Dogs At Risk Of Catching Chlamydia From Dead Birds Or Bird Poo
Dogs are at risk of catching chlamydia if they have been in contact with bird poo or bird carcasses, an expert has warned.
The disease is transmitted sexually between humans but can also be caught by pets. The disease is easily treatable if discovered but can develop into more serious illnesses if left unchecked. It can have particularly unpleasant symptoms in dogs' eyes and respiratory tracts.
Simply put, it is worth keeping your dog away from bird faeces and dead birds. That's a pretty good rule to follow anyway, to be honest.
Iain Booth, the managing director of Vet UK (and a veterinary surgeon to boot), has offered some advice to dog owners for what to avoid and what symptoms to look out for in their pets.
He told the Telegraph and Argus: "In dogs it's likely to manifest itself in the eyes, but can affect their respiratory tract too and make them pant more.
"They can also become lethargic."
He continued: "If your dog's eyes are watering or red and they're producing certain amounts of discharge, they may be infected.
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"If they're scratching or pawing at their eyes or they're panting for more air, it could be because they've come into contact with the bacteria."
"This bacteria is called chlamydia psittaci or psittacosis which can infect them when they come into contact with bird poo. Many birds carry it.
"One potential hazard of contact is when your dog is out running in fields heavily populated with birds, putting them at a higher risk."
However, there isn't too much to be worried about. Even though it is a possibility, cases like the ones described above are 'extremely rare' according to Booth. He also pointed out that you can't catch chlamydia from your dog, in case you were worried about that.
If you think that your dog has contracted something, or they are exhibiting any of the symptoms entailed above, don't worry.
The treatment for dogs is pretty straightforward, they'll just need to complete a course of oral medicine. As mentioned before, the important thing for all dog owners to remember is that if the illness is caught early, it can be stopped and treated.
Also, keep your dog away from dead birds and bird poo. That's just a piece of good advice, regardless of any nasty stuff that they could pick up.
Nobody wants to wash dead pigeon of their pet, after all.
Featured Image Credit: PA