Many pregnant families often ask, “Can I keep a dog or cat when I am pregnant? What about the dogs and cats in the house, will they have parasites, will they cause miscarriages in pregnant women, will they have to be given away?

We have vaccinated and wormed both dogs and cats before, is it safe? This is no longer just a scientific question, but a family conflict involving two generations, and is important enough to warrant some clarification.

1.Toxoplasma gondii: Pregnant women are more likely to be infected

The full name of Toxoplasma gondii is Toxoplasma gondii, which is parasitic in nucleated cells, so it is not visible to the naked eye, but it is extremely destructive. Toxoplasma gondii, has several unique characteristics that need to be noted.

(1) Toxoplasma gondii is not a “picky eater” and can infect almost anyone;
(2) Toxoplasma gondii is a “flexible” parasite that rides on cells and flows with the blood to reach all parts of the body, destroying the brain, heart, and fundus of the eyes, weakening the immune system, and making people susceptible to various diseases;
(3) It prefers to bully soft and soft, and pregnant women have low immunity, so they are twice as likely to be infected as non-pregnant women. Nearly half of pregnant women infected with Toxoplasma gondii will transmit it to their fetuses through the placenta, causing miscarriage, premature birth, stillbirth, deformed babies, and congenital infection in newborns;
(4) Toxoplasma gondii also likes all warm-blooded animals such as cows, sheep, cats, dogs, etc., which is a haven for Toxoplasma gondii to spread.

2.The parasitic mode of Toxoplasma gondii is important.

There has been a lot of debate about whether Toxoplasma gondii can be transmitted to pregnant women through cats and dogs, but the key is to find out its parasitic mode and not be afraid.
Toxoplasma gondii has two types of parasitism, one is parasitic on the intermediate host and one is parasitic on the final host.

Final hosts: transmit eggs.
Cats are the intermediate hosts of Toxoplasma gondii and are also the only end hosts. When a cat (the end host) is infected with Toxoplasma gondii, the worms will continue to multiply in its body and produce oocysts, which you can interpret as eggs, and when the cat poops, it may continue to excrete oocysts that can harm the human body.
Therefore, it is very important that you stay away from your cat’s feces during pregnancy.

Intermediate hosts: no oocyte transmission
The dog is only an intermediate host for Toxoplasma gondii. When a dog is infected with toxoplasmosis, a new individual is formed directly from the mother of Toxoplasma gondii, and no egg sacs are produced in the dog’s body or transmitted to the outside world through feces. But dogs, pigs, and sheep …… These intermediate hosts can also have Toxoplasma gondii encysts in their bodies and blood and are also contagious.
Therefore, it is also very important to eat meat during pregnancy preparation and during pregnancy must be cooked.

3.Good prevention is most important and must be treated with respect.

There is no reliable vaccine to prevent toxoplasmosis, so it is not possible to avoid infection by vaccination, you can only respect it and stay away from it.

Specifically, do the following:
(1) Do not touch anything that has been contaminated with cat feces;
(2) Handle cats and dogs as little as possible during pregnancy and wash your hands regularly;
(3) Deworm and clean cats and dogs regularly;
(4) Eat cooked and processed meats;
(5) Washing hands after handling raw meat and thoroughly cleaning cooking utensils
(6) Wash fruits and vegetables before eating;
(7) Avoid contamination of food by flies, cockroaches, etc;
(8) Wear gloves when working in the garden and wash hands thoroughly after work.

4.Good preconception screening is very necessary

If you are tired of being around cats and dogs every day, you can go for TORCH (Eugenics 5 / Teratogenic 5) 3-6 months before pregnancy, which includes toxoplasma testing.
In general:
IgG antibody positive: means there was a previous Toxoplasma infection.
IgG negative, IgM positive: may be an early acute infection or a false positive.
IgG and IgM both positive: Possible acute infection.
So it is possible to have a pet when you are pregnant, but do it scientifically and be sure to follow the precautions above, especially the need to deworm cats and dogs regularly, not to feed raw meat, and also to stay away from cat and cat feces.

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