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General health

cat health - toxoplasmosis?

2 replies

SenoraPostrophe · 19/09/2004 13:40

I should have asked the vet all these questions, but didn't think. I hope some of you cat lovers can help.

Our cat - let's call her dc - has been ill lately. I took her to the vets because she had a big lump on her side, had been vomiting and smelt of sick (i.e. I think she had vomited elsewhere too). Vet said she had an absyss and a very high temperature - probably as a result of a scratch she got in a fight becoming infected. He lanced the absyss and she's on antibiotics.

The thing is, when the vet checked dc's records, it turns out her jabs are out of date (I didn't know they were supposed to have them very year and I didn't take her for the first lot). He said there is a "very nasty" illness that she could catch from this fight and to bring her back in 2 weeks for a jab "if all goes well". At this point the assistant mentioned something about small children that I didn't quite catch, but which has been scaring me silly ever since.

Was he talking about toxoplasmosis? How bad can that be? (when he said "if all goes well", did he mean "if she doesn't die" ? ) and how careful do I need to be with dc and ds/dd? Obviously they're kept away from her poo, but should I be taking more precautions than that, or is it probably too late, or what?? I was extra careful yesterday while her wound was still red, but it looks to have healed now.

I'm getting a bit worked up about it as you can tell. They check for toxoplasmosis routinely in pregnancy here, but I'm not sure if that means it's more common, or if it's just another thing they test for (they do a lot of tests here - I skipped most of them in my second pregnancy as they just make me neurotic. easily done.)

OP posts:
iota · 19/09/2004 14:45

I might be wrong but I think it's feline AIDS that they can catch from a bite, which they can innoculate against.
I have my ruffy tuffy male cat done with everything possible every year. He has at least 2 cat bites a year which turn into abcesses - the last one the day before I went on holiday this year. Luckily the cattery administered the antibiotices for me.

Distracted · 19/09/2004 15:12

Don't think cats can be innoculated against toxoplasmosis, although humans can be. However, I don't think it's a big deal if you or your children catch it - just causes cold like or mild flu' like symptoms - or often even none at all. I'm told that most pet owners will have caught toxoplasmosis and therefore be immune to it and will never have been aware of having it. It's much more of a risk if you're pregnant and you catch it though.

I did really worry about this during my first pregnancy and of course they don't test for this here in the UK. You can request a test, but it's not a huge help if you're already pregnant, because if it shows that you do have antibodies and have therefore been exposed to toxoplasmosis you don't know when. You could have caught it DURING your pregnancy and so you'll worry for the rest of the time! You need to be tested before you're pregnant and if you have antibodies then, you know you don't need to worry as you're immune. If you don't have antibodies then you can be tested again during pregnancy to check you haven't caught it. That was my understanding anyway.

I don't think toxoplasmosis in animals differs between countries - those who own animals and have grown up with pets etc. are likely to be immune. I've been told though that a large part of the population in France are immune as exposure to toxoplasmosis through eating uncooked meat is also very common. Maybe that is also more common in Spain?

I'm hardly an expert though - others may know better. Just remember getting really worried about this when I was pregnant and looking stuff up and this is what I found out.

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