Now, almost every family wants to keep a pet dog or a pet cat or something else. But little do they know that pet dogs are a major reservoir for Zoonotic infections. It’s true that dogs are the best friend of humans, but they could be the reason for your declining health. Dogs transmit several viral and bacterial diseases to humans. These diseases could be transmitted to humans by infected saliva, contaminated urine, and faeces.

Dogs have been kept as pets for over 14 centuries. Many studies have confirmed the precious roles of pets in human life. Sometimes they can even make your day better. Also, some other studies have proved that dog owners suffer from depression and mental stress. Regarding domestic dogs, the increase in the population of stray dogs in urban areas has increased the risk of zoonoses diseases. About less than five per cent in the world are bitten by stray dogs resulting in rabies and other infectious diseases to the victim.

Rabies

Rabies infection is an ancient disease with a high mortality rate in humans and animal populations. According to the reports of World Health Organisation reports, there have been 30000 to 70000 deaths occurred throughout the world due to rabies infection. Rabies infection is something to be taken care of immediately. Dogs are the major reasons for rabies infection. The majority of the infected patients in developing countries are infected by dog bites while, in other developed countries, wild animals including raccoons, bats and foxes are the main cause for rabies transmission. Patients may present agitation, anxiety, confusion, hallucination, and hydrophobia. Frequent doses of immunoglobulin within 14 days after a suspected dog bite can prevent the disease.

Noroviruses

Noroviruses are a heterogeneous single-strand RNA virus. This type of virus is the main cause of sporadic and epidemic gastroenteritis in humans. This virus can affect humans of all age groups. The virus can be found in the gastrointestinal tract and consequently in the faeces or diarrhoea of the infected dogs. It can be transmitted from contaminated food or water to humans, and the infection can rapidly spread in the human population by faecal or oral rate. Serum therapy should be considered for patients with acute gastroenteritis.

Brucella

It is one of the most prevalent zoonoses which imposes a heavy burden on the national health services. It is commonly transmitted to humans by consuming unpasteurized dairy products. Various types of Brucella spp. have been recognized that resulted in human brucellosis such as B. melitensis , B abortus and B, suis but B. canis has been less known as a usual pathogen in brucellosis infections in humans. The patients may be asymptomatic and may even present serious clinical symptoms especially fever, night sweats and low back pain. This disease should be treated in order to avoid complications of the disease.

Conclusion

Zoonoses are diseases that implicate both humans and animals and can be transmitted either by domestic pets or by wildlife animals. Many animals and their products can be reservoirs of zoonoses pathogens. Among them, dogs are responsible for the transmission of several zoonotic diseases to their owners. Dog owners are recommended to wash their hands after any direct contact with the dog, their products, or their urine. In addition, dogs should also be treated for diarrheal infections. Dog owners should feed cooked meat to their dogs to prevent infections. Many authors reported that increasing the knowledge of dog owners regarding dog associated zoonotic infections and prevention strategies can dramatically reduce the zoonotic infections in dog owners and their families.

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