Toxoplasmosis - the only downside to owning a cat!
… or so we thought.
When it comes to toxoplasmosis in cats, you may immediately have some concerns. What are the toxoplasmosis symptoms? Are my toxoplasmosis pregnancy fears legitimate? Is toxoplasmosis in dogs real? And, what the heck happens when toxoplasmosis baby issues happen?!
We hear you, we do. You’re looking at Dr. Google’s number 1 patient, after all. Before we get all paws up in worry, Door Buddy is here to help. Keep on reading for everything you need to know about toxoplasmosis and how you can protect yourself and your furmily.
WHAT IS TOXOPLASMOSIS IN CATS?
Now, if this is the first time you’re hearing about toxoplasmosis, you may be thinking, “what the furball are these people talking about?” Don’t worry, we turned to one of Dr. Google’s best assets, Mayo Clinic, for the answers.
Toxoplasmosis all comes down to a nasty parasite. Although very common, this parasite can be caused by eating undercooked contaminated meat or exposing yourself to infected cat feces - meow!
For your cat, they can come into contact with this parasite by eating raw meat on their frequent hunting trips. Fur-tunately, in most cases, the symptoms are mild and even non-existent. The biggest issue is it getting transmitted to the litter box and infecting the rest of your furmily.
Another essential point to note is that if your kitty contacts toxoplasmosis gondii (the technical term), they will probably remain infected for life. Thankfully, it will remain dormant and won’t interfere with your cat’s immune response.
WHAT ARE THE TOXOPLASMOSIS SYMPTOMS?
Parasite infections don’t sound fun. The good news is that if you’re healthy and not pregnant, then you shouldn’t have too much to worry about when it comes to your health. However, it’s vital to recognize the toxoplasmosis symptoms and seek the right treatment as soon as you can.
Toxoplasmosis Symptoms for Cats:
Loss of appetite
Inflammation of the eye
Tremors or seizures
Regardless of if your cat has a toxoplasmosis infection or not, you shouldn’t ignore the symptoms. If they’re exhibiting any of the above symptoms, take your furry friend to the vet. Stat!
Toxoplasmosis Symptoms in Humans:
Most healthy people won’t experience toxoplasmosis symptoms, but those who do say it is very similar to flu. Here’s what you need to look out for:
Swollen lymph nodes
WHAT ABOUT TOXOPLASMOSIS IN DOGS?
Yes, toxoplasmosis is generally associated with cats. However, doggos can get it too! This is why we’re always going on about how to keep the dog out of the litter box. The problem is that our kitty cats are primary carriers for the parasite. When our doggos go nosing into the litter box, they can easily inhale or digest contaminated soil.
Other causes of toxoplasmosis in dogs include:
Ingesting contaminated meat that’s raw
Drinking water with the parasite in it
Ingesting infected soil
The symptoms of toxoplasmosis in dogs are similar to cats. If you spot any of the following symptoms, make sure to take your pooch to the vet:
Loss of appetite
Inflammation of the eye
Tremors or seizures
WHY ARE TOXOPLASMOSIS PREGNANCY CONCERNS IMPORTANT?
First and foremost, we should mention that the following information about toxoplasmosis pregnancy effects doesn’t take the place of medical expertise.
If you’re worried about toxoplasmosis and your pregnancy or even have any toxoplasmosis baby concerns, we recommend discussing them with your primary healthcare provider.
If you’re pregnant or have been pregnant, then you will already know about the a-meow-zing bump cuddles you have with your kitty. Your cat is just as much as your baby as your little hooman is. But, there are some reasons to be concerned about their potential parasitic infections on your furmily.
Toxoplasmosis in pregnancy is concerning because it has a 10-15% chance of affecting your baby. If your diagnosis has been confirmed via a blood test, you will need to have the amniotic fluid tested. Your OB/GYN may even do an ultrasound to see if your baby is experiencing any problems.
The infection isn’t just a concern for pregnancy. If you’re breastfeeding, you will need to take toxoplasmosis baby precautions as they can be affected through your milk as well.
HOW TO PREVENT TOXOPLASMOSIS:
Whether you’re pregnant or just trying to keep your furmily healthy, there are several things that you can do to prevent toxoplasmosis. Many of these solutions are simple lifestyle changes that we should be practicing for good hygiene. If you have a home full of cats, dogs, and little hoomans, then you may want to take more robust precautions.
Here’s what you can do to prevent toxoplasmosis:
Always cook your meat until it’s no longer pink. You can use a food thermometer to ensure it’s cooked properly.
Always wash all of your used cutting boards, dishes, counters, and utensils with hot soapy water after any contact with raw meat, seafood, or unwashed fruits or vegetables.
Always wash your hands carefully after touching raw meat, fruit, vegetables, and soil.
Always wash your fruits and vegetables. For extra precautions, peeling fruits and vegetables also helps to reduce the chance of exposure.
Never touch cat tootsie rolls directly; wear gloves if changing cat litter and immediately get those hands clean. If you’re pregnant, stay clear of the litter box altogether!
Never feed cats raw meat.
If you’re struggling with keeping the dog out of the litter box or preventing your baby from getting into the cat’s buried treasure, you may be at a loss. What do you do? Do you close the door whenever your cat isn’t using the litter box? This may work, but it’s no secret that cats hate closed doors.
It’s pawsible to have the safety of a closed room without the constant meows or frequent backs and forths to open the door. Door Buddy is an adjustable door strap that dog proofs the litter box and acts as a baby proof litter box solution at the same time.
All you need to do is stick it onto the back of your door and door frame, adjust the width to suit your cat’s size and voila! Your cat can enter as they please while your dog and baby are safely kept out.
Toxoplasmosis in cats is much easier to contain if you have effective litter box safety measures in place. The best part about The Door Buddy is that it even keeps fingers and tails safe with our foam door stopper - double win!
So, there you have it - everything you ended to know about toxoplasmosis in cats. Again, if you notice any toxoplasmosis symptoms, you should take your purrrfect pet to the vet or book an appointment with the hooman doctor.