Thursday, July 21, 2011

Preventing Zoonotic Diseases

Here are some quick steps to best protect your family from zoonotic diseases (that is, disease that can be passed from pets/environment to you).

1.  Schedule annual or biannual veterinary visits for your pet, which should include fecal examinations.

2.  Keep your pet on year-round monthly parasite prevention, as recommended by your veterinarian.

3.  Keep pets indoors or supervised to discourage hunting, and do not feed pets raw or undercooked meats.

4.  Wash your hands frequently, especially after handling animals and working outdoors.  Be sure your children wash their hands after playing outside.

5.  Wash any wounds, even small nicks and cuts, promptly and thoroughly.

6.  Clean cats' litter boxes daily, wearing gloves, and always wash your hands immediately afterwards.  (though, if you're pregnant, you should avoid cleaning litter boxes altogether.  Have someone else do it for you.)

7.  Avoid approaching, touching, or handling stray animals.

8.  Cover children's sandboxes when they're not in use.

9.  Always wear gloves when gardening.

10.  Protect yourself from ticks by covering your body with a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, and a hat.  Check for ticks after hiking, playing, or working in tick-infested environments.  Also consider using repellents.

Source:  firstline magazine * * April 2011

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