It is a growing trend to bring pets home owing to the unsafe social environment around. These pets prove to be loyal companions and hence are treated as family members in many households. In particular, kids are really fond of such pets and are always around them.
Pets might have the ability to stimulate their caregivers, in particular the elderly, giving people someone to take care of, someone to exercise with, and someone to help them heal from a physically or psychologically troubled past. Having a pet may help people achieve health goals, such as lowered blood pressure, or mental goals, such as decreased stress. There is evidence that having a pet can help a person lead a longer, healthier life.
However, the same adoring pets can prove to be dangerous as well. Pet bites can cause Rabies in humans; its saliva contains Rabies bacteria which, if come in contact with the person’s blood stream, might lead to death of the infected person.
Rabies (from Latin:rabies, “madness”)
is a viral disease that causes acute inflammation of the brain in humans and other warm-blooded animals. The time period between contacting the disease and the start of symptoms is usually one to three months; however can be less than one week or more than one year. The time is dependent on the distance the virus must travel to reach the central nervous system.
Early symptoms may include:
fever and tingling at the site of exposure. This is then followed by either violent movements, uncontrolled excitement, and fear of water or an inability to move parts of the body and confusion that leads to loss of consciousness. In both cases once symptoms appears it nearly always results in death. Keeping a pet at home should be done very carefully as it can also cause other skin diseases and allergies.
Rabies can develop any time within an year of being bitten by the pet.
The duration it takes to show the effects of the bite depends on the body part where the pet has bitten. It takes only 3-4 days to show the effects if the wound is in the upper half of the body. On the other hand, if the wound is in the lower half, it takes a few days to reach the brain and affect it.
The pet should be under constant watch for the next 10 days following the bite, reason being that the pet dies within 3-4 days of biting someone, if it is infected with Rabies. It is always better to get the vaccination done immediately after the pet bite as it takes some time for the body to create Antibodies.
In total 6 (Six) rounds of Anti-Rabies vaccinations are needed.
The wound should be washed with lots of water immediately after the pet bite. Additionally, the wound should be washed thoroughly with a soap containing lots of Caustic Soda, such as the detergent bars, as Caustic Soda kills the virus.
The wound should not be tied with bandage. People also have this misconception that applying red chilli on the wound will neutralize the effect. This is not true; in fact it can prove to be fatal.
It is not always necessary to get bitten by the pet to get infected with Rabies. The Rabies virus from the pet saliva can come in contact with the person’s blood stream when the dog licks any kind of wound present on the body.
This too might lead to Rabies. Moreover, the licking can worsen the condition of the wound leading to bleeding, which might be quite painful.
If the pet’s saliva somehow enters the stomach, this in itself does not cause Rabies since Rabies virus can only survive in the blood. However, in case the pet’s saliva gets into the stomach and comes in contact with the stomach ulcers, there is every possibility of Rabies infection.
Many times the pet hits with their paw, which is not a cause of worry as Rabies does not get contracted with paws, however, Tetanus injection should be taken for safety concerns. Paw hit may cause different skin related diseases, if need be, it is always better to consult a skin specialist for it.
Pets should not be allowed to enter the bedroom as they are big cause of infections. Normally, humans do not get infected with any of the diseases of the pets, yet a few common illnesses such as TB is contagious and might occur after coming in contact with the pets. You can also get infected by skin disease like Scabies after coming in contact with an infected pet.
You must be watchful if your pet goes out as it might get infested with ‘Ticks’ by coming in contact with stray animals in the locality. These ticks can cause dangerous infections like Lyme disease. Get your pet checked regularly for ticks. Once these ticks spread in the house it becomes almost impossible to get rid of them.
Seek the expert advice of a veterinary doctor to get rid of these ticks by applying the recommended soap or shampoo.
Sometimes the pets shed their fur which gets dispersed in the whole house. This fur if it reaches our digestive system through our food can prove to be hazardous to our health. Proper treatment should be given immediately after the pet starts losing its fur.
No matter how much you adore your pet, keeping a safe distance is always advisable.