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Toxoplasmosis- important info for everyone

Discussion in 'Cats - all breeds / types' started by vene, Mar 25, 2005.

  1. vene

    vene New Member

    It has come to my attention that a much loved cat had to be put down probably due to severe symptoms of toxoplasmosis. This also affects everyone who is or might become pregnant or have cats that roam outdoors or live near barns as well as those who eat or handle meats.

    Toxoplasmosis is a microscopic parasitic infection that passes from animals to humans and cats which can cause congenital toxo, healthy but infected, and immuno suppressed toxo. You can find the parasites in the soil, uncooked or undercooked meats (most common form), cat feces from cats that go outdoors and hunt or eat infected soil and farm animals.

    Symptoms are flu like symptoms with swollen lymph glands for a month or so, damage to the eyes, brain, and other organs. In affected unborn babies, they can develop the same and have many medical complications.

    It is very RARE to catch toxo from handling indoor kitty litter. You are more likely to catch it from eating rare or raw meat or handling them. Use common sense. Wash hands frequently especially after handling litter boxes, gardening, working in the barns (infected cat and mice, and farm animal feces). If you have sandboxes in your yard, cover it when not in use. Scoop litter often since it takes 1-5 days for the oocytes to become infectious.

    Toxoplasmosis articles:



    A good friend of my husband became severely infected with toxo when she was a teenager. She was working with horses and acquired brain lesions. So everyone, please take care. Wear gloves to scoop litter if you have to. And again wash your hands very well. And if you are pregnant, congrats and make your hubby or other family members scoop litter! :mrgreen:
  2. halaroo

    halaroo New Member

    Thanks for the info Vene! I've always wondered what exactly it was, and now I know. Now, I just have to convince Kendrick that cleaning the cat litter isn't that bad....
  3. vene

    vene New Member

    Are you expecting or planning to Halaroo? :p It's not a bad idea to get him to scoop on a regular basis regardless. :mrgreen:
  4. halaroo

    halaroo New Member

    Not expecting right now, but it's something we've been talking about. He's finally graduating from university this spring so the money situation will greatly improve.

    He's never scooped a litter box in his life, so I expect I'll have trouble convincing him. It's not like I ever let it get that dirty either! Men... (aside from the few of you here, of course).
  5. sunset05

    sunset05 New Member

    Very interesting. Good information.
  6. vene

    vene New Member

    LOL's! You better get him started or how are you going to train him to change the babies' diapers? Seriously, it's absolutely crucial that you don't scoop litter before conception and especially during the 1st trimester when you do become pregnant as toxo is most lethal to the developing fetus when transmitted. All the doctors will tell your husband to scoop litter for 9 months when you are carrying. Have no fear. :mrgreen:
  7. nern

    nern New Member

    Thanks for the informative info. vene! :y_the_best:
  8. wildflower_131

    wildflower_131 New Member

    thanks for that useful info!!! I have also wondered what exactly toxo was.... :shock:
  9. Chessmind

    Chessmind New Member

    Thanks Vene. Although my wife is pregnant, I choose to scoop the litter box. Meaning, I'll be scooping for the rest of my life and not just 9 months. What a nice thought. :shock:
  10. charmedagain

    charmedagain New Member

    Great info vene.

    Yes pregnant women should never clean a litter box due to toxoplmosis as this can cause defects in the unborn baby and has also been reported as a reason for still births.

    Litter boxes should also be placed out of the way of small children as it can also cause children to go blind.

    So anyone planning on having children or who have already got children please take care.

    Again great info vene.

  11. vene

    vene New Member

    Oh man! How do I get my hubby to scoop foerever at my home? He'll scoop when he's home but when he works overnight, I'll do the scooping. Do you also cook and do other chores around the house Chessmind? :mrgreen:
  12. Chessmind

    Chessmind New Member

    Yes, Vene. I cook, do laundry, dishes, iron, vacuum, sweep, scrub toilets, mop floors, dust and so on.
  13. Mary_NH

    Mary_NH New Member

    this is why I had my 2nd son ROFL....not really but it did get me out of litterbox detail for some time. And I also managed to get out of cleaning the guinea pig cage. Not sure if that would have been a problem but as far I was concerned it could have been.

    Good info. Isn't there a bloodtest a cat can have to see if they might be carrying this for pregnant women who don't have someone willing to take over the chore?
  14. DeLaUK

    DeLaUK New Member

    Is this the same thing as with the sheep, I remember hearing years ago (in UK) that pregnant women shouldnt work with sheep as they can carry something that can make them miscarry or am I getting confused with something else?.
  15. vene

    vene New Member

    Mary, hope this helps:

    Taken from:

    :shock: :shock: :shock: Geez Chessmind. Looks like your wife got you trained too well. Lol's. My hubby is only half trained. He'll wash dishes, clean bathrooms, do laundry and general house repairs. I do everything else. :mrgreen:

    I have no idea but I will look it up and see if I find any info. I know that farm animals can carry toxoplasmosis as well. Here it is. Women working with sheep can catch chlamydia, listeriosis, and toxoplasmosis:

    Taken from:
  16. DeLaUK

    DeLaUK New Member

    Thanks vene, I remember back in the 70's I think of this big 'public awareness' thing about women working with sheep. I wasnt sure if it was the same thing.
  17. a'beckett

    a'beckett New Member

    Hi, recently had to put down my kitty due to a really bad case of systemic toxo.
    Because I am trying to get pregnant, I had a LOT of questions for the vet. He said that you have to have not been previously exposed to toxo (ie no antibodies), and be already pregnant when your cat is exposed. They only express the disease in their feces for the first weeks after exposure, and then the feces has to sit for 3-5 days before it is possible to transfer to a human. Then you need to have contact with either your mouth or an open wound. So while it is very important to be aware, it is also very rare.
    I do, however, heartily approve of husbands changing litter!

  18. Chessmind

    Chessmind New Member

    LOL. No, I've been a bachelor for a long time, so cleaning to me is not about men's or women's work. It's just work that needs to get done and I don't mind doing it. She does her share as well.

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