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Urgent, sick cat can get baby sick???

May 24th, 2005, 11:51 PM
I mentioned to a friend that my cats have the runs and so does my baby and she suggested that maybe my son got ill FROM the cats. Is this possible? Should I mention the sick cats to the baby's doc and the sick baby to the cats doc? I am seeing them both tomorrow but now I am worried and just want to know if this is even possible. Thanks!

May 25th, 2005, 02:44 AM
I say yes, may as well cover all your bases. Good luck. :grouphug:

May 25th, 2005, 04:38 AM
Id say its possibly tho might be unlikely unless the bay was playing in or near the cats feces.

does the baby have diarreah??

diarreah in babies should usually seen by a doctor pronto anyhow.

my son got sick once and was dehydrated in a matter of a day and a half.
try to get him to take some pedialyte untill he sees the doctor if hes got dirreah.

with babies if there is ever an inkling of doubt get him seen right away

good luck keep us updated


May 25th, 2005, 07:33 AM
Well, I'd have to argue the opposite. I thought that most viri are species specific (I realize there is the mad cow thingy and avian flu) but for the most part when you get a cold, your cat/dog doesn't.

May 25th, 2005, 08:01 AM
Well, I'd have to argue the opposite. I thought that most viri are species specific (I realize there is the mad cow thingy and avian flu) but for the most part when you get a cold, your cat/dog doesn't.

Actually there are illnesses that are transferable to humans from pets. These are known as zoonotic diseases.

As stated before, babies with diarrhea should be seen be a doctor as they can be dehydrated quite quickly.

I would take the baby to the doctor and the cats to the vet. You are better safe than sorry.

May 25th, 2005, 10:25 AM
Could be salmonella problems....that is transferable between animals and humans...

May 25th, 2005, 10:40 AM
Good info, and I agree you should get both checked out.

May 25th, 2005, 10:45 AM
I am a pediatrician and (but not an infectious disease expert!) as far as I know, the answer is YES! There are certain diseases that are transferable - cat scratch fever for one but also salmonella and barontella and other infectious illnesses. I would bring your baby to an ER if I were you or call your pediatrician right away just to be safe - and that would be a good idea even if it is an illness the baby may have picked up not so much from the cat but from the cat as a carrier of something from outside.

May 25th, 2005, 11:14 AM
sorry if this is a sort of hijack, but it seems we are sort of on topic.

My question is for Cyberkitten, I believe another dangerous virus would also be I believe that being a cat owner for the past seven years I am probably immune to this myself, but don't want to make assumptions on behalf of the kids, just because I carried then during gestation etc. How is this virus transmitted? I have a kitty that loves eating baby food and if I even THINK she might have gotten to it if I left it unattented on the counter, for example, I throw it out.

Am I being wasteful for nothing? Are there perhaps other germs that I should be mindful of, transmitted from kitty to toddler? I have one of those cats that behaves like a dog and thinks nothing of sharing a cookie with the kids!!

sorry for the length of this, probably should have pmed ya, but maybe other mommies would find this useful.... :o

May 25th, 2005, 11:19 AM
good question twin, my cats always like to lick teh baby bottles, and sometimes get a lick in before I take it away, same with the sippys


May 25th, 2005, 11:27 AM
Well obviously I am not CyberKitten, but I have done research on this topic recently for my pregnant friend.

Toxoplasmosis is an infectious disease that can be caused by contact with a microscopic parasitic organism called Toxoplasma gondii. This parasitic infection, found worldwide, can be either acquired or be present at birth (congenital). The congenital type is a result of a maternal infection during pregnancy that is transmitted to the fetus and involves lesions of the central nervous system. These lesions may lead to blindness, brain defects and more serious conditions. The disorder may be most severe when it is transmitted to the fetus during the second through sixth month of pregnancy. Twenty to 80 percent of those affected will show the presence of toxoplasmosis antibodies when tested.

A person may become infected with the parasite by eating food such as undercooked meat from an infected animal or by handling an infected cat or its stool (feces).

The test for toxoplasmosis detects antibodies to the parasite in a sample of blood. The toxoplasmosis antibodies usually form within 2 weeks of infection and persist for life. The amount and type of antibodies in a blood sample may indicate whether a person was infected recently or in the past.

The info between the ****'s was taken from provides great inforamtion on a lot of different diseases and conditions. it's never to be used as a tool to diagnose yourself.

Now for my own info, I don't beleive that you can ever be immune to Toxoplasmosis, I have never seen anything about someone being immune, i may be incorrect.

May 25th, 2005, 11:30 AM
yes you can be immune, when I was pregnant my doctor tested me and told me that I am immune, wich is probably because ive had cats literally since the day I was born.


May 25th, 2005, 11:38 AM
When CyberKitten responds - can you post a good website for Toxoplasmosis, anything showing that you can be immune?

I beleive you Eleni, I'd just like to know what makes ppl immune to the disease.

May 25th, 2005, 11:52 AM
I beleive you Eleni, I'd just like to know what makes ppl immune to the disease

I'm not 100% sure, but I believe if you have had cats for x ammount of time, just being exposed to them will eventually expose you to the virus. Being a healthy person, without a compromised immune system,(or an immune system as that of a baby) you can be exposed to the virus and then produce the antegens, therefore you won't get sick, and become somewhat immune. I believe if your health changes drasticly, tho, this can change.(Chemo and aids patients this is deadly, for example)

When you are pregnant, your doctor usually runs some tests at the start and toxoplasmosis is one of them as it is deadly for the fetus. That's how Eleni and I know that we are immune, having had babies. We've been checked for the titers.

oh what say you CK??? :D

May 25th, 2005, 01:00 PM
Gheez you guys, thanks for the vote of confidence but I am no expert in toxoplasmosis ;)

However, I do know a little about it - mostly from my biochem stuff, lol

To respond to the first question, people actually DO become immune to the disease. Usually, if a mother has previously been exposed to the parasite (at least 6 to 9 months before pregnancy), then she will probably have an immunity that will normally protect both her and the child.

Immunity is just something that is built up over time - it is why some of our ancestors survived such horrid illnesses as smallpox for example. And people who recover from a serious infectious disease become immune (in MOST instances) because they have enough critical levels of antibodies in their blood system bult up over that time. They can also confer that immunity to others - like caregivers, unborn children - it is a double edged sword obviously if one has the disease tho.

As for how immunity works, it is actually our lymphocytes - complex cells that direct the body’s immune system - that are responsible for this. T lymphocytes (T cells) are responsible for cell-mediated immunity. B lymphocytes are responsible for humoral immunity (antibody production). Seventy-five percent of lymphocytes are T cells. Lymphocytes are different from our other white blood cells because they can recognize and have a memory of invading bacteria and viruses. So hence they recall if say someone has been around toxoplasmosis for six months or more and conventional medical wisdom - if I dare call it that, lol - is that six months is the immunity period for toxoplasmosis.

This page explains it well even if a bit technical:

There is an entire journal on the subject if anyone wants to do further reading on the broad subject - I only found one article on toxoplasmosis itself there.

As for toxoplasmosis itself, these sites are quite instructive with regard to pregnancy.

In the final analysis, one only needs to worry if you change the litter box or are near sand and dirt and are NOT immune!

May 25th, 2005, 11:01 PM
I did research on toxoplasmosis when my bestfriend was just a few months pregnant, and that was over a year ago so I didn't recall immunity being possible. *shrugs* I havea good memory, just not that good ;-) Good to know that ppl can be immune. as long as I have had cats I probably am.
and Cyberkitten - Thank you for saying(typing) the word lymphocytes i'd been trying tothink of it all day! lol (long stroy) I think we asked for your help, I know I did, cuz i figured you had better resources for info than I do ;-)

May 26th, 2005, 01:26 PM
I wanted to say that I think I have gotten to the bottom of both kitty and baby illness. It appears my baby is scrounging for left over bottle and my hubby left one in his crib last night. We need to be more careful with this it appears and from now on no formula in the crib, only water. Also, the dirrareah in my son has not been constant and he is not dehydrated at all... its just messy.
As for the kitties, I did take them to the vet who is just as stumped as we are. He put them on prescription food and antibiotics. Within a matter of hours they were back to normal running, jumping, playing... and NOT pooping everywhere.

A note about toxoplasmosis, you can indeed become immune, especially if you have cats in the home. I don't remember the exact numbers, but something like 3 in 4 people will contract toxoplasmosis in their lifetime and in a healthy person the symptoms would be just like the flu, possibly even milder than the flu. That said its easy to see how any of us could have had what we thought was the flu, but was really toxoplasmosis and now we have an immunity. In addition you can get toxoplasmosis from raw pork wich is why it is very important for a pregnant woman to be VERY careful when preparing pork, to make sure to avoid cross-contamination, and to be sure its fully cooked. Toxoplasmosis may only get a pregnant woman a bit ill, but it causes severe birth defects in the unborn child.
Bottom line is pregnant women should avoid playing in cat boxes and eating raw pork. If a pregnant woman MUST clean the cat box she should wear gloves and a mask if possible and wash very well when she is done.
It just so happens that my OB from my last pregnancy chose toxoplasmosis as her collage thesis subject or something like that. Oh as for testing for toxoplasmosis in pregnancy, well VERY few docotos simply include that test... normally you have to ask for it since it is considered so rare. I was tested in my first pregnancy ONLY after I asked because my kitty at the time freaked out and peeled out on my tummy with his back claws and it was quite deep (I still have the scars) so my OB at the time wanted me checked for an immunity to toxoplasmosis... the test results were botched so I still don't know if I am immune.