Twice in the past year I’ve written about diseases that people can pick up from their household animals. They remain my highest-traffic posts (here and here) and also my most contentious. So knowing that readers respond to that topic, this recent paper caught my eye. It’s another account of what you can, possibly, catch from your pet — but for any pet owner (which includes me), it’s terribly sad.
The most numerous and passionate comments I’ve ever gotten here were responses — OK, vituperation and denunciations — to a post describing how a Pacific Northwest family caught plague from their dogs’ fleas.
So I’ll be over in the corner donning a flame-resistant bio-suit — because it turns out that, when it comes to pets on the bed, plague is not the only health risk. It’s one of many, along with hookworm, roundworm, MRSA, rabies, Chagas disease, Pasteurella, cat scratch fever, Capnocytophaga, Cryptosporidium and Cheyletiella. Oh, and bites.