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Should your pet sleep in your bed?

01-04-2012

Most people own pets because they love animals and often that translates into letting your cat or dog snuggle up with you at night in bed. While many doctors and psychologists propound the benefits of pet ownership for our mental and physical health, recent findings suggest that there is a limit to their health benefits and that letting your pet sleep in your bed could increase your chances of contracting everything from parasites through to the plague.

This may sound extreme, and as with all these scientific findings, it should not be taken too seriously. The findings suggest that in fact it is most dangerous for young children, whose immune systems are still developing, and the immunecompromised.

Sleeping with your pet brings you into closer proximity with your pet and creates and situation where certain parasites and diseases can be passed on. One of the most common issues comes from the cat scratch disease, which is a bacterial infection caused by Bartonella henselae. This infection, passed on from flea to cat to human, can cause severe swelling of the lymph nodes and even in rare cases lethal damage to the liver, kidney and spleen. As well as cat scratch disease, people have caught meningitis, MRSA and even the plague from their pets.

While sleeping with your pets is not exactly the most dangerous thing you can do, it is important to be aware that there are a number of risks involved.


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