- 1 What are zoonoses?
- 2 Who is particularly at risk for zoonoses?
- 3 How to prevent diseases transmitted by pets?
- 4 Toxoplasmosis, a risk during pregnancy
- 5 Intestinal infections are sometimes problematic
- 6 Skin infections, ringworm and scabies
- 7 Infections transmitted by ticks and insects
- 8 Infections transmitted by scratching or biting
- 9 Respiratory infections transmitted by birds
- 10 Do dogs get AIDS – fighting misconceptions
- 11 Forum questions and answers
Are you asking yourself this important question: do dogs get aids? Have no fear for your pooch, AIDS is not transmissible from humans to dogs. HIV is a human virus and cannot be transmitted to dogs. In addition, foe your own knowledge, HIV is not transmitted through the skin, only through blood, sexual secretions (and not on the skin, but on a mucous membrane) or from mother to child.
However, before transforming your dog into a zootherapist, I advise you to take certain key precautions. First, your dog should be periodically examined by your veterinarian to check that it is free of any signs of infectious disease. He should also be vaccinated according to the recommended protocol and it must also be dewormed on a regular basis.
The question does bring about the issue of diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humqans, in particular zoonoses.
What are zoonoses?
There are more than 70 zoonoses, which are infectious or parasitic diseases, that can be transmitted to humans from animals. Fortunately, this type of transmission remains rare, if not exceptional, except for a few documented cases.
Who is particularly at risk for zoonoses?
The people most vulnerable to zoonoses are children under 5, pregnant women, people over 75 years old and those whose immune system is weakened by treatment (cortisone, anti-transplant drugs, cancer chemotherapy, for example) or by a disease (AIDS, blood cancers, for example).
How to prevent diseases transmitted by pets?
Intestinal worms can pose a serious risk to children. Dogs and cats, especially those with outdoor access, often carry parasitic intestinal worms. Some (roundworms, tapeworms) can be transmitted to humans through contact with animal droppings or their mouths after an animal has cleaned up areas of its body that are infested with bacteria such as the anus.
This potential risk disease transmission is more common in young children, for example if a sandbox has been soiled by a dog or a cat.
In some parts of the world dogs and cats can be carriers of a serious parasitic disease, echinococcosis, which can cause severe damage to the liver. Deworming your pet every 3 to 6 months reduces the risk of human infestation by animal worms.
Toxoplasmosis, a risk during pregnancy
Toxoplasma is a microscopic parasite found in the stools of cats (sometimes on the coat or in saliva). In pregnant women who did not develop antibodies to toxoplasma during their childhood, infection with toxoplasma during pregnancy can cause miscarriage, fetal malformation, or developmental abnormalities in the child. A blood test is systematically performed at the beginning of pregnancy to look for these antibodies and to warn the future mother, if necessary.
Intestinal infections are sometimes problematic
Many microorganisms in the intestines of pets can cause diarrhea in humans, which is usually not serious. However, rodents, reptiles and amphibians can be carriers of salmonella which can sometimes be responsible for severe, potentially serious diarrhea. It is essential not to let the most vulnerable people handle reptiles or clean their cages without gloves or protective masks.
Skin infections, ringworm and scabies
Dogs, cats and rodents are sometimes carriers of the microscopic fungus that causes ringworm. This skin infection, which results in red, round (or ring-shaped) patches is not serious but requires long and restrictive treatment (of the patient and his animals).
Recently taken in, abandoned pets can also transmit scabies, a source of intense itching, but in a form that is less contagious than human scabies and is easily treated. Following the adoption of an animal, a visit to the veterinarian is essential.
Infections transmitted by ticks and insects
In areas where ticks are carriers of the bacteria responsible for Lyme disease, it is particularly important to be extra vigilant and to check more regularly that dogs and cats do not have ticks, and to remove them if necessary. Ticks can bite the owner and transmit this disease.
In areas where dogs can be infected with leishmaniasis, an infection caused by a microscopic parasite found all around the Mediterranean, small biting insects (sandflies) can transmit the disease to humans, especially to young children and have serious health consequences.
Infections transmitted by scratching or biting
Cat scratch disease is a bacterial infection which can develop after scratching (with fever and swelling of the nodes closest to the lesion). In addition, bites from dogs and cats can transmit another bacterial infection, pasteurellosis, which triggers intense inflammation symptoms (redness, swelling, fever) and must be treated promptly with an antibiotic.
Respiratory infections transmitted by birds
Birds can transmit an infection from the bacteria Chlamydophila psittaci called ornithosis or psittacosis. This infection can cause pneumonia, eye damage, diarrhea and fever. People are contaminated by dust droppings, sometimes by a bite (parrots). Ornithosis can be serious and requires appropriate antibiotic treatment.
Do dogs get AIDS – fighting misconceptions
Despite information campaigns and the undeniable progress of science, the collective imagination is still very much influenced by misconceptions about HIV/AIDS, especially on means of transmission and methods of prevention.
Means of transmission of HIV/AIDS are still unclear for many people, even today. Several studies have made it possible to measure the beliefs and knowledge of the issue in the population. For example, a study carried out in France in 2010 indicated that 21% of people questioned, mostly people under 40 years of age, think that the virus can be transmitted by a mosquito bite, 13% believe they can get it public toilets and 6% by drinking in the glass of a person carrying the virus (ANRS, 2010).
Other studies suggest that people believe that one can contract HIV by lending or swapping clothes, by having direct contact with HIV-positive people (hugs, hugs, kisses, meal sharing, etc.) and with certain animals (monkeys, cats, dogs and others). Also, a significant number of people think that the virus can be transmitted by postilions or sputum.
Of course, all of the above perceptions are inaccurate and to the speciric question, “Do Dogs Get AIDS”, the answer is a resounding NO!
Forum questions and answers