Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Are you at risk?

I know I've talked about zoonotic disease (diseases that pass from people to animals) before, but it's so important I thought we'd do it again. I get all kinds of calls about this because nobody talks about it. So here goes.....

Here are some questions you need to ask yourself, and be honest!

Do you have contact with animals?

Are those animals vaccinated for rabies?

Do those animals have contact with other animals....Birds, raccoons, feral cats, loose dogs?

Are you young? Do you have a disease or on medication that suppresses your immune system? Are you an older adult?

Do you wash your hands after handling your pet, or their waste? (Really wash?)

Is your pet dewormed on a regular schedule?

Do you apply flea and tick medication to your pet?

Do you travel with your pet?

Do you use mosquito repellent on yourself?

Do you wear gloves when you garden?

Do you cover the children's sandbox when not in use, or cover pools that can collect water?

Do you feed your pet raw meat?

Do you clean your cat's litter box daily?

Are you overwhelmed? Don't be. The purpose of this list is not to scare you, it's not supposed to. The intent is for you to think about these things so that you don't take unnecessary risks. Now talk to your veterinarian about your specific risk. And if you have a medical condition, make sure your doctor knows what type of pets you have at home.

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