Posts Tagged ‘turtle’

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.

Turtles: Not for kids under 5

Monday, March 30th, 2009

turtle-smTurtles move slowly and have tough, colorful shells.  Sounds like a good pet for a small child, right? But think again, says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Turtles carry a potentially dangerous bacteria called Salmonella. This is the same bacteria that has been causing all the recent problems with peanut butter products.

Salmonella can cause fever, diarrhea, stomach cramps and nausea. Sometimes the infection is very serious and can even cause death.

As moms, we like to teach our children to take care and love their pets. But if you have a child under 5, choose something other than a turtle. The U.S. Humane Society has some guidelines on how to pick a pet.