Zoonoses

ZOONOTIC DISEASES:
 
Zoonotic diseases are diseases that can be transmitted from animals to people. Here we will be looking at intestinal and external parasites that cause zoonoses. Examples include roundworms or hookworms that can be spread by infected animal through waste left by animals in places like sandboxes, parks or your backyard.
 
A. INTESTINAL PARASITES
Dogs and cats are very important hosts of 4 groups of worms and a few species of microscopic protozoa. Viz: Hookworms, tapeworms, roundworms and whipworms. The protozoa include Toxoplasma, giardia ameba and coccidia.
 
These parasites live in the intestines of the host animals. They release their eggs sporadically in the intestines and these eggs are passed out in feces when pets empty there bowel. Because it will not be easy for you to make a proper identification of these parasites, it is advisable you take your pet’s fecal sample to your veterinarian as often as requested. Fresh samples are always preferred and should be submitted to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
 
We normally advise that you perform at least an annual laboratory check because it is a good preventive medicine. You may also be able to identify the worms physically. Tapeworm segments resemble small pieces of rice. You can also see them clinging to the hair near your pet’s tail. Once a specific diagnosis is made, treatment should commence immediately. Always rely on your veterinarian for the appropriate choice of drug because different parasites will require different medications.
 
Measures must be taken to prevent re-infection. Keep your pet away from areas where other animals have defecated (emptied their bowel) because this may act as a source of infection for your pet. Within your own yard, dispose of faeces as soon as possible. Your vet and you can also work out a routine deworming programme and this will check re-infection.
 
In dealing with your pet and your pets’ excreta, hygiene should be your watch word because these worms can also be transmitted to humans.
Signs to look out for in your pets:  

  • Change in appetite
  • Dry-rough coat
  • Weight loss
  • Blood in feces
  • Coughing
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Poor appearance

Some healthy, properly fed pets do not show signs of intestinal parasites. It is important you always seek proper professional advice before deworming your pet.
 
B. EXTERNAL PARASITES (TICKS & FLEAS)
Ticks, fleas, and mites are ectoparasites that live on the body of your pets for blood meal. In the process of taking this meal they cause itching, hair loss and certain other disease like Babesiosis, Cestodiasis (tapeworm), and anemia. Ticks are vectors of a serious bacterial disease in humans and pets called Lyme disease. Ticks are also a vector of a zoonotic disease called Ehrlichiosis. Tick fever or Rocky Mountain spotted fever is transmitted to humans when rickettsiae in tick hemolymph or excreta contact a person’s abraded skin or conjunctiva during removal of engorged ticks from pets.
If your pet has ectoparasites, chances are that your home, the pets resting place, and your garden may also be infested, leading to ongoing or cyclical infestations of your pets.
 
WHAT TO DO? 

  • Routine grooming of your pet will help you find out when it is infested with Parasites.
  • If you discover fleas, ticks or mites on one pet, it is important to treat all the pets in that same environment. You will also need to fumigate the environment.
  • In the use of Acaricides (compounds for fighting ectoparasites) be sure to always adhere to the manufacturers instructions. Products meant for dogs should not be used on cats and vice versa. Cats are extremely very sensitive. Also avoid products like shampoo ands soap meant for adults on puppies and kittens.

Our online store is stocked with various items like powders, shampoos, sprays and tick collars, creams and ointments which will help you fight these unwanted nuisances. Herbals are also available and they have been proved to be effective in tick and flea control. Vitamin B1(thiamine) and garlic are good dietary supplements that helps pets to fight fleas and ticks. Herbal shampoos, powders and dips are also less toxic to the body.
 
The essence of fumigation is to get rid of the eggs, larval, and adult stages of these parasites. Therefore pains must be taken to ensure that pet housings, environments and beddings are thoroughly covered with the fumigation chemical.