ToxoplasmosisCan I change my cats litter box?
Toxoplasmosis is a serious infection that is caused by a microscopic parasite. It can live inside the cells of humans and animals. The parasite is commonly found in cats and farm animals. Toxoplasmosis is very dangerous if contracted during pregnancy. It is most often contracted from a cats litter box. Because toxoplasmosis can be transmitted through the bloodstream, it can be passed from mother to baby. If a pregnant woman develops a toxoplasmosis infection, it is important that her doctor make a prompt treatment plan. Treating the mother will help decrease the severity of the illness, but it will not eliminate the transmission from mother th baby. With the exception of pregnant women passing the infection on to the fetus, toxoplasmosis does not normally spread from person to person. However, toxoplasmosis can contaminate blood transfusions and organs donated for transplantation. Congenital Toxoplasmosis
Congenital toxoplasmosis occurs when a pregnant woman passes the condition on to her developing child. There is a chance that a pregnant mother can pass the infection to her developing child if her infection remains untreated. Normally, babies who become infected during their mother's first trimester tend to have the most severe symptoms. Although not impossible, it is rare that a woman who got toxoplasmosis before getting pregnant will pass the infection on to her unborn baby. If you have the infection before becoming pregnant, you and your baby will have built up immunity to the infection. It is recommended that women wait to try to get pregnant until at least 6 months after a toxoplasmosis infection. Most children born with toxoplasmosis will have no symtoms early in infancy. Some children will have signs of the infection months or even years after birth. Other babies will show symtoms at birth or within the first month of their life. Sometimes the condition will cause premature labor or decreased birth weight. If your child has a fever, swollen glands, jaundice, an unusually large or small head, rash, bruises or bleeding under the skin, anemia, an enlarged liver or speel or vision problems, you should contact your child's doctor. These are all signs of toxoplasmosis. Some babies with congenital toxoplasmosis have brain and nervous system abnormalities that cause seizures, limp muscle tone, feeding difficulties, hearing loss and even mental retardation. Diagnosis
Doctors use laboratory tests to diagnose toxoplasmosis. Blood is checked for microscopic parasites. Spinal fluid, amniotic fluid, placenta, lymph nodes, bone marrow, and other body tissues can also be screened. Your doctor may also order blood tests to measure the level of antibodies produced to fight the parasites that cause toxoplasmosis. It is not uncommon for obstetricians to use ultrasound exams to help diagnose congenital toxoplasmosis. Prevention
- Wash your hands with soap and water after handling raw meat or unwashed vegetables. Wash your hands again before you eat.
- Wash and peel all fruits and vegetables before eating them.
- Freeze meat for a few days before cooking it.
- Thoroughly wash all cutting boards, utensils, and kitchen surfaces with hot soapy water after each use.
- Cook all meats completely-until the juices run clear and there are no pink areas
- During pregnancy, avoid cleaning your cat's litter box if possible. The litter box should be cleaned with hot water and soap or detergent. Anyone that changes a litter box should wash their hands after the change. If you must change the box yourself, wear gloves when you do it and wash hands thoroughly afterward.
- Because the soil can carry the infection, keep your cat inside at all times.
- If your child has a sandbox, keep it covered. This will prevent wandering cats from using it as a litter box.
- Never feed your cat raw meat.
- Stray cats may carry the infecton and you should avoid them
- Do not adopt or accept a new cat during your pregnancy
General and Household Tips
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- Gardening during pregnancy is fine, just wear gloves and wash your hands when you are finished.
- Bugs and flies eat cat feces and can spread the infection. Use window screens to try to keep your home bug-free. If eating outdoors, try to eliminate the amount of flies around the food you are eating.
- Drink bottled water if possible.
1000 days ago.
My daughter was diagnosed with Toxiplasmosis in my 36th week of pregnancy, I contract toxi in my 3rd trimester, which is the worst case scenario, I found it very difficult to find information on other people who have had toxi babies. My first thing to say is my baby is doing very well and is wonderful. If you want to get in touch with me please do. I am trying to update my profile it is taking sometime a baby can eat in to your time quiet significantly :)