Living with pets during pregnancy

Pregnant women can live with a pet, but they must be very careful with hygiene, since some animals can transmit dangerous infections, such as toxoplasmosis (Toxoplasmosis (tok-so-plaz-MOE-sis) is a disease that results from infection with the Toxoplasma gondii parasite, one of the world’s most common parasites. Infection usually occurs by eating undercooked contaminated meat, exposure from infected cat feces, or mother-to-child transmission during pregnancy).

When a woman becomes pregnant and has a pet at home, she often wonders if she can continue to take equal care of the pet, and even if she should stay away from her during pregnancy.

In general, it is not necessary to separate from animals if minimal precautions are taken.

  • Pets must be healthy and periodically controlled by the veterinarian.
  • Avoid touching or sniffing the family’s food.
  • Whenever the pregnant woman touches them, she should wash her hands well, especially if she is going to handle food or eat afterwards.
  • She shouldn’t be in charge of cleaning pets or their household goods. If you have to, you have to be very careful, wear gloves and wash your hands well.

These measures should be followed by both women who are pregnant and those who might be. During pregnancy, the mother’s defenses decrease so she has to take double care, so it is recommended to leave the pet’s tasks to someone else. Even so, we cannot forget about our pet in this new stage, since he will enjoy the pregnancy as much as we do.

Do dogs transmit diseases?

Dogs can transmit some type of parasite that is almost always harmless. However, it is preferable that pregnant women do not have close contact, just in case. That is, they should not be licked by them, or touch their mouth or hair, or collect their excrement. Outside of these elementary precautions, there is no problem for the expectant mother to live with a dog.

If you have a dog, it is advisable to take it to the vet to check that it is vaccinated, especially those of parovirus, coronavirus and rabies. You also have to take great care of your personal items in case you could be infected in any way.

Precautions must be taken when the pet is a cat, since these animals can transmit toxoplasmosis, a benign infectious disease except when contagion occurs during pregnancy, as it can harm the normal development of the future baby. This disease leads to blindness, hydrocephalus, prematurity and low weight when the baby is born.

Many women already have antibodies and are therefore protected. To find out, the gynecologist performs tests early in the pregnancy and sometimes repeats these tests at four to five months.

If it has not passed, to find out if the cat can transmit toxoplasmosis, it is advisable to take him to the vet for an analysis. If you don’t have it and you don’t leave the house or eat raw meat, the risk is minimal. However, if you are not protected you have to be very careful.

Pathogens are found in droppings. So it is essential to take extreme hygiene and if you have to clean your things (ideally someone else should do it), wear gloves when cleaning the box and the rest of the animal’s utensils.

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