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Pets and Pregnancy - Is it safe being around pets during pregnancy?

If you are an animal lover, and you've just found out you are pregnant, you may be concerned about the presence of your pet. There are certain circumstances that can cause concern when it comes to keeping animals in the home - whether it's a cat, dog or bird, and it is expected the arrival of a new family member. Therefore here are some advices and answers to some of your concerns.

A dangerous parasite

In Europe, 50-80 per cent of people infected with the parasite, called Toxoplasmosis Gondi, a disease that can cause - is called Toxoplasmosis. All parasites that are transmitted from animals to humans (zoonosis), have their own life cycle, including Toxoplasmosis Gondi. It multiplies in the intestines of cats that ejected through feces, come into contact with the man and transmitted the infection.

From these diseases, otherwise, can get sick virtually all warm-blooded animals, including birds. In addition to cats, the source of infection is raw or inadequately cooked meat. The disease in adults may pass without symptoms, or in the form of colds. In case of pregnant women, the possibility of infection can be fruits to. If the infection occurs during the first trimester of pregnancy, then the consequences are most serious.

How do you behave when you have a cat and you are planning a pregnancy?

If your pet is cat, it is possible to transmit toxoplasmosis. This disease is a potentially great risk for your baby, with very serious consequences. Be sure to tell your doctor if you are planning a pregnancy and you have a cat in the house.

How is the infection transmitted?

The infection is transmitted via cat feces. In the courtyard there are cats with far greater possibility of being infected with toxoplasmosis. Otherwise, they become infected by raw meat or uncooked milk. Then in the intestines of cats, develops the parasite, and through feces he eject a large number of eggs, which are infectious to humans. In this way the infection can be transmitted to other animals.

Does previous contact with the infection can be harmful?

If a woman is immune to toxoplasmosis before pregnancy, then there is no risk to the baby. About 10-15 percent of women acquired immunity to toxoplasmosis (especially if you are a long time held the cat in the house), which means that were previously infected and have created antibodies against the parasite. Immunity is practically a lifetime. Otherwise, a good tip is that during pregnancy or shortly before it does not bring a new cat into the house.

Whether women can be infected with this parasite before pregnancy, and not knowing about the infection?

The acute phase of the infection runs as a virus or a form of flu, but so many people do not know that they had toxoplasmosis. If before planned pregnancy, is detected acute phase of the disease, then the parasite is treated with macrolide antibiotics such as Clarithromycin.

What is the risk for pregnancy if you get toxoplasmosis?

If the mother diagnosed with the disease between 10 and 24 weeks of gestation, then the risk of serious problems for the newborn is of five to six percent.

What are the most common effects of toxoplasmosis during pregnancy?

Unfortunately, they are extremely serious. Let's start from the easiest, such as small birth weight, premature birth, jaundice and fever, to severe, such as abnormalities of the retina of the eye, blindness, mental retardation, change in size of the head, convulsions and brain calcifications.

What is the risk of this infection in the third trimester of pregnancy?

In the last three months of pregnancy, the risk of infection is important. On the other hand, the risk of damage to the fetus is small, because all the organs have already been developed.

Where is the highest exposure of cat feces?

Usually it is in the garden, where a cat buries its droppings, or when you change its litter. Even the dust from its litter can contain the agents of the disease.

Which guidelines should be followed and what to take to pregnancy passed safely?

If you have a cat and you are planning a pregnancy, then it would be necessary to do immunologic tests to toxoplasmosis. Tests are made from a blood sample.

What protective measures should be taken?

If you are working in the garden, always wear protective gloves. Let someone else arranging cat's litter. When you have your baby, do not leave the cat alone with baby without your control!

What happens when you have a dog, and you're pregnant?

In general, keeping a dog does not represent a health risk for you and your baby's development throughout pregnancy. It can be annoying if you have a large dog, and when he is playing, can jump on your stomach while sitting or lying down. If there is such a habit, start by teaching him to not do this again, before become pregnant, or from the beginning of your pregnancy.

Is there a risk of pregnancy if a pet bird?

Birds can be infected with chlamydia, parasites, viruses and some bacteria. If the bird is healthy, which means the veterinarian performed all the tests, then you can be carefree. If anything you do with a bird or a cage, wash your hands with soap and warm water. It would be best to let someone else clean the cage.