Check Up : Is the dog making her sick?
Karin has been experiencing many colds and rashes ever since her boyfriend gave her a small dog for her birthday last November.
Karin has a bad feeling that "it's the dog!" and asks Check Up if this is so, can anything be done?
Many people like the idea of keeping small pets like toy dogs and cats inside the house, and will even sleep with them in their bedrooms and beds.
The problem is that these pets also spend time outdoors getting up to the regular habits which these species participate in, for instance, sniffing and playing with other dogs, eating food from the garbage, and killing small rodents.
Any small dog or cat owner who intends to keep their pet inside the house must keep them clean and ensure that at all times they are kept up to date on all their shots.
Sleeping with pets and hugging and kissing them can at times cause transmission of diseases from the animal to the pet owner, although this does not commonly occur.
The elderly, diabetics, HIV-positive individuals and other immune-compromised persons are at the greatest risk of contracting illness from their pets.
Wellness exams, parasite control, vaccinations and routine dental care for these favoured pets should be a regular part of their care.
Also, wash hands with soap and water before handling food and after dealing with pet faeces!
Wash all scratches from pets immediately and keep them from drinking from toilet bowls! Keep outdoor areas free of faeces and litter boxes clean.
It is suggested that people should wash parts of their body which have been licked by their pets, and keep pets from licking them on the mouth!
Many individuals also have an allergic reaction to pet fur, feathers, and animal dander. Those persons tend to sneeze or wheeze after playing with their pets.
Other symptoms of pet allergy include red, itchy eyes and a stuffy, runny nose.
Some people with dog allergies also have skin reactions and can develop a rash where their pet licks them or develop hives on their face and chest.
Antihistamine medication and other anti-allergy steroidal nose drops and mast cell stabilisers can be taken to control symptoms.
But if symptoms persist or are really bad, the pet may need to be restricted to outside yard space. If this doesn't work, the owner may need to find the pet a new home.