Sleeping with your pet can make you sick

Cat-scratch disease can come from being licked by infected felines and can cause lethal damage to the liver and kidney.

Of the 250 known diseases transmitted from animals to humans, more than 100 of them come from domestic animals.

“In many countries, pets have become substitutes for childbearing and child care, sometimes leading to excessive pet care,” said Bruno Chomel, professor of veterinary science at the University of California, the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases reports.

“There are private places in the household, and pets should not go beyond next to the bed. Having a stuffed animal in your bed is fine, not a real one,” he said, according to the Daily Mail.

Among the more serious medical problems animal lovers risk are chagas disease which can cause life-threatening heart and digestive system disorders.

Cat-scratch disease is another problem. It can come from being licked by infected felines, and can cause lethal damage to the liver, kidney or spleen.

A nine-year-old boy from Arizona even caught the plague because he slept with his flea-infested cat, according to the report.

And a 48-year-old man and his wife repeatedly contracted antibiotic-resistant MRSA from their dog because it routinely slept in their bed and frequently licked their faces, the researchers said.

Prof Chomel and co-author Ben Sun, chief veterinarian at California’s health department, cited surveys from Britain, the US, France and Holland.

Their study also found several cases of infections transmitted through planting a kiss on a pet.

Among dog owners, 53 per cent considered their pet to be a member of the family, while 56 per cent of them admitted they sleep with their dog next to them.

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