Pets: affection without infections

Pets: affection without infections

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As crisp as they are, the four-legged companions convey, in addition to their tenderness, guests who are not always desirable. Philippe Dorchies, professor of parasitology at the National Veterinary School of Toulouse, tells you more.

What are the diseases that a child can catch when in contact with a dog or a cat?

  • He can catch a zoonosisdisease following a bite or scratch. This is the case, for example, of cat-scratch disease, of which felines are the only culprits. At the point of scratching, appears a papule that quickly leaves room for a vesicle, then a crust. Fever, fatigue and enlargement of the ganglia are not uncommon.
  • Other disease: pasteurellosis. Due to a microbe present in the mouths of dogs and cats, it provokes in the following hours an abscess disproportionate to the aggression which is at the origin. The wound is red, hot, swollen, painful, the child may have fever and body aches.
  • Last important affection: rabies. After a three-week incubation, sharp pain is felt at the bite point, accompanied by mood disorders and fever. In these three cases, consult a doctor quickly who will prescribe a suitable antibiotic treatment.
  • However, these disorders can be prevented by simple measures : treat your pet against fleas (responsible for the transmission of cat scratch disease), teach him not to bite and do not scratch, finally vaccinate him as a preventive against rabies.

Should we pay attention to parasites?

  • Yes, because some of them may be responsible for zoonoses. The most common parasite is the Toxocara canis, an ascarid harbored in the small intestine of the puppy or kitten, whose eggs, eliminated to the outside, will contaminate the soil, shoes, toys ...

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