Most people love their pets like they love their own children, and when Fluffy gets sick in any way, it certainly affects his owner emotionally. But what a lot of pet owners fail to acknowledge is that many of the worms and parasites that infect their dogs can also affect them physically. These types of diseases are known as zoonotic, and should not be taken lightly. The scary part is that when some of these pests do make their way into the human body, they can affect it way, way worse than the way they affect animals. It can sometimes be easy to brush off the discovery of Roundworms or Hookworms in your dog since the diagnosis is extremely common and can be handled rather painlessly. Nevertheless, because of the effects these parasites could have on humans, pet owners should not take these situations nonchalantly. And you’ll find out why.

Roundworms are the most commonly found worm inside of dogs. They can have rather harmful effects on your pet, but when taken care of properly, they rarely cause any further major health issues.  In humans, however, it’s a different story. Although it is somewhat difficult to catch Roundworms from your pet, the risk is real. The only way for a human to be infected with Roundworms is to accidentally swallow an egg. Young children and babies are particularly at risk, as they tend to play in the dirt and pet their animals and put their hands in their mouths afterwards. Some symptoms of a Roundworm infection in humans are sudden weight loss, fatigue, abdominal pain, presence of a worm in feces or vomit, among others. If untreated, humans can contract Visceral Larva Migrans, which causes a swelling of major organs, the brain, or the spinal cord. In addition, Roundworm larvae can move to the eye, which can cause a dangerous eye disease that must be treated with surgery. If you suspect you may have been infected with Roundworms, blood tests and physical examinations are necessary to diagnose.

Hookworms are another common parasite in dogs. Hookworms are a bit more serious than roundworms because they attach to the intestines and can cause serious malnutrition in your dog. However, they are usually easily treatable in dogs. Humans can contract Hookworms from their dog by accidentally ingesting an egg or through skin contact with infected soil or feces. Sometimes the symptoms are slight and may not even be noticed by the host. But sometimes, if the infection persists, it can lead to anemia, which occurs when the number of healthy red blood cells in your body is low. In rare and extreme cases, anemia can lead to heart failure. Humans can also contract many different diseases from blood deficiencies. These can have both minor and serious consequences. The symptoms of a Hookworm infection in humans include fatigue, fever, and appetite loss. See a doctor is you suspect you may have been infected.

There are many other parasites out there that can jump from animal to human. All pet owners should routinely get their pet checked for signs of worms or other harmful parasites at the vet. Typically, a chewable tablet from your veterinarian will work to prevent the infection of your pet. However, many worms and other dangerous parasites are transmitted through mosquitos that bite your dog. It is crucial to the prevention process that you regularly receive pest control treatments to repel mosquitos and other harmful pests from your home and family. Call Arrow Termite and Pest Control today at 1(800)569-2936 or (225)751-8900 in the Baton Rouge area.