Posts Tagged ‘dogs’

Pet safety – salmonella in dog food

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

isa-riding-lolaAt our house, Lola isn’t just our pet. She’s a member of the family and my little girl’s best friend. The two of them get into all sorts of high jinks! Having Lola in our lives has been nothing short of wonderful. But there are still certain things I need to do to keep us all healthy and safe. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that a recent outbreak in salmonella infections, especially in young children, was linked to dog food. Salmonella infection is caused by bacteria. It can lead to diarrhea, fever, nausea and stomachache for several days. Some people may even need to get hospital treatment. It’s not that people are eating the dog food. Instead, people are likely getting sick either by touching the spoiled dog food or by playing with a dog that has salmonella infection. The dog food in question was made by Diamond Pet Foods and has been recalled. If you have a pet and are pregnant or have children at home, there are things you can do to stay healthy and safe. One thing you can do is learn more about what kinds of pets and other animals are OK to have in your home. Some pets may be fine to have at home so long as you take certain steps to care for your pets and yourself. Other animals may not be OK to have at home when pregnant or if you have children. Also, be sure everyone washes their hands after handling an animal. Animals can carry bacteria or certain illnesses. Additionally, feed your pet in an area away from the kitchen or where you prepare meals. This helps lessen the chance that any bacteria from your pet’s food can be carried to areas where you make or eat food. Wash your hands after feeding your pet, too. Lastly, keep kids away from your pet’s litter box, food and water bowls. My little girl has always been fascinated with Lola’s dog bowls and I’m not sure why. But several times, I’ve caught her playing with Lola’s food pebbles, to which I immediately grab my little girl and wash her hands. If only I can get her as interested in putting her toys away!

Dogs, cats and kids

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Best friendsWorried that having a dog or cat around your baby might predispose her to allergies? Well, worry no more.  Recent studies indicate that the opposite appears to be true. Several studies are showing that children raised with a dog or cat in their first year of life are less likely to develop a pet allergy as they age.

The most recent study in the journal Clinical & Experimental Allergy collected information on 566 boys and girls from birth to age 18. They were particularly interested in the children’s interactions with indoor pets.  At the end of the study, lab results from blood samples taken from the children indicated that kids raised with a cat during their first year of life were half as likely to become allergic to cats as those who were not raised with them.  A lower risk was seen with kids raised from infancy with dogs, too.  Apparently, it’s exposure during that first year of life time period that proved crucial to the sensitization of the children.

So if you are pregnant, concerned about allergies and wondering if you should keep Fluffy or Fido around when your little one comes home, check with your child’s doc, but the answer seems to be yes.  Let your pet become your child’s first friend.

You can read more about pets and other animals during pregnancy on our web site.

Pets during pregnancy

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

lola-2My husband and I had a recent addition to our home. Her name is Lola – a 4-month-old Boston Terrier that we adopted from an animal rescue center. Lola is such a cutie pie! She’s as playful as any other puppy and loves to cuddle when I pick her up. As the first addition to our family, Lola knows she’s the star of the show. But one day, when my husband and I are getting ready to welcome our first baby into the world, Lola will have to make room!

Pets can bring much fun and joy to the household dynamic. But pregnant women and mommies with young kids need to be careful about the kinds of animals they keep in their home and particularly how to handle them. Some things to keep in mind:

• Dogs with bad habits (biting or pouncing) should be broken of these habits before the baby arrives.

• If you have a cat, have someone else change its litter box to avoid getting toxoplasmosis during pregnancy. This infection can cause birth defects or loss of pregnancy.

• Hamsters, guinea pigs and pet mice may carry a virus called lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV), which can cause severe birth defects during pregnancy. Keep these pets in a separate part of the home and have someone else feed the pet and clean its cage.

Turtles, reptiles and other exotic pets may carry salmonellosis (salmonella infection). Pregnant women and children under age 5 are at increased risk of this bacterial infection, so it’s best if they stay away from these kinds of animals.

Learn more and get helpful tips about how to handle pets and other animals during pregnancy.

Measles outbreaks in CA and AZ

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that measles outbreaks have recently occurred in Arizona and California.

Because of vaccination, people usually don’t get measles in the United States. But when they do, the disease is very contagious. So people who haven’t been vaccinated are at risk of catching this disease and spreading it to others.

Usually measles isn’t a serious disease. People may have a rash, cough and fever. But sometimes measles can be very serious. It can cause pneumonia, brain damage and even death.

The recent outbreaks remind us of how important vaccinations are. To learn more about vaccinations for your baby, read the article on the March of Dimes Web site.