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Toxoplasmosis

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
For most of my life I've been surrounded by cats and this recent article (http://www.rense.com/general3/catbox.htm) has peaked my concern with this 'cat box disease', which this article claims can cause schizophrenia, lowered iq, and an alternated personality. Are these claims true? What are the actual dangers of this disease and how am I at risk? I'm really thinking about giving up my cat to a relative if these facts are true.
post #2 of 12
there are several ways to get it. Its not just from cats.
you can get it from meat, from water

If i remember right, if cat has it, it will be in the cat feces.
SO no eating cat feces, wear gloves when changing the cat box and you chance of getting are next to 0

but you want you can look it up on the web http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dpd/parasi...oplasmosis.htm

so from the CDC
Accidentally swallowing cat feces from a Toxoplasma-infected cat that is shedding the organism in its feces. This might happen if you were to accidentally touch your hands to your mouth after gardening, cleaning a cat's litter box, or touching anything that has come into contact with cat feces.

Eating contaminated raw or partly cooked meat, especially pork, lamb, or venison; by touching your hands to your mouth after handling undercooked meat.
Contaminating food with knives, utensils, cutting boards and other foods that have had contact with raw meat.
Drinking water contaminated with Toxoplasma.
Receiving an infected organ transplant or blood transfusion, though this is rare.
post #3 of 12


Are you pregnant?

When I was pregnant, Husband took over litter box duty, but when he traveled, I wore a mask and gloves, and washed up afterwards, just to be really safe. No way would we get rid of our cats.
post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmaskell View Post
Are these claims true? What are the actual dangers of this disease and how am I at risk? I'm really thinking about giving up my cat to a relative if these facts are true.
I see similar questions like this on a reptile forum all the time "OMG! Does my gecko have salmonella" same response every time is "yes, don't put the gecko in your mouth, wash your hands, etc".

Same holds true for this, wash your hands, don't eat the litter...., don't eat anything that's came in contact with the litter (some people do not follow this rule ). If you're pregnant, make someone else clean the litter box.

Toxoplasmosis, unfortunately is also in the soil and in some areas there have been water supplies contaminated with it. So getting rid of your cats won't "safe guard" you in anyway.
A sidenote: Do not throw used litter in a garden that you will be eating veggies or fruit from.

I've had cats all my life, I was even responsible for changing the litter boxes at 6 years old , and have kept reptiles for several years. I can honestly say, none of my pets have ever made me sick.
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmaskell View Post
For most of my life I've been surrounded by cats
that sentence right there shows that you already have been exposed to it and probably have gotten sick from it with mild flu symptoms and probably didn't even know it. A healthy person's immune system usually keeps the parasite from causing illness.

you can also be exposed to it if you garden. as for your own cats there is no worry, if they have anything, ever, then you have already been exposed and are immune basically. It is more of a concern if you take in stray cats like I do or pet them often, or you know, if you occationally sample a taste of the litter! oh and cats who have it are only shedding it for like a 2 week period and that's it.

Here's the ways to get it:
* Accidentally swallowing cat feces from a Toxoplasma-infected cat that is shedding the organism in its feces. This might happen if you were to accidentally touch your hands to your mouth after gardening, cleaning a cat's litter box, or touching anything that has come into contact with cat feces. Eating contaminated raw or partly cooked meat, especially pork, lamb, or venison; by touching your hands to your mouth after handling undercooked meat.
* Contaminating food with knives, utensils, cutting boards and other foods that have had contact with raw meat.
* Drinking water contaminated with Toxoplasma.
* Receiving an infected organ transplant or blood transfusion, though this is rare.
post #6 of 12
oh if you are really freaking out you can go to your doctor and have him test you for Toxoplasma. If it tests positive you have been exposed to it, so then you have no chance of passing it to your baby. If not then you just take the precautions.
post #7 of 12
Awww so no more eating cat poo?

DH has taken over litter box duties now I'm pregnant, and I get in trouble when I go near it, but I still "stealth scoop" if they do a stinky one when he's not home

I think the rest os so incredibly low. Has anyone EVER heard of ANYONE getting toxoplasmosis while pregnant????
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahp View Post
I think the rest os so incredibly low. Has anyone EVER heard of ANYONE getting toxoplasmosis while pregnant????
Only on the news. is the only place i know of.
post #9 of 12
i have never even heard of it on the news! I just hear people freak out and get rid of their pets when they are pregnant without knowing the facts. The risk is very very slim to none ESPECIALLY if you have had cats all your life.
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen View Post
oh if you are really freaking out you can go to your doctor and have him test you for Toxoplasma. If it tests positive you have been exposed to it, so then you have no chance of passing it to your baby. If not then you just take the precautions.
I'd forgotten about that! I tested negative, and our cats were indoor, so I wasn't worried. I took the precautions anyway, since our cats weren't tested. My OB/GYN added the test when I was having a blood drawn for something else anyway.
post #11 of 12
I remember when I got pregnant some "well-meaning" folks warned me about this and that I would have to get rid of my beloved Siamese cat, Susie. I asked my doctor about it and his comment was, "I wish people would keep their opinions to themselves and stop scaring pregnant women". He told me that if I've had my cat all these years (at that time I had had her for 10 years) that my body had already built up any immunities it needed and that my immunities are passed through my system to my fetus.

My hubby did do the litter scooping while I was pregnant just for insurance, but don't get all panic stricken - good common sense usually works wonders, i.e., washing hands well.
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmaskell View Post
For most of my life I've been surrounded by cats and this recent article (http://www.rense.com/general3/catbox.htm) has peaked my concern with this 'cat box disease', which this article claims can cause schizophrenia, lowered iq, and an alternated personality. Are these claims true? What are the actual dangers of this disease and how am I at risk? I'm really thinking about giving up my cat to a relative if these facts are true.
No reason to give away your babies. The only thing that you've been infected with is with knowledge that you don't understand.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxoplasmosis

You're more than likely surrounded by it in your daily life and don't even know it.

You can acquire it from uncooked meat, improper hand washing, leaving tampons in too long, and from ingesting cat feces (which I don't think many of us do..at least not on purpose)

Washing your hands is the best defense against getting sick with viruses, bacteria and parasites. Lots of soap and warm water and scrub up to your wrists. Long nails are terrible for harboring bacteria under them, so keep your nails short if you are concerned about becoming sick.

Wear gloves when cleaning toilets, changing cat litter (I don't), and wash your hands afterwards.

No reason to give up your cats, even if you are pregnant and have cats. Either have someone else do the cat litter duty while you are pregnant, or do it yourself but wear gloves and put on a medical mask or hold your breath.

I'm a nurse and in the 11 years that I've been one, I've never encountered a patient with Toxoplasmosis.
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