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Toxoplasmosis And Pregnancy-How To Keep Your Cat, You And Your Baby Safe From Infection

Author : Kate Rieger

Toxoplasmosis and pregnancy is one of the leading reasons why people get rid of their cat. Working for an animal shelter one of the most frustrating times is when an expectant mother or father drop of their family cat because they are expecting a newborn baby. They fear that having a cat exposes the unborn baby to toxoplasmosis.

What is Toxoplasmosis?

This is a fairly common disease that can be shared between humans and animals. Roughly 30-40 of adult humans and cats have antibodies indicating that they were exposed to the organism that causes toxoplasmosis. The disease, Toxoplasma gondii(T. gondii) is a parasite the can only reproduce in one host - cats.

The most common way your cat can become infected with T. gondii is by eating a bird or rodent that has the cysts in it's body tissue. Once you cat eats an infected critter they begin to reproduce in the lining of your cat's intestines or stomach. The cells produce two reactions in you cat.

The immune system fires up and blocks off some of the cysts in your cat's muscles and nerve tissue. Eventually this helps your cat develop and immunity to the disease. The other reaction is that non-infections oocysts are eliminated in your cat's feces.

While your cat is building up his immunity those oocysts are piling up in the litter box, garden or you kid's sand box. In about 5 days those oocysts sporulate and become infectious. These oocysts can survive in the environment for months or even years.

How You Become Infected

Scientists believe the way cats and humans get this disease when they eat the tissue cysts embedded in undercooked meat. You cat may eat a chipmunk or bird, but you may get it eating undercooked pork or lamb. T. gondii can infect any warm-blooded animal.

There is another way you can become infected. A person can come in contact with old feces. Remember, it takes 5 days for the oocysts to sporulate and become infectious. Where do you find old cat poop?

You can find it in your litter box if you don't clean it daily. You can also find it in your garden and kids sandbox. You or your kids go digging around in this and you may unknowingly touch your mouth becoming infected. The only way you, your fetus, or your family can become infected is to ingest a Toxoplasma gondii sporulated oocysts.

Tips to a Healthy Pregnancy and Keep Your Cat Too

1. Wear gloves when you handle raw meat. Thoroughly was your hands and the surfaces the raw meat touched. 2. Wear gloves when gardening and wash your hands afterwards 3. Seriously consider getting rid of the backyard sandbox 4. Wash fresh produce 5. Don't drink raw goat's milk 6. Clean you litter box daily 7. If your are in charge of cleaning the litter box, wear gloves and wash you hands afterward

Now you know that you don't have to get rid of the cat if you become pregnant! Just use good common sense and wash your hands frequently. It's not rocket science but it helps you and your family avoid all kinds of infections, not just to be pregnant and prevent toxoplasmosis.

Author's Resource Box

Look for natural pet supplements to boost immunity, reduce vet bills and promote better pet health. Find more free tips to start protecting your best 4-legged friend today at .

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Tags:   pregnancy and toxoplasmosis

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Submitted : 2010-12-13    Word Count : 1    Times Viewed: 307