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Newborn Lambs and Toxoplasmosis

(7 Posts)
Eire1977 Sun 05-Jun-11 13:49:41

Hi all
I have been worried sick today since I started reading about the dangers of Toxo to unborn babies. My parents have a sheep farm and I helped out there for ten days when I was about two weeks pregnant but didn't know it at the time. I handled newborn lambs without gloves I have done a blood test with my midwife so awaiting the results from that. I suppose I am looking for advice or anyone with experience of having Toxo- I'm hoping because I was exposed to sheep when growing up that I may be immune? I have freaked myself out today thinking about the consequences.

icravecheese Sun 05-Jun-11 16:53:41

How many weeks are you now Eire1977? My no.1 pregnancy paranoia is toxo... no idea why, but I have demanded blood tests every pregnancy (currently on 3rd preg!). No contact with lambs, but ALWAYS manage to accidentally eat some undercooked / cured meat during preg... & am pretty carniverous whilst not preg. I'm STILL not immune to toxo!

I know that the likelihood of toxo passing onto your baby is very slim in first 3 months (so I would say, at 2wks, extremely low probability of it passing to your baby if you had caught it). Also, after scouring old mumsnet threads on toxo....feline vets who have diagnosed cats with toxo have still tested not immune to toxo, farmers wives who have been around lambing - again, tested not immune (i.e. never caught it before). Appears it is VERY hard to contract in reality. Easy for me to say, but pleeease try not to stress. My blood test results always came back within 2days, so do chase up your midwife / surgery for results. Thinking of you in the meantime...xx

spilttheteaagain Sun 05-Jun-11 16:59:57

You may well be immune, but you'll need the blood test results to show you. About 30% of the UK population are immune, and remember most of those won't have had the sheep exposure so you probably have a good chance of being in that 30%. They should be able to tell from the results firstly whether you are immune, but also if you aren't then they will be able to see whether or not you've had a recent infection from delivering this set of lambs.

Remember female farm workers will have been delivering lambs for generations and also having babies.

I'm sorry to say that I do have experience of toxo though. It's the reason I lost my daughter last year at 20 weeks. I was told that it was quite unusual to actually miscarry because of it though.

Fingers crossed for you and your baby that you are immune or that this set of sheep didn't have toxo. Good luck

DaisySteiner Sun 05-Jun-11 17:04:01

I think if you grew up with sheep, the chances of you catching it in those ten days rather than when you were handling them regularly as a child must be incredibly small. How many weeks are you now? My understanding is that infection in the first 12 weeks can increase the chance of having a miscarriage, but is unlikely to infect the baby.

sevendwarves Sun 05-Jun-11 19:52:55

Do you realise that as your pregnancy is dated from the first day of your last period technically you're classed as already being 2 weeks pregnant when your baby is conceived? Depending on how long implantation took you may not have even been pregnant, even if you had were your baby would still only have been a handful of cells.

Have you had a dating scan yet, when I had mine I was actually 9 days less pregnant than I thought.

I hope your results come back clear and good luck with the rest of your pregnancy.

Eire1977 Tue 07-Jun-11 09:35:12

Thank you so much for all your replies I am feeling more rational about it now and will just await the results on Friday. Spiltheteaagain I'm so sorry to hear that you lost your baby last year- I hope you are feeling ok. Again thank you for your reassuring replies and best of luck to everyone.x

Daisybell1 Tue 07-Jun-11 09:54:04

Hi there

Spiltthetea I'm so sorry for your loss.

My partner is a sheep farmer and so lambing was 'interesting' this year. My toxo tests came back with no immunity before lambing so we knew we had to extra careful. I had the toxo tests repeated after the end of lambing and again, I was clear, so I didn't pick anything up.

My Dr and I went through the Defra guidance line by line. She reassured me that I would have known if I'd contracted Toxo because I would have felt 'flu-y' plus the other diseases were so rare, and I hadn't been poorly at all, that I hadn't been exposed to anything.

Plus, of course, if the sheep don't have the disease in the first place, then you can't catch it - I don't know about you, but my partner's had the best lambing he's had for years - very few losses and masses of bouncing lambs.

Good luck!

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