Animal Doctor

Animal Doctor

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Dear Dr. Fox:

Kindly review the attached article regarding cats and human babies. Any comments to dispel the old wives' tale of cats smothering infants would be appreciated.

D.G.

North Palm Beach, Fla.

I cannot believe that a nationally syndicated columnist such as this pediatrician would write that "some cats will seek out the infants' mouths and noses and lie on them to smother them. . . . It would be better for the baby if your daughter would rid herself of the cats."

Although this article that you and others sent me is undated, it comes from the Dark Ages. Its main focus of concern is toxoplasmosis, which cats can transmit to humans. But vets have ways to deal with this so that a pregnant woman doesn't have to "rid herself of the cats." People are more likely to get this parasite from handling infected meat in their kitchens and from soil while gardening.

Dear Dr. Fox:

I recently adopted a 1 1/2 -year-old male Shih Tzu from a rescue center. He tested negative for heartworm and has been on Heartguard ever since.


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