It does not make any difference whether it is your friendly, cuddly domestic pet, the dog down the road, or the beautiful wild animals on display in the zoo, all animals can cause diseases.
There are many diseases caused by animals which can be caught directly or by indirect methods. Some diseases can be caught from having direct contact with the infected animal, while other diseases can be transferred by being bitten by an insect, which in turn has transferred a parasite from an infected animal. Animal feces are another source of contamination which can often be transferred when handling food and water.
Diseases Caused by Animals.
- Toxoplasmosis. The bacteria known as Toxoplasma gondii frequently affects domestic cats, especially if they are allowed to wander around outdoors, this condition can be contagious. The cat can pass on the bacterium in its feces and it is advisable to take care when handling cat droppings or cleaning out litter trays. This applies especially to pregnant ladies when the fetus can be adversely affected by the disease.
- Q. Fever. This disease is commonly associated with animals kept in barns or similar confined locations. The symptoms are a fever, headaches, vomiting and diarrhea. It can be extremely hazardous to people who suffer from any form of heart disease since Q. fever can cause the heart to become temporary swollen.
- Campylobacter Infection. The bacteria for this disease are always found to be present in animal feces. The diseases has all of the symptoms associated with gastroenteritis, and while not being very harmful to healthy people, can cause severe conditions for people who have any deficiency on their immune system.
- Plague. Rodents, especially urban rats can be carriers of the bacteria responsible for the plague. Bubonic plague is the most common form of this disease and is attributable to fleas transferring the bacteria from the host rat to humans.
- Leptospira Infection. Humans can become infected by this disease by having contact with contaminated food or water. Frequently plants growing in soil contaminated by the urine of infected animals can transfer the disease if eaten uncooked. If this kind of disease is not attended to it can develop into a serious illness which can lead to liver and kidney damage, infections of the brain, and the spinal cord. Early symptoms are a high fever, headaches, muscular pain, and vomiting.
- Salmonella Infection. Again this is a gastrointestinal disease which can be picked up by contact with animal feces, if untreated can lead to severe kidney disease in young children.
Any domestic cat or dog especially when at the puppy or kitten stage can be infected by roundworm from garden soil. The roundworm bacteria is readily transferred to humans and commonly shows in the form of a fever, excess coughing, and may even develop into pneumonia of not treated.