Cats are cute, furry little animals that are adored by many people. Unfortunately, these furry little creatures have parasites that can make humans very sick. One of these parasites is known as Toxoplasma Gondii. This single-celled parasite is also found in some humans. But, it rarely causes problems in people with healthy immune systems. Pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems are at the highest risk of developing Toxoplasmosis. It’s why cat poop can be more dangerous than you might realise…
How Does Toxoplasma Spread?
There are several ways toxoplasma spreads. It can be spread through contaminated, undercooked meats, such as venison, shellfish, pork, and lamb, and water. However, most cases in the United States are associated with cat poo. For this reason, it is not recommended for pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems to empty litter boxes.
Toxoplasma Infection – Signs And Symptoms
In most cases, toxoplasmosis is asymptomatic (no symptoms). In other cases, people will complain of flu-like symptoms, such as muscle and body aches and fatigue. Other symptoms include swollen lymph glands, blurred vision, watery, red eyes, and poor vision.
In severe cases, toxoplasmosis will lead to organ, eye, and brain damage. This is more relevant to cases in which the infection appeared early in life and becomes reactivated. People with weakened immune systems are at a higher risk of developing severe cases of toxoplasmosis. However, eye damage has been reported in people with healthy immune systems.
Ocular toxoplasmosis must be treated by an experienced ophthalmologist. In some cases, the condition will clear up without medical intervention. But, when lesions on the eye are detected, medical intervention will be required.
Babies In The Womb
Toxoplasma infections can spread from mother to baby. While these cases are rare, they can lead to serious eye and brain damage for newborns that are infected at birth. Infected babies in utero are generally asymptomatic. Unfortunately, these babies have a high risk of developing symptoms later in life.
Who’s At Risk?
As mentioned above, people with weakened immune systems and pregnant women are at the highest risk of developing toxoplasmosis. Weakened immune systems can be associated with chemotherapy treatments, organ transplants, and AIDS.
Babies of pregnant women who are diagnosed in the last trimester of pregnancy are at a high risk of developing severe toxoplasmosis. These babies will be treated accordingly and monitored by a medical team of experts.
Testing For Toxoplasmosis
When someone believes they have developed toxoplasmosis, they’ll be required to undergo testing. These tests will help determine if they are indeed dealing with this specific purpose. Just remember that the testing used will depend on your current situation. Unborn babies will have to go through a specific test designed for them. An ultrasound might work. Alternatively, the doctor may recommend using amniocentesis. Both of these tests can be effective in diagnosing the problem.
If the problem has spiraled out of control, there is a good chance that you’ll be required to go through an MRI or a magnetic resonance imaging test. Or, you might be recommended for a brain biopsy. Remember that having a positive result doesn’t mean that you’re in trouble. It could mean that you were infected in the past and now you’ve become immune to the disease.
Additional testing may be needed to determine whether or not that is the case.
When it comes down to it, you may believe that this is a hopeless condition. This isn’t the case. There are ways to deal with it. However, the treatment might not be required. In most cases, you will not be required to treat this problem. If you’re healthy, your body will likely be able to fight it off on its own. Unfortunately, you may be prescribed medications to help you cope with it. First and foremost, you should know that your doctor might recommend Sulfadiazine. This is an antibiotic that is used specifically for the treatment of toxoplasmosis.
Alternatively, there is a chance that you’re going to be given Pyrimethamine. This medication is sometimes used to treat malaria. It can also be used to fight off toxoplasmosis. People who have HIV or Aids will have to use something different entirely. Pregnant women will likely be treated with spiramycin but it will depend on how far along they are at the time of diagnosis.
Either way, you should know that there are numerous ways to treat this condition. You’re not facing an uphill battle. If you suspect that you’ve contracted toxoplasmosis, you should get in touch with your doctor as soon as possible. They’ll run tests to diagnose the problem. Then, they’ll provide you with an effective treatment plan.
Be Cautious About E Coli
You need to understand that cat feces may contain toxoplasmosis. However, this isn’t the only problem that you might encounter. Another thing to note is that cats can carry E Coli. This bacteria is capable of impacting human and animal digestive systems. It may also impact the urinary tract. It might sound disgusting but you may eventually ingest the bacteria through cat feces. An infected cat could rub against your garden vegetables and that could contaminate the vegetable with E Coli. If this happens, you might eat it without even thinking about it.
This is something you need to take caution against. Make sure that you consider this specific purpose. It is best to keep cats out of your garden in the first place. This will reduce the likelihood that problems are going to occur.
Clean Poop Up Immediately
It is common for cats to enter your garden and leave droppings behind. This is a major problem and it is something you need to deal with as quickly as possible. If you do not clean it up right away, there is a possibility that you’re going to step in it or touch it with your hand later. You need to clean it up while you still remember it. This will also reduce the likelihood that your other pets or children will run through it.
However, you have to be very careful when attempting to clean up the feces. Remember that it may contain toxoplasmosis. If it does, you do not want to touch it. Make sure that you wear thick rubber gloves when handling the poop. Or, you can use a poop scoop. Be sure to dispose of the feces safely to avoid potential problems.
Wash Your Hands
Once you’ve finished dealing with the cat feces, you need to wash your hands thoroughly. This is something that should become a habit. If you know that cats have been in your yard, you need to wash your hands after your daily gardening activities. You might encounter the feces unexpectedly. Wash your hands to avoid potential problems. If you have a pet cat, you should wash your hands after handling him or her. Be cautious and avoid problems.
Speak To Your Kids
Another thing to note is that your kids are at risk. You have to be very careful about this. Children aren’t knowledgeable about the dangers of cat feces. Therefore, you should sit down with your kids and tell them about the dangers. You already tell them about stranger danger. Well, you need to tell them about cat feces dangers too. This will increase the likelihood that your children will behave properly when they encounter the feces. If you don’t speak to them, there is a good chance that they’ll run right through the feces without thinking about it.
Don’t Use Ammonia
There is a good chance that you believe cleaning up the mess with ammonia is best. This couldn’t be further from the truth. If you’ve found cat feces, there is a good chance that you’re going to be dealing with cat urine too. Well, you should know that ammonia can interact with the ammonia and create various problems. With that being said, it is best to clean up the mess using natural cleaners. There are plenty of ways to do just that.
You can use diluted vinegar or a mixture of baking soda and water. Either way, you’ll want to remain away from the ammonia because it will only make things worse.
Wash Your Vegetables
In all likelihood, your garden is producing many delicious fruits and vegetables. Have cats been out there in your garden? If so, you need to be very careful about eating these things. Remember that they’ve been contaminated by the cat. Therefore, there is a good chance that the fruits and vegetables have cat dander, hair, or even feces on them. If you’re going to be eating these fruits and vegetables, you need to wash them thoroughly in advance. Doing so will ensure that they’re safe for human consumption.
Cats might make good pets but they can create various problems. When it comes down to it, cat feces and urine can be very dangerous. If you have pets, you should wash your hands thoroughly after you interact with your kitty. If you do not like cats, you should keep them out of your yard. There are many ways to do just that. Either way, it is pertinent to keep your kids away from the feces because it can lead to big problems. Make sure that your kids are protected or you might run into bigger problems.