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I work at the humane society in the mornings cleaning the cat cages, and someone told me I shouldn't because cat litter can harm women's reproductive systems. Is this true?? The only thing I have been able to find is that you shouldn't clean cat litter when your pregnant, because you can get a listeria infection from it (same as unpasteurized milk) that can cause a miscarriage.
 

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Binkalette said:
I work at the humane society in the mornings cleaning the cat cages, and someone told me I shouldn't because cat litter can harm women's reproductive systems. Is this true??
No

Binkalette said:
The only thing I have been able to find is that you shouldn't clean cat litter when your pregnant, because you can get a listeria infection from it (same as unpasteurized milk) that can cause a miscarriage.
Almost correct...it's toxoplasmosis not listeria.
 

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Agreed with above. It is toxoplasmosis. Listeria comes from deli meats, hot dogs, etc. Not that pregnant women should not have them, but caution should be given. I will be an ob/gyn by this July ;).

As for toxoplasmosis, the majority of cases come from humans consuming contaminated meat. Half of the US is already seropositive. Cats are considered a carrier but this is how it happens: the cat consumes an infected animal such as a rodent, the toxoplasmosis is passed through the stool and into the litter box. Human cleans litter box and contaminates himself/herself via the fecal oral route. If a woman during pregnancy acquires this as a primary infection, especially in the first trimester, it is considered a threat to the fetus (she will test positive for IgM antibodies). Being positive for IgG does not confer a threat as that suggests she was already infected some time ago, it is the primary infection that is a threat.

I have seen some women go so far as even get rid of their cats during their pregnancy, as in forever. That is overkill imho. Aside from the fact that she is more likely to get it from what she eats, so long as she does not touch the litter, she should be fine.

Theoretically, if someone is really concerned, perhaps frequent handwashing will further reduce risk of a primary infection as a large proportion of infections that arise from stool are from the fecal oral route (you know, didn't wash hands, trace amount of stool on hands gets consumed during dinner, etc.....gross :lol:---actually, studies have shown that the average person consumes a small/trace amount of stool on a daily basis...yum 8O ). Alcohol rub should never take the place of handwashing if you can avoid it. Handwashing actually removes certain pathogens that alcohol will not.
 

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I totally thought this was literally about how women are supposedly better at cleaning the litter box, just by reading the title. :lol:

sweetyanna said:
Theoretically, if someone is really concerned, perhaps frequent handwashing will further reduce risk of a primary infection as a large proportion of infections that arise from stool are from the fecal oral route (you know, didn't wash hands, trace amount of stool on hands gets consumed during dinner, etc.....gross :lol:---actually, studies have shown that the average person consumes a small/trace amount of stool on a daily basis...yum 8O ). Alcohol rub should never take the place of handwashing if you can avoid it. Handwashing actually removes certain pathogens that alcohol will not.
Always wash your hands, I don't take any chances with that stuff, even if your pregnant definitely take precautions. And, everyone consumes a small trace of stool daily? :?
 

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Einherjar said:
Always wash your hands, I don't take any chances with that stuff, even if your pregnant definitely take precautions. And, everyone consumes a small trace of stool daily? :?
I totally agree. We're supposed to be washing our hands regularly anyways. We'd have much fever URI cases and other infectious diseases. And yes, the vast majority of us and possibly all of us consume small amounts of stool daily. It's a matter of how detailed you want to design the research study to measure the stool consumed. But yea, I was just as surprised when I first learned that in medical school. Sure, the world isn't sterile but consuming stool is just...yea xD.
 

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I am immuno-compromised and am treated with low-doses of a chemo. I do the majority of our shopping and my husband works with people who have children (walking germ-factories that pick up *every* bug that goes around and share it with their parents). When I visit him at work, and if anyone or their children have been sick, he opens/closes doors for me to go in/out and the ill people keep their distance from me. My husband, no matter how careful he tries to be, has become ill a few times ... but I am very surprised that I have not. I attribute it to my diligence in hand-washing and sanitizing.
 

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Toxoplasmosis can also be carried by insects, which we all know our cats will consume with relish (no, not the pickled stuff in a jar :lol:). So pregnant women should always take precautions if they need to take care of the litterbox. It's recommended that they wear disposable gloves. And I would wash my hands after removing the gloves as well.
 

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I work with attorneys, so I may be immune to stool by now.
 

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I heard that if you are pregnant but have already been scooping the litterbox for years, you are probably immune to the Toxoplasmosis but if/when I do become pregnant, I'm not taking my chances. I tell my DH every once in awhile "Someday, you might get to do this for 9 months straight!!" :lol:
 

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marie73 said:
I work with attorneys, so I may be immune to stool by now.
Roflcakes xD.

Heather102180 said:
I heard that if you are pregnant but have already been scooping the litterbox for years, you are probably immune to the Toxoplasmosis but if/when I do become pregnant, I'm not taking my chances. I tell my DH every once in awhile "Someday, you might get to do this for 9 months straight!!" :lol:
I would think similarily and have been scooping boxes since 12 years of age. But same, when I become pregnant my bf is required to man up and clean that box for 9 months straight. Right now I still do all the cleaning because he still cannot stand the site and smell of stool. I tease him and always say, "You know, babies poop too. And not only will you need to clean poo but you got to get it when it is fresh, steamy, clean it out of the cracks with your bare hands...". :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks guys :D I didn't think it could be true that it would effect your fertility.. but the infection when your pregnant thing made sense. I guess I'll have to find something else to do at the humane society when we decide to have kids. I can't imagine dog poop is much safer. I'll probably get stuck doing all the paper work for 9 months. :cry:
 

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One of the important medical issues that I've learned by watching House M.D. is that you don't want to be overprotective when it comes to germs. Cameron claimed that auto immune diseases are almost unheard of in developing countries but increasing in developed countries because we protect ourselves from germs*. I've heard the same thing from other sources claiming that our use of antibiotic soaps is actually a negative. This is the theory I'm sticking with when Mia gets up to go to the litter box during the night then comes back and walks across my chest with distinctly moist feet. It's good for my health!




* This assumes that people in developing countries who don't have optimal health don't die early and would have access to high tech diagnostics.
 

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A bit off topic, but...

When I was referred to the latest specialist for Cinderella, I was given a heads-up that she's not a people person, some find her off-putting, but she'll do everything possible for your cat. I said, "So you're sending me to Dr. House?" :D

That show really does make you think about every little thing in your home! 8O
 

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Dave_ph said:
...claimed that auto immune diseases are almost unheard of in developing countries but increasing in developed countries because we protect ourselves from germs*.
* This assumes that people in developing countries who don't have optimal health don't die early and would have access to high tech diagnostics.
:lol: That was my thought, too! However, I recently heard about (I think) "Hookworm Therapy" for people with diagnoses like mine. There are a few places outside the country where you can become 'medically colonized' ...or... you can go to a 3rd world country and walk barefoot through the raw sewage to get 'colonized'. There is some 'helminthic' anti-inflamation type reaction to these parasites that causes the auto-immune body to produce something-or-other, and it winds up 'helping' the original medical diagnosis and reducing symptoms.

...but I'm not that keen on getting worm infected at this time. 8O
 

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Heidi n Q said:
[quote="Dave_ph":2cwsh6pu]...claimed that auto immune diseases are almost unheard of in developing countries but increasing in developed countries because we protect ourselves from germs*.
* This assumes that people in developing countries who don't have optimal health don't die early and would have access to high tech diagnostics.
:lol: That was my thought, too! However, I recently heard about (I think) "Hookworm Therapy" for people with diagnoses like mine. There are a few places outside the country where you can become 'medically colonized' ...or... you can go to a 3rd world country and walk barefoot through the raw sewage to get 'colonized'. There is some 'helminthic' anti-inflamation type reaction to these parasites that causes the auto-immune body to produce something-or-other, and it winds up 'helping' the original medical diagnosis and reducing symptoms.
...but I'm not that keen on getting worm infected at this time. 8O[/quote:2cwsh6pu]

Okay, you need to go back and watch this season's episodes because that was the final cure for this patient. Either it's a possible medical response or House M.D. is now driving conventional wisdom. That wouldn't be a good thing because I mentioned House M.D. to my doctor and he said he stopped watching after a while because the side effects of all the brian biopsies House does wouldn't be good.
 

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Eh, I don't really watch series-TV. I think my Mom liked watching House, I'll have to ask her about it.

I first learned about the helminthic's at a Medical site devoted to my diagnosis. Currently, there is no USA approved treatment. People are having to go to Europe or Mexico. I don't think I'm desperate enough for parasites, yet.
 

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Dave_ph said:
One of the important medical issues that I've learned by watching House M.D. is that you don't want to be overprotective when it comes to germs.
Actually, I can testify there is some truth to that! That is the hypothesis behind the development of allergies in young children and there is increasing evidence. Being clean is certainly encouraged but again, there can be too much of a good thing. Children's immune systems make crucial changes at an early age and some exposure is required to reduce the risk of developing certain allergies. On a similar note, the US is so sterile compared to some countries. My bf took me to India and he being from India grew up with those microbial flora so he could tolerate the water. I on the other hand am not supposed to drink the water or even brush my teeth with it! His mom offered me fruit once that was rinsed in tap water, not wanting to be rude, I ate it and wow, worst diarrhea ever!! It cramped like crazy and I was trying to stay at the dinner table and continue polite conversation... 8O

Heidi n Q said:
:lol: That was my thought, too! However, I recently heard about (I think) "Hookworm Therapy" for people with diagnoses like mine.
There is some related truth to this too! Leech therapy has been investigated in managing certain ailments and actually seems to have some promising results. But back on using bugs to our benefit, there is also the concept of using probiotics to manage irritable bowel syndrome. The most interesting one is transplanting feces from someone into another person's bowels to manage severe cases of C. diff. colitis. It actually has extremely good results! It actually started a bit of a trend on the internet, there are actually recipes you can find on how to ingest stool in larger amounts more regularly....

Anyways, for House M.D. many of the authors are doctors, one of the shows that has a shocking amount of medically correct claims :D. Bf can't stand the show though, he says there is too much jargon and goes, "wth is a CBC? lipase? hepatocellular carcinoma? huh?".

But back to topic, yea, there is a good amount of hype over toxoplasmosis (something that can be easily avoided) but really, cats are very clean creatures compared to many other pets. I love dogs too, but they kinda smell. :?
 

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I learned about eating what the locals eat the hard way in S.E Asia. Brutal diareaha but at least I was able to walk into a "Boots" Pharmacy and get an antibiotic to clear it up without having to go through a doctors visit first.
 
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