Volunteering at shelter and health of my own cats... - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-07-2006, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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Volunteering at shelter and health of my own cats...

Hi everyone,

I volunteered at a local nokill cat shelter this morning for a few hours, and noticed that some of the cats had noticeable infections - upper respiratory problems in particular, and one cat that snuggled on my lap for a while had the feline herpes virus with discharge around her eyes (found this out from staff after holding her for a long time).

My question is, is there any chance of passing anything along to my resident cats now that I am back home? I was away from them for 6 hours after working at the shelter while I was at my classes, but they were all over me when I walked in the door, sniffing and investigating my jeans and shirt Both are vaccinated with an upper respiratory combo vaccine, but I'm still worried that I could have "brought home a souvenier" from the shelter.

Thanks for any info, advice, or suggestions!!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-07-2006, 10:13 PM
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Hi there!
First off, good for you for volunteering!
You ask a very good question!

The answer is yes, you can transmit things to your own cats - bacteria, fungus, fleas. But please don't let that stop you from volunteering!

I work at a retirement home for cats on the weekends and we have been dealing with several cases of ringworm. So the precautions I take are as follows:

I have a separate set of shoes I only use for there (just an old set of tennies that I throw in the wash with bleach once a month).

I bring a change of clothes and change before going home (or if you have a garage that works well to change there). Then I throw my old clothes in a bag. When I get home I go STRAIGHT to the washer, throw my clothes in with some bleach for colors and then jump in the shower. My keeties get to see me after that.

Probably for you, just changing your clothes and shoes and washing your hands/arms/face really well before and after getting home would be fine. It's a bit of a pain, but I figure better safe than sorry!

Good luck and let us know how it works out!!
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-07-2006, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your input!! I didn't do the things you mentioned today when I got home, and my coat was laying out on the chair for a few hours before I noticed it and put it away. Do you think I should be worried? And what about the herpes virus and upper respiratory virus, specifically? Should I be concerned about that?

Sorry about my anxiety, but I honestly didn't think about this before I volunteered and now I'm just wondering...
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-08-2006, 02:21 PM
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I don't know exactly and I am sure you're fine. I think most viruses, infectious diseases are more direct contact, but I just like to make sure and clean up real well just for extra measure, cuz I know there are some things that can be picked up.

Just next time be extra careful.

Maybe someone else knows specifics about transmittal of those things?
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-08-2006, 05:55 PM
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I volunteer too at a shelter. I never come in contact though with cats that are known to have infections/diseases. I do always change my clothes and shower when I get home. Just do what the Cat Whisperer said and you will be fine.

Your kitties are probably fine but just keep an eye on them. If you notice any change in health or behavior I would bring them to a vet ASAP.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-08-2006, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Cat Whisperer
Probably for you, just changing your clothes
and shoes and washing your hands/arms/face
really well before and after getting home would be fine.
It's a bit of a pain, but I figure better safe than sorry!
Cat Whisperer gave you the right advice.

Ive been exposed to ring worm and upper
respiratory also at my shelter. I havent been
as careful about changing shoes and clothes
when I get home. There has never been a problems.
I should be more careful though.
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