Maintaining pet hygiene is key for a healthy life
New Delhi, January 10, 2016: A zoonosis is an animal disease that is transmissible to humans. Pets kept in unhygienic conditions are responsible for transmission of an extensive array of bacterial, fungal, and parasitic zoonotic pathogens. It is thus recommended that safe hand-washing practices are adopted at home and pet hygiene is maintained.
Most individuals acquire diseases through close contact with an infected animal, who may or may not be symptomatic. The route of transmission of an infection from a pet to human can be through the saliva (bites or contaminated scratches), feces, respiratory secretions, direct contact, or by the animal acting as a vehicle and source of tick or flea exposure.
Sharing their thoughts, Dr. S.S Agarwal – National President and Padma Shri Awardee Dr. KK Aggarwal – Honorary Secretary General IMA and President HCFI in a joint statement said, “Pets are an integral part of ones home and family. It is thus important that they are fed good quality food, kept in clean and hygienic conditions and regularly taken to see their doctor. Ticks and fleas carried by pets can be a direct source of infection. It is thus important that good-hand washing practices are maintained at home. Pets must also be treated promptly for diarrhea and dermatoses and, where appropriate, should be adequately vaccinated”.
It is important that pets are fed high quality commercial food and should not eat raw meat or eggs. They must also not be allowed to eat garbage, feces, or hunt. They should be given fresh and clean water to drink. Pet owners should wash their hands following contact with their pet or cleaning of their cages. They must ensure that their pets receive timely treatment against fleas and ticks.
Raw milk and milk products from cows, goats, and sheep continue to be a source of bacterial infections attributable to a number of virulent pathogens. It is thus important to boil milk before consumption and consume milk products within their expiry date.
In case of an animal bite, it is important to see a healthcare provider within 8 hours to reduce the chance of developing an infection. Adults who are bitten by animals should receive a tetanus vaccine
By taking necessary precautions most acquired diseases can be prevented. Maintaining sanitation and hygiene is essential for a healthy and long life.