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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, sorry for the wierd question, but I want to foster cats. The local cattery has an overload of cats at the moment, but they also have an epidemic of sneezing cats (either claicivirus, chlamidia or herpes or a mix of all 3). This is not cat flu and they have a good survival chance. According to the literature these diseases are not infectious for people, but my question is this:

Has anyone been told that they shouldn't be exposed to cats, especially sick cats if they are taking immunosupression? (You not the cat re the immunosupression). I am on azathioprine.

Any experiences gratefully recieved.

X C X
 

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Haha, that is an odd question but a good one :)

I'm afraid I have no idea - no-one told me to avoid anything but then again, even on imuran, I never ever catch the slightest cough or cold.

Do you catch things easily? I wouldn't have thought that cats transmit that much. Especially with all the basic hygiene precautions - washing hands etc. Maybe a vet would know best.

No relation to cats but when I had to go and see my Dad in hospital (suffering from MRSA induced pneumonia) I was told to "just be careful to use the alcohol gel on hands". Mind you, the doc also said, almost in the same breath that the whole hospital was dangerous for anyone with lupus or immunosuppressed. Maybe I'm just lucky in that I don't catch things.

now, I've said all that and haven't answered your question at all,

Katharine
 

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The only thing I have ever caught from my animals is ring worm (a new kitten).

I've had cats with the snuffles, you name it - all the regular stuff cats and dogs get - and I have always done just fine.

hth - I would LOVE to help out with the cats, but having two dogs and three cats myself I think I better pass.

cheers

raglet
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
:lol: Thanks Ladies:lol:

Yes, I think I'll phone my vet and ask. Hubby is being paranoid about it and I can't find evidence to prove it isn't an issue:hehe:

What do you mean Raglet - I can't send you any more pets then? What a shame. They have 350 looking for homes:eek:

X C X
 

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Hi Cath

You could ask your GP or consultant about this as well as the vet. I have a friend with M.E. who fosters cats that have come from "battered wives hostels" (I think they call them something more politically correct that this). They arrive in some pretty awful states, stressed and ill.

She always says the emotional benefits outweigh the occasional allergy symptom which she has had. And has never caught cat flu that I know :)

I had a lovely cat up until recently - using her photo as my picture here - and she was pretty ill towards the end and went down with infection after infection. I was at my healthiest I have been for years during that period and I will pick up good old human infections like a magnet even when not immunosuppressed.

So... I really do think ask all the specialists you can and I hope the answer is "you'll be fine" as our furry friends are just the best therapy ever.

Love
Sara
 

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Hi:

I take CellCept, have a dog, 2 cats, a grand kitty and I dog sit for about 4 different families when they go on vacation.

I too was worried but have been assured by my vet that most pet diseases are not transmittable to humans, Leptospirosis is the exception, but very rare in cats if at all.

I have had sick animals come into my home (kitties and grand kitty) plus dog had pneumonia and I got none of it.

I think fostering cats is a great thing and I would do the same, howeve hubby is alergic and it takes him some time to get over the new additions. Once he adjusts he is OK, but he must go through several days of suffering to adjust to the new dander in the house.

Good luck - Stephanie
 

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I don't know the answer Cath, but i do remember my brother-in-law, who is a vet, once suggesting that Clamidia IS transferrable from animals to humans.

i would have thought handwashing after handling a cat infected with this would be enough, but do not know.

We love cats, as do my in-laws. My father-in-law is currently being treated for cancer and being given regular cycles of chemotherapy, so with the doses being higher than that given for lupus, i would imagine he is far, far more immunosuppressed than your usual lupus patient.

However, he has just ben hospitalised with multiple infections, one of which resulted from his well immunised and pampered cat giving him a little scratch.

I suppose it all depends on just how immunosuppressed you are, and it is an interesting question.
 

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Hi again. i just did a quick google ... diseases people get from their pets ... and a few threads came up.

Chlamidia was not LISTED but several others were. Might be worth a read.
 

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Hi,

I was at the local Humane Shelter, and considering getting a cat. The lady, working there..told me, I should not get a cat, if I am on drugs to suppress, my immune system.

I was rather surprised, being as she worked trying to place the cats, in a home, but did appreciate her honesty.

Sandy
 

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Hi, my doctor told me I should not handle cats or cat boxes while taking prednisone or Imuran. It's not the viruses so much as it is .... ok I can't think of the real name but people call it cat scratch fever (something I thought was just a phrase in R&B music!). You can catch it if a c at scratches or nips you -- doesn't have to be vicious, just break the skin or land on a scratch or open place on your skin. It's pretty bad for anybody but for immunisuppressed people it's apparently REALLY bad.

That said, I can't remember what it's supposed to do to you or the symptoms or anything. And I don't think it's a cat disease as such. Just some sort of bacteria or whatever that cats have in them.

Back when I did wild bird rescue I do remember being taught that any bird that had been caught by a cat, even if it didn't have obvious wounds, had to have big doses of antibiotic and probably would die even then. Something to do with kitty mouth stuff. Once again, I wasn't paying attention or taking notes.

My DH would love to have a cat. That's how the discussion came up with my doctor. He was fairly adamant and I let go of the idea then. But seeing how many people here have kitties and no problems makes me t hink I might look at a second opinion. I mean, I wouldn't have to clean the litter box.... somebody else could do that.:lol::rotfl::wink2::p

Good luck,
Sunny
 

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Here's a great link on the topic.

http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/brochures/ZoonoticDisease.html

The bottom line is that it's probably safe for you, and it would be best to have older cats (not kittens) that are indoor-only cats and eat processed food ;) A lot depends on your history of infection frequency though too - if you are already displaying more frequent infections or not. If you are fairly average in infection frequency, then chances are good that you would be safe with some cats.

If you could have hubby clean litter box(es) then that would be even safer but it's quite safe to do it yourself too.
 

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Hello Cath

I found this article

http://www.petstation.com/cat-zoonoses.html

I know for a fact that when people hear certain words such as 'chemo' or 'immunosuppressed' they have an exaggerated blanket type reaction often because as professionals they take care not to expose themselves to liability. It is much easier for them to say a categoric no and often they aren't knowledgable enough about any individual case to make a realistic assessment. If you don't think you are especially immunosuppressed in practice you are probably OK.
A friend of mine who has a sort of cancer but isn't on any medication went to a luxury spa. She had checked with her medical advisors who told her she could have any sort of therapy she felt like and was up to. Unfortunately her companion mentioned that she had cancer and they immediately refused to allow her any specific therapies except for a manicure and a pedicure.

All I know about pets comes from Raglet and Animal Cops Houston but I think the advice to take older animals is very sensible. Do you know if you have already been exposed to toxoplasmosis?
I would also rule out very close physical contact, such as face and faeces.

Good Luck ! We have to take some risks to enjoy life and some risks are more worth than others
Hugs
Clare
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thankyou eveyone for yor very helpful advice and experiences!

And the websites were helpful too:blush:.

I tend to agree about the immunosupression being minimal - I don't catch things any more easily than hubby, and for the last several years 100% of what I've caught was a present from him, never a patient or animal.

The issue of toxoplasmosis does worry me - I don't know if I've ever been exposed, but I think I'll ask my GP to run a test to find out. If I'm already positive (and I grew up on a farm with hundreds of pets, helped butcher animals generally had my hands dirty, so probably did get exposed), then I can't catch it again, so that issue would be resolved.

I'm off to see the lady who currently has the sick cats in her home to protect the other healthy cats in the cattery. She's got 30 personally in her livingroom at the moment, so I do hope I can help out. A couple of old moggys asleep on the lounge sounds just the right thing:blush:

X C X
 

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you go girl - and give those moggies a cuddle from me.

I currently have a dog with a bucket on her head hiding under the computer desk - she has chewed her foot to bits and the only way to get it to heal up is go put her bucket back on her (an elizabethan collar type of bucket). She has severe allergies so picks up skin infections all the time - she is limping horribly. She hates me putting her cream on as it hurts, but the cream has a local anesthetic in it (as well as antibiotics and anti-inflams). Poor baby, she is very unhappy with her bucket.

cheers

raglet
 

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Hello Cath
I think the toxoplasmosis test is very simple. I first heard of it when I was pregnant in France 30 years ago. My UK GP explained it wasn't done in the UK because we don't eat undercooked meat but I haven't heard of it being done here these days when people are much more likely to eat rare steaks.
I am slightly sceptical of that reasoning considering they don't do Group B strep either, for cost effectiveness reasons.
If you have been exposed to it you can relax and if like me you haven't, you just have to cross your fingers and take great care with gardening too. There might be more up-to-date info about it of course!
I hope you really enjoy your foster cats
Hugs
Clare
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
:blush::blush::blush:I met some of the orphans yesterday. 32 4 week old kittens, all asleep in their baskets for the 2pm rest hour.
Very very cute!
My depest respect to their current forster mum on achieving rest hour like that:blush::blush::blush:.


Kisses to your poorly pooch Raglet.

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cath;515268 said:
:blush::blush::blush:I met some of the orphans yesterday. 32 4 week old kittens, all asleep in their baskets for the 2pm rest hour.
Very very cute!
My depest respect to their current forster mum on achieving rest hour like that:blush::blush::blush:.


Kisses to your poorly pooch Raglet.

X C X
Hi Cath!
I love cats...
I have 2 cats, 3 kittens at home ...
Kisses to the kitties ya...
YES, I do have to clean the litter box eventhough I am immunosuppressed! (my husband wouldn't do it)
 

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So long as you use a liner for the litter box, then you should be pretty safe. You won't even have to touch the stuff.

Does anyone else remember having to go outside and dig up the garden to get some dirt for the 'dirt box?'. Maybe I am showing my age (the wrong side of 40)

cheers

raglet
 

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Raglet;515237 said:
you go girl - and give those moggies a cuddle from me.

I currently have a dog with a bucket on her head hiding under the computer desk - she has chewed her foot to bits and the only way to get it to heal up is go put her bucket back on her (an elizabethan collar type of bucket). She has severe allergies so picks up skin infections all the time - she is limping horribly. She hates me putting her cream on as it hurts, but the cream has a local anesthetic in it (as well as antibiotics and anti-inflams). Poor baby, she is very unhappy with her bucket.

cheers

raglet
Dogs with bucket? Heehehehe, I am sure she looks cute... (but she definitely thinks otherwise!)

I heard that skin allergies can be caused by food. Have u tried a different sort of food for her?

I am sure the sores hurt, pls give her a big hug for me!

Love - Bina
 

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Clare.T;515240 said:
Hello Cath
I think the toxoplasmosis test is very simple.
I tried getting one from the hospital but the doc said, "oh well, not necessary because most people in Malaysia will be tested positive for it."!

You see, I want to get pregnant and heard about toxoplasmosis causing complications in babies. Though I am still on contraceptive, I just wanted to make sure I was clear of "toxoplasmosis" but doc said it is not necessary and then there's nothing much we can do about it?? ..... really?
 
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