Could you get Ebola from your dog?

 

For the first time ever, armadillos have caused considerable damage to our yard and landscaping. And it seems almost everybody I mention it to has experienced the same nuisance recently. When I was a kid, they were so rare people would pay to see one in a zoo! Be careful about touching them. They can transmit leprosy to humans through direct contact.

As I mentioned in a previous post, diseases that can be transmitted from animals to people are called zoonotic. Recently in Spain, a pet dog was euthanized for fear it might carry Ebola and infect people after it came in contact with an infected person.

             However, you should not be concerned about your pet…

According to a recent article in Clinician’s Brief, the virus has never been found in the blood of a dog. The confusion stems from the fact that some dogs in Africa have demonstrated a positive titer for Ebola. A positive titer only means the dog’s immune system produced antibodies after being exposed to the virus in some way. Most of us have antibodies to various flu viruses, but we are not carriers of the disease.

For now, at least, none of us should spend any time or energy worrying about getting Ebola from our dog.

At the same time, all of these news stories got me to thinking about lessons we can learn from recent events related to Ebola.

  1. Remember the true value of vaccines.                                                                                      It’s easy to take the protection vaccines provide for granted. But stop and think how awesome it would be to have a vaccine for the Ebola virus. One for humans and for dogs.
  1. Keep the human-animal bond in perspective.                                                                         No matter how much we may love our pet dogs, cats, ferrets, gerbils, turtles or snakes, we cannot afford to overlook the potential for disease transmission.
  1. Expect more of the same in the future.                                                                          
  2. We frequently hear the term “emerging diseases” in reference to newly discovered pathogens (germs). Here is a quote from Info back in 2008, “Since 1980, on average, new human pathogens have been discovered at a rate of about 3 per year and there is no reason to assume this will come to an end.” And, “about 60% of new human infections originate in animals and are defined as zoonoses. Of the 1407 total species of pathogens that affect man, 59% are zoonotic.”
  1. Take a common sense approach to protect your family.

While we are fortunate to have professionals in government organizations like the CDC, each of us must take responsibility for our own well-being. There are many ways to accomplish that, but let’s look at some basic good health habits to get us started.

   Three easy ways to protect your family from zoonotic diseases…

  1. Keep your pet(s) healthy.                                                                                                              Make sure vaccinations are current. Treat and prevent external and internal parasites.

images

  1. Leave wild animals in their natural habitat.                                                                     Never adopt a wild animal and bring it into your home. Yes, I did that as a kid. But, it was dangerous then and is even more so today.

images

  1. Wash your hands often with soap and running water.                                                    This is especially important for young children. Strangely enough, we are now learning that plain soap is better than antibacterial soap.

images

Editors note: Responses to questions received in my inbox are sent directly to the sender. Each week I plan to choose an interesting question to answer in more detail as a blog post.

Remember to go up to the “Contact Me” button in the menu at the top of each post and ask your questions.

 

Advertisements

About drpearson3

Imagine yourself slowly passing a long 18-wheeler on an interstate highway, and you notice it’s an Alias Van Lines truck. Next thing you know, you’re wishing you could see inside and get some clues about the family involved. Where are they from? Where are they headed? Why are they moving? Sure wish I could know their story. Every family has a story, right? Think of docsology.net as that moving van. The good news is that you are invited to look inside and look around. Open the boxes marked Faith, Family, Finances, Fishing, Furry Friends. There’s even a surprise box marked Random. Inside each box you’ll find a variety of carefully wrapped treasures. Some you will find to be inspirational. Some with a definite educational slant. And yes, often you will unwrap a downright intimate look into one of those passions that have shaped a lifetime. So, come on in and help yourself. The treasures are created for people like you to inspect, handle, and critique. That’s why we’ve made it easy for you to comment. Of course, it’s all free, but if you want to leave a tip, do that by passing docsology.net along to your friends on your favorite social network. Another place to find me is www.StevePearsonInk.com
This entry was posted in Ask Dr. Pearson... and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Could you get Ebola from your dog?

  1. Pingback: Could you get Ebola from your dog? | docsology

Please inspire me with your thoughts! Click here.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s