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Want a Guinea Pig(s) piggies and pregnant women the facts

valathar

New Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
May 18, 2012
Messages
2
this post is to clear up common myths and misconceptions about guinea pigs and pregnant women
I've noticed alot of old threads here on the subject and very few put out the hard facts on the subject and site research sources
I recently researched this point as a gp owner with a pregnant wife and thought id share my findings in hopes they help someone else make they're decision

The connection to cats is nonexistant it is a seperate entity the cats can carry toxoplasmosis which has no connection to rodents the concern with pregnant women and rodents is lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV) which is typically carried by wild rodents but can be carried by pet rodents if they have had contact with wild rodents its not saying you shouldn't have them merely that care should be taken to not have them near your face and have someone else clean the cages and make sure they wash they're hands the disease is spread via feces, blood, urine, and saliva.
LCMV symptoms include:
Fever
Headache
Neck stiffness
Fatigue
Lack of appetite
Muscle aches
Nausea
Vomiting
these symptoms being so closely intertwined with common pregnancy symptoms can make exposure hard to identify

Where does the virus come from?

The primary host of LCMV is the common house mouse (Mus musculus). LCMV is not normally found in pet rodents, such as hamsters, gerbils, and guinea pigs. However, pet rodents can become infected after being in contact with wild house mice in breeding facilities, pet stores, or homes. People have become infected from contact with LCMV-infected hamsters.

Humans can develop LCMV infection from exposure to urine, droppings, saliva, or nesting material of infected rodents. LCMV infection can also occur when these materials are inhaled or directly introduced into broken skin or into the nose, eyes, or mouth, and possibly by a bite from an infected animal.

What are the symptoms of LCMV in people?

Adults with normal immune systems can be infected with LCMV without symptoms, or they may develop a mild illness with symptoms that may include the following: fever, lack of appetite, muscle aches, headache, chills, nausea, and vomiting. Some people may have meningitis (inflammation of the brain covering) approximately 7-15 days after the start of fever. People with weakened immune systems may have more severe or fatal illness when infected with LCMV.

Women who become infected with LCMV during pregnancy may have spontaneous abortion, or their baby may have severe birth defects, including congenital hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain), chorioretinitis (inflammation of the eye), blindness, or mental retardation. The proportion of developmental defects caused by LCMV is not known.

I am by far no expert just someone with a pregnant wife who sat and did the research.
the chances of a domestic rodent carrying this are miniscule but still possible and care should be taken to prevent possible complications

Pregnant moms can lower their chance of getting LCMV by:

Keeping pet rodents in a separate part of the home

Asking another family member to care for the pet and clean its cage

Washing hands with soap and water after handling pet rodents

Keeping rodent cages clean and free of soiled bedding

Cleaning the cage in a well-ventilated area or outside

Keeping pet rodents away from your face

Avoiding contact with wild rodents

If a house has rats or mice, taking care of the problem quickly with either mouse traps or calling a professional pest control company (talk to your health care provider before using any pest control chemicals in your home)

Sources:
March of dimes
(broken link removed)

Center for disease control
(broken link removed)


Disclaimer do not take my advice out of hand I am not trained medical personnel I am simply sharing my opinion and the research I've done this is a highly personal matter in which I advise you to do the research and decide for yourself what to do
 
This is a great post! Thank you for writing it up for us.

I wanted to add, toxoplasmosis is only a danger to the fetus if the mother does not already have it before she gets pregnant. Between 20% and 80% of adults have toxoplasmosis which is controlled by the immune system and no danger to the fetus.
 
Thanks for adding on the useful information salana
I wasn't aware of that and its good to know
 
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