Worms & Germs Blog

Tag Archives: toxoplasma

Maybe Your Cat Isn’t Making You Crazy

Posted in Cats, Parasites
Headline writers have had a lot of fun over the past few years writing about toxoplasmosis and potential associations with neurological and behavioural disorders in people. Cats are the main natural host of Toxoplasma gondii, so “crazy cat lady” and other predictable headlines have ensued. But, what is the real risk? The answer is still… Continue Reading

Is flushable cat litter a public health hazard?

Posted in Cats
I had an interesting question today about the cat-associated parasite Toxoplasma gondii. It can cause serious infection in people that ingest it, particularly in immunocompromised individuals and pregnant women, but disease is rare. Since cats can pass one form of the parasite in their feces, the question was whether using flushable kitty litter is a… Continue Reading

Why Finnegan’s an indoor cat

Posted in Cats
I grew up with cats, and they were all indoor/outdoor. I never really thought about it since that was just the way things were done. Yet, as much as he’d like to convince us otherwise, our current cat Finnegan is an indoor cat. There are a lot of reasons for this. One reason for keeping… Continue Reading

“Human suicide parasite” in cats

Posted in Cats
I love my cats. But sometimes when Bonnie and Clyde are living up to their names, puking up hair balls twice a day, peeing on the guest bed (yes, contrary to popular belief even vets can’t stop their own cats from doing this sometimes), caterwauling at 3 AM, or begging for food all afternoon, they… Continue Reading

Toxoplasma risk factors for cats

Posted in Cats
There’s been a lot of publicity (aka hype bordering on paranoia, including a recent article in the Toronto Star) about the cat-associated parasite Toxoplasma gondii lately. Cats are the definitive host of this parasite and it can cause serious disease in certain people: in pregnant women who have not been previously exposed to the parasite… Continue Reading

Toxoplasma and brain cancer?

Posted in Cats
A recent paper about toxoplasmosis in the journal Biology Letters (Thomas et al. 2011) has attracted a lot of attention because it reports a possible link between this cat-associated parasite and brain cancer in people. Toxoplasma gondii is a protozoal parasite. Cats are the natural host and can (but rarely do) pass the parasite oocysts… Continue Reading

Composting pet waste

Posted in Dogs
An article in Saturday’s Toronto Star discussed composting options for people without organic waste pickup or the ability to have a backyard composter, including indoor composters that can be used by apartment or condo dwellers who want to satisfy their eco-friendly side. They mentioned that one of the composters they highlighted (NatureMill) can apparently handle… Continue Reading

Parasite exposure from pets

Posted in Cats, Deworming, Dogs, Parasites
A recent study from the Netherlands investigated the prevalence of zoonotic parasites in pet feces and on pets’ haircoats. The authors sampled feces and fur from dogs and cats, and looked for Toxocara (roundworms), Toxoplasma, Giardia and Cryptosporidium. All these parasites are of concern from a public health standpoint because they can be found in… Continue Reading