Your Pets Can Catch Your Germs

Discussion in 'Pets' started by Adam's Apple, Mar 26, 2006.

  1. Adam's Apple

    Adam's Apple Senior Member

    Apr 25, 2004
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    Pets Could Catch Your Bugs
    By Mike Stobbe, Associated Press
    March 26, 2006

    ATLANTA -- People can get plenty of diseases from animals. Now signs indicate that dogs and cats can catch a dangerous superbug from people.
    At a large Philadelphia veterinary hospital, scientists report that during a three-year period, 38 dogs, cats and other pets caught a drug-resistant staph infection.

    They think six of the animals caught the bug from hospital workers. But it's likely that at least some of the other cases were spread to pets by their owners, said Shelley Rankin, chief of clinical microbiology at Penn's School of Veterinary Medicine.

    "I don't think it's necessarily that you come home and pat Fluffy on the head and then Fluffy gets sick," said Rankin, who presented the data this week at a medical conference in Atlanta. But given that an estimated one in every 100 people carry such bacteria in their noses, it could be transmitted by closer contact, she added.

    "We pick them up, kiss them on the face. We let them lick us," she said. "Then they lick their skin."

    The animals were infected with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a bacterial infection that is typically hard to treat, although all the pets recovered.

    They included 26 dogs, eight cats, three parrots and one rabbit. The dogs developed skin and ear infections. The cats got urinary tract infections; the parrots, skin infections; the rabbit, an ear infection. In people, the germ often appears as a nasty skin infection but can also cause other symptoms.

    Last year, Penn's veterinary and human medical schools began a study of the health of pets and their owners. Researchers initially are looking at 25 owner-animal pairs but want to expand that number. For more than a decade, medical journals have carried occasional reports of human-to-animal transmission of such infections. Journals also have reported animal-to-human transmission.

    Georgia Veterinary Specialists -- a large animal hospital in an Atlanta suburb -- saw only two methicillin-resistant staph infections in the thousands of animals it cared for in the past year. "Looking for such infections in animals and their owners is a new endeavor", said Mark Dorfman, a veterinarian and owner of the hospital. "It's still very much in its infancy," he said.
  2. Derrick89

    Derrick89 Rookie

    Aug 6, 2012
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    Interesting, incredible and bit attention seeker. But some issues are still there to be discussed.
    I think I should discuss it with some friend coz it can be considered disgusting.
    I'm back again after a long absence. :)

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