FAQ - Toxoplasmosis, Animal
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want to get pregnant but fear toxoplasmosis?

I work in an animal shelter with cats and I've only been there since August of 2008, therefore I handle alot of litter boxes. I would like to try to conceive around this time next year, but I'm so afraid of contracting toxoplasmosis. If I quit like a month or two before trying to conceive, will that be enough time to clear my system of the all the dust from the litter boxes that I inhale everyday and would a mask really be efficient for protection?

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pregnancy and toxoplasmosis in indoor cats?


I've heard about pregnant women not handling cat's litter box during pregnancy and it has something to do with toxoplasmosis.

From what I understand, cats get infected if they hunt outside and eat infected animals.

My question is, i have 2 cats that are strictly indoor. We never let them out (the used to be able to go out and hunt before we got them but that was 2 years ago.)

Is it safe for me (when im pregnant) to handle the litter box? Or gloves really do help like they say?

Thanks in advance!

I called my Dr on this one and she told me NO NO NO.

Having indoor cats is fine but changing the litter box is a no no!

Please don't change the litter box, think of it this way for a whole 9 months someone else gets to do that chore :)  (+ info)

Can Toxoplasmosis make you sick more than once?

I had Toxoplasmosis about 8m to 1 year ago from working in an animal hospital. I was sick from it. I was told it wouldn't bother me again but now I am feeling the same again after running myself down. Is it possible to come back, like flare ups? I have a normal immune system. Thanks
I have been a vet tech for 9 years, and I continue to work hands on.I know that I have not been infected until 8m-1y ago because I had my titers checked at a prenatal visit 1 year before that and they were neative. I visited my infectious dz doc today and they are rechecking my Toxo igG and igM and other labs again. I feel the exact same way I did when I was sick before. Joint pain, swollen painful lymphnodes, headache, fever, sweating and chills to name a few. I have been checked for some many zoonotic dz, I know I don't have those. I guess we will see, thanks foor your input!!!

If you have a normal immune system, getting toxo again would be a rarity worthy of medical journal publication. Stuff like that just isn't supposed to happen!

People develop pretty good immune responses to T. gondii. In fact, to have it with a normal immune system at all is pretty unusual. But its symptoms can mimic other illnesses. The best way to determine whether you really are sick again is to have them do a serological test (blood specimen) and see whether your IgM is high. If it is, yeah, it's likely to be acute infection. Otherwise, it's probably something else. Are you still working at the animal hospital?  (+ info)

What are the risks of getting toxoplasmosis?

I'm am 14 1/2 weeks pregnant. A week ago my partner and I adopted two 8 week old kittens from the human society. I never clean the litter box, but the kittens are near me all the time. I pet them and play with them all the time. They sleep with me at night. I have quite a few scratches from them, too. I just wanted to know if being around the kittens constantly could put me at risk for contracting toxoplasmosis? Is just staying away from the litter box enough? Thanks.

No you can't get toxoplasmosis from the kittens themselves. Its only the cat poop you have to be worried about, and even then its rare as only outdoor cats who hunt mice & birds have a chance of carrying the bacteria. You are more likely to get toxoplasmosis from eating produce that hasn't been washed properly or gardening!  (+ info)

What does toxoplasmosis actually 'do' to the unborn baby?

I have a friend that is 8 months pregnant and cleans her own cat litter with no gloves or anything. She says because her cats are TOTALLY indoors and don't get raw meat and rarely get scraps of any kind that is fine. (apparantely toxoplasmosis is found in raw meats that transfers to the fecus). What does this actually do to the baby?

I'm not sure, but if she has had cats for most of her life, she probably has already been exposed to toxoplasmosis, and has the antibodies.
This is what my Dr. told me  (+ info)

How do i avoid getting toxoplasmosis from my kitten?

I'm a little over 20 weeks pregnant and i know the negative effects of toxoplasmosis that come from my kittens feces and can get on me while i'm changing her litter. Is there anything i can do other than wash my hands constantly to prevent this? And will washing my hands all the time really help?
i also just bought "litter liners" which is just like a trash bags for the litter box. i just grab the bag and tie it shut. will that help?

Your best bet is to just have someone else do it. If that's not possible then you may want to consider getting a litter pan that cleans it self. You can also try wearing latex gloves and a face mask to prevent you from breathing it in.  (+ info)

Can I get toxoplasmosis from a newborn kitten?

I am pregnant and taking care of a newborn kitten right now. I think it's mother was killed. The kitten still has it's eyes shut. I have to wipe it's bottom to get it to pee and poop. I do this with a wet cotton ball, then dispose of everything and wash my hands afterwards. Am I at risk for toxoplasmosis?

A kitten can have the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii because it is transmitted from mother to fetus.

I would wear gloves and wash hands thoroughly after handling the kitten.  (+ info)

Toxoplasmosis - Pregnant and wondering just how easy it is to catch it from my cat?

I don't go anywhere near the litter box, but I do play with my cat and hold her. Today she was in my lap and she hopped off to catch something and scratched my belly while doing so. I know I'm probably being paranoid, but is there any chance I can get toxoplasmosis from a cat scratch???

it doesnt actually come fromt he cat itself it comes form their poop! i have 3 cats and have done during all my pregnancies and i cleared the litter trays! i changed them with rubber gloves on and washed my hand thoroughly afterwards! it is quite rare and it can also be caught from eating unwashed fruit and veg! you wont get it from a cat scratch you'll be fine!!!

mum to 3 yr old, 2 yr old & 14 week old!  (+ info)

How important is animal life to you?

Nice Guy Wrote in a previous question: “Matt has basically stated that animals are equally important as humans. I'm sorry, but no animals life has as much importance or relevance as that of a human. For one to think that an animals life is just as important as his own is absurd. Can anyone possibly believe that the life of a pig, cow, or chicken can even compare to the life of a human being?”

How do you feel about this? Does an animal's interest in living have any weight in our deciding how we treat said animal? How is an animal's interest in continued existence qualitatively any different than our own?

I'm not trying to give Nice Guy a hard time, I just think this is something that should be discussed, and his answer provides a good starting point.
We have some real deep thinkers responding so far.
Beebs' Answer sort of misses the point of this question. But to the point it does adress I could not agree more.
What I would like people to ponder is that animals have the same interest in their continued existence that you do yours. We have no morally relevant reason to respect a human's interest in continued life wile denying to afford animals the same consideration.
@ Niceguy, I wrote you a responce but it is too long to fit here. You can find it here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/veggiefacts/message/58

Take care

@ Nice guy: I’m fairly disappointed in your last post. If you want to debate these issues then lets go. If not, then don’t pretend to engage in one and then back out mid discussion. You say “I believe my goal of simply reducing animal suffering to a minimum, is simply more realistic than that of abolishing it.” And I give you plenty of reasons (and there are plenty more) as to why that will never happen, which you make no attempt to address. You also say, “And though veganism can perhaps make a very small difference, I don't think it can, will, or ever has lead to any significant noticeable change.” I find this a very curious statement to make seeing as the term “Vegan” has only been around for about seventy years, and the theory of abolition has only been with us for thirty years. Animal welfare on the other hand has been around for at least two hundred years, or if you consider India then around 2000 would be more accurate...
I fail to see your historical basis for making the claim that Veganism and abolition cannot create change, it has not had the chance to. Finally, a Vegan diet (or very near Vegan diet) can work for everyone. Read the China Study. Also who are these “credible sources” that claim to be against a Vegan diet? Name names, I’m sure it would be interesting to see just how credible they really are.
First, in response to your comments regarding the health of Vegans, I used “very near vegan diet” in parentheses after the words “Vegan diet” The near Vegan diet was referring to Dr. Dean Ornish’s early work in reversing heart disease. The “Vegan diet” which appeared out of parentheses referenced all other works by prominent scientists such as, Dr. T Colin Campbell, and Dr. Neal Barnard. Even the American Dietetic Association agrees that a Vegan diet is completely healthy by saying, “Well-planned vegan and other types of vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including during pregnancy, lactation, infancy,
childhood and adolescence.”
Second, with regard to your “intuition” about the animal rights movement, I guess we are just expected to take your opinion because you do not “foresee” a radical change in people’s diet? I think you were right, we are done here in regards to Animal Rights Vs. Animal Welfare.
. You obviously are ignorant to even the most basic augments from each side, let alone the state of the movement and the struggle that is taking place for the grass-roots sections of the movement to beat back the corporate welfare groups that have done nothing but retard growth. In sum, your information about the healthfulness of Veganism is outdated at best, misinformed at worst, and your “intuition” about the possibilities and direction of the Animal Rights movement is just plain wrong.

I recently saw pictures of a Hurricane Katrina animal rescue. I saw houses that were destroyed, and next to the house, would be a dog, tied to a steak.... It made me SICK. Thinking of it now brings up so much anger in me. What kind of depraved person would do that. It was not as though there were seconds left, and they were going to be beamed out by Scottie in immediately. There was a long, slow evacuation process, and they left those animals to slowly die.

If your house is burning down, you try to save your animals. I will say though, that you save your children first. But you bring an animal into your house and under your protection, you better care for it.

I once had to do a report on the Psychology of Slavery for an African American Lit class. One thing I noticed through my reading was that slaves verbally lost their human status. They were often called animals. I decided to do an extensive survey about this, but the only group we verbally do such a thing to today is actual animals. We call one “pet” so we know to love them. The other we call “animal” so we can distinguish not to care about them and believe we have a right to torture and kill them. After the animal is killed, we call it “meat” so we never have to make any mental correlation.

My search was to find where we draw the line as we have done this to groups of people over and over again throughout history. I am just saying the same mental process people used to go through the African American Holocaust is the same mental process we use to make animal slaughtering ok today. It is something we click on and off, and the words we use to describe a being have a lot do to with it.

I had many categories in my survey, which I gave to the students in all my classes.
One section was “Animals.” I had questions such as:
“Would you eat a cow?”, “IF you were starving, would you kill a cow to eat?”
… eat a dog, starving, kill a dog, kill your OWN dog
I even went on to compare animals to people.

I found that many people, in a hypothetical world, would kill a human stranger before killing their own dog... and yet, would eat a dog if they needed food. Familiarity and how much we are willing to know about an animal has a great deal to do with things.

Another tool we use is how to condone such behavior is understanding. Understanding does not mean language, but culture. If we had not yet discovered the other hemisphere (I’m in the U.S.) and we set on a voyage to France. We would not be able to understand the language, but the culture would be similar enough to our own that we would consider them *like us* aka, civilized society.

If we went to a place where people lived of the land, half naked or naked, in small tribes (and we had not been exposed to this before) we would label them as *not like us,* uncivilized and animal like. This is historically accurate, so you know it is true.

We grow up with dogs. We can tell they understand us; culturally, we have come to understand when they are happy and sad; we have come to know they feel pain, and we feel for that pain. We know no such things of cows.

If human culture had made different choices in history and randomly decided to have cows or pigs living in their homes, and decided to eat dogs/wolves, then we would be giving our pet pigs presents on Christmas and have cats and dogs in factory farming without every questioning.

I am sorry I got so very very off track, I have just put a lot of thought into the value we place on life and its relationship to language and culture.

To answer your question, I believe life is important, and no living creature deserves to suffer needlessly. Yes, an antelope is going to suffer when a lioness or what have you kills it, but that death needed to happen. However, as a human, I suppose I do consider human life more important. If I was in a hypothetical situation where someone was going to kill me or kill my cat, I would choose my cat (sorry Simone!) But if it was kill me or kill my nephew, I would choose me. The optimal situation is of course that I save me, my cat and my nephew, but that’s not what hypotheticals are all about.

If the situation was torture however, I would have a difficult time condoning the torture of another at all.

What all this means on the grand scheme of things? I have no friggen clue. You wanted discussion, so I rambled my behind off like I have never rambled my behind off before.
Just email me if you want me to take this long rant off your question.


EDIT: Yes, I believe animals have the same interests in continuing to exist that I do. I believe they don't want to be tortured, and they don't want to die. (Who would?) I believe they protect their young; I believe they mourn; I believe they fear; I believe they suffer, and I believe they want.  (+ info)

What animal products are in which types of makeup?

I know that collagen is derived from boiled animal tendons and bones, and that it is used in lipstick. But I need to know what other animal products are used in what kinds of makeup.

^There's alot of animal ingredients used for makeup in there as well as alternatives to those ingredients. You can also google it to find more sites that would contain the information that you are looking for. :)  (+ info)

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