Thailand.
Parasites – We live in the tropics, so we all know that there are many kinds of parasites to be found, from hookworms and tapeworms to roundworms, all of which can spread by direct contact with contaminated soil or sand. Tapeworms can spread to dogs through the ingestion of infected fleas and often children can be exposed to the worm as they run about barefooted.
Ringworms – This is a fungal infection that can infect the skin, hair, and nails by direct contact with an infected animal’s skin or hair. Ringworms can cause red patches or bumps that itches in a particular area of skin and later spreads to other parts of the body. If it infects the nails, it become discoloured and thick. In addition, if the infection spreads into the hair, it might cause hair loss. Best to keep your dog’s ringworm-free and not rub your face into suspicious dogs’ hairs.
As long as you are careful, get your shots and your dogs’ shots up to date, then you should be fine!