World Leprosy Day Every year the last Sunday of January is observed internationally to raise public awareness of leprosy. This year the day will be celebrated on Tuesday, January 30, 2024. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness about it among the common people Diseasestigma and telling them that it is a treatable condition caused by a specific type of bacteria. Leprosy, sometimes called Hansen’s disease, is a persistent bacterial infection that can affect both humans and animals, including Pets. Cases of leprosy have been documented in chimpanzees, dogs, cats, armadillos, and other animals. However, they are unusual. Despite the low risk, conscientious pet owners should be aware of this disease and take the necessary precautions. (Also read: World Leprosy Day 2024: Date, History, Significance )
Tips to prevent leprosy in pets
Dr. Deepak Saraswat, Head Veterinarian, Zigly shared with HT Digital some essential safety measures for pet parents to keep their furry companions healthy, and free from leprosy.
1. Get your pet checked by a vet regularly.
Annual checkups allow animals to catch health problems early. Be sure to tell them about any new lumps, skin lesions, or nerve damage that could indicate leprosy. Catching it early makes treatment easier.
2. Make sure pets get all recommended vaccines.
Although there is no vaccine for leprosy yet, keeping your pet’s UTD on top of a basic vaccine such as rabies strengthens their immune system to fight infection. Talk to your doctor about specific biotargeted vaccines.
3. Keep pets away from raw meat diets
There is speculation that raw meat can cause leprosy in pets, especially wild game. Cook all meat thoroughly before feeding to pets.
4. Avoid contact with other potentially infected animals.
Supervise your pets outside and keep them on a leash. Do not allow contact with stray animals or species that may have leprosy.
5. Use pest control.
Control pests when necessary to prevent access to litter and other potential sources of contamination.
6. Control rodent problems.
Control rodent problems (rats, mice, or other animal pests), as rodents can carry and spread the bacteria that cause leptospirosis.
7. Limit access to standing water.
Prevent your pets from drinking from troughs or other water sources that may be contaminated with animal urine.
8. Practice good hygiene practices.
Practice frequent hand washing and maintain good overall hygiene to reduce the risk of infection.
Although there are still a few cases of leprosy in pets, responsible pet parents need to be aware of the symptoms, signs and modes of transmission. Taking these proactive steps supports the well-being and health of beloved pet family members! If you are concerned about infectious animal diseases or pet leprosy, consult your veterinarian.
World Leprosy Day