RENO, NV - Pets are great companions, but like any animal, they can carry diseases that could spread to you or your family. They're called zoonotic diseases, and while most of them aren't fatal they could cause serious health problems if left untreated. Some examples are: intestinal parasites, rabies (spread through blood or saliva) and ringworm (contracted from skin to skin contact).
You can often stop the problem from ever starting by keeping your animals up to date on their vaccinations and making sure they aren't eating any raw or undercooked meat. The best way to prevent these kinds of diseases from being passed on to you by your pets is proper hygiene and cleanliness. That means washing your hands frequently and making sure your kids keep their hands away from their mouths after being around your pets. You should also clean all pet areas as much as possible and keep your domestic cats away from feral cats.
If you'd like to learn more about how to identify some of these diseases and ways to prevent them, the SPCA of northern Nevada is hosting a free class Wednesday at 5:30 pm. They are located at 4950 Spectrum Boulevard in north Reno. To reserve a spot, call 324-7773.