Many of you may be wondering what Zoonosis even is, so let’s get right down to it. Zoonosis is a disease/illness that is transmitted from animals to humans. The most common of such diseases today are leptospirosis, and "mad cow disease," but rabies is the deadliest.
World Zoonosis Day is observed on July 6 every year to bring awareness to the problem amongst people, and teach them how to resolve it.
Most are aware of mad cow disease and rabies because they make the news headlines worldwide. Sadly, when it comes to more common zoonotic infections like roundworm and hookworm, both of which can result in very bad health problems, most people are unaware.
A 2009 study was done in Saskatoon and published on the Canadian Veterinary Journal where fecal samples were collected during routine annual examinations of 124 apparently healthy canines. Owners were asked to complete a survey to determine the risk factors for parasites including where the dog came from, where it now lives, medical history, and how active it is.
A total of 333 random fecal samples were also collected from free-standing or bagged samples removed from garbage cans in parks, walking trails, and off-leash dog parks throughout Saskatoon.
The overall prevalence of intestinal parasites was 4.4% and included roundworm species, hookworm species and many others. Positive samples were identified in every month of the study, May through October
So World Zoonosis Day becomes essential to educate people to have themselves and their pets vaccinated against these deadly diseases.
“Basic hygiene is the best thing you can do to prevent Zoonosis. Wash the pets well and make sure to launder their bedding as much as your own,” suggests Dr. Grace McGuirk, the vet at Head For the Hills Veterinary Services. “If your dog has free range in your backyard and you are scared to catch something, don’t walk around barefoot or pick up the feces without a barrier such as a plastic bag. Washing your hands is the most important thing you can do after playing with pets, before eating, and after touching your pets’ belongings or its food.”
On world Zoonosis Day, stop in at your local pharmacy, vet, or farm and learn more about keeping you and the animals you own and love safe and healthy. Education is the key to prevention