Q: Does a new pet pose a health risk to you?

January 12, 2010 | By Kavykeeper | 5 answers | Expired: 2202 days ago


How much of a risk to humans is there from new pets that may have undiagnosed parasites or ringworm? Is shelter screening adequate? What advice would you give to a new pet owner to avoid exposing themselves to this sort of thing? Are there some animals that pose a greater risk?

Readers' Answers (5)

Jan 12, 2010

very rarely will a shelter over look ringworm. ringworm is so easy to see and diagnose that as long as it's been there for a week or two, they will catch it. other parasites however, not always so easy. coccidia mainly can be hard to detect b/c it's a microscopic parasite that doesn't always show symptoms right off the bat.
anytime you adopt from a shelter you will want to take that animal somewhere else for a vet check. many shelters provide a list of vets you can go to for that first check up and actually pay for it - though many shelters just "forget" to tell us they offer this. if you have recently adopted, call the shelter and ask them if they do this and if they can mail you the list. there is a limited amount of time you can cash in on the free vet visit though, so you will also want to ask them how many days you have left. if you adopted a puppy or kitten, shelters often will have them spayed/neutered for free, but you will have to take them back to the shelter for the procedure.
whether your shelter covers it or not, always take the animal to a vet within days of adopting them. if you have other animals of the same species, you may want to quarantine the new addition until then. this is b/c shelters carry so many animals and it can be a breeding ground for germs and parasites. whenever you visit a shelter, be sure to have antibacterial hand wash w/you and use it after touching each animal. many germs are spread b/c people fail to do this.

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Jan 19, 2010

I have never brought an adopted cat, stray, or even one from a friend home without bathing it. I don't want to take a chance of fleas being in my house. I also keep the animal seperate from any other pets until I have taken them to the vet. Ringworm is contagious and easily passed from one animal to the next, just as we can become infected. When I was a volunteer at a cageless animal rescue, I wore old clothes and sneakers which were used only for working there. Plus I never wore them into my house, I went straight to the basement and washed them all each time. I never wanted to take a chance of bringing something home to my pets. Ear mites are a big problem too. Very easily passed on with direct contact of an infected animal. The mites can also live off of the animal on bedding and such for a length of time. When handling litter boxes, cleaning cages etc. it helps to wear disposable gloves.

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L M.

Jan 22, 2010

I think it's healthy to have pets as kids seem to acquire strong immune systems (resistance to allergies, etc.). Wouldn't have it any other way. :-)

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