Hookworms

5 diseases your pets can give you!

Our furry bundles of joy give us love and attention, and something else – skin diseases and other infections. Read on to know how to safeguard your pet and your family against five maladies.

We love them, cuddle with them and treat them like family. And these cuddly, furry creatures reciprocate in kind by showering us with unconditional love and affection. They lick our hands and faces when we are feeling low and offer us a friendly paw in greeting. But these furry bundles of joy are also carriers of germs that they unknowingly pass on to us, leading to skin rashes and infections. We introduce you to five skin infections you can get from your beloved pets and steps you can take to prevent them.

Hookworm: It is primarily transmitted from animal feces, dirt, or contaminated soil. Humans pick up the eggs or larvae on their skin from contaminated soil when walking barefoot in parks and gardens frequented by animals.

Puppies and kittens can acquire hookworm from their mother’s milk. If the nursing mum has an infestation, this is then passed on to human beings. Hookworm larvae have the ability to penetrate human skin and a rash forms on the skin where the larva enters. The most common area for a rash is on the feet of a person who has walked barefoot in sand or soil containing hookworm larva.

It is also possible to acquire a hookworm skin infection in the form of a ‘travelling rash,’ where you’ve possibly been exposed to contaminated soil and have a mysterious rash moving around on your skin. It can also cause serve coughing, chest pain, wheezing, fever, epigastric pains, indigestion, nausea, vomiting, constipation and diarrohoea can occur early or in later stages as well, although gastrointestinal symptoms tend to improve with time. Signs of advanced severe infection are anaemia and protein deficiency, including emaciation, cardiac failure and abdominal distension.