Testing for Toxoplasmosis?

Updated on February 09, 2010
D.K. asks from Delaware, OH
8 answers

We are planning on trying to start a family in a few months. We have three cats (that are staying right here with us, since they are family) and I have worked in a couple of vet's offices. I have heard that you can get tested for toxoplasmosis now and was wondering if you need to be tested before getting pregnant or if you can be tested at a first visit. My husband is going to take over litter boxes no matter what, but for piece of mind I would kind of like to know since if I already have it, there is not much of a concern. Thanks for any and all information!

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So What Happened?

Thanks for the responses everyone. I figure I have a decent chance that I have been exposed, our cats are indoors only, but I grew up with indoor/outdoor cats and worked in a vet's office where we saw lots of outdoor kitties. I also enjoy gardening, so have played in the soil plenty. I figured it was more for piece of mind to get tested and will ask for it when the time comes.

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answers from Philadelphia on

I have 2 cats and have had cats most of my life- many indoor/outdoor cats. I asked both my vet and my OB about toxoplasmosis and neither thought I nor my cats needed to be tested. I just stopped scooping the litter box while trying to concieve and while pregnant.

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answers from Dallas on

Talk to your Dr, but my vet told me that if you have indoor only cats, you're more likely to get toxoplasmosis from unwashed produce or possibly gardeing. Hopefully, you have indoor cats. t's a good idea for your husband to take over the litter box duty.



answers from Harrisburg on

Yes, you can get tested now. However, check with your insurance and get prices ahead of time.

I have had cats my adult life - so for about 17 years now - I am 36 now. I was 'tested' as part of my routine OBGYN blood work when I got pregnant. When my levels came back elevated, they sent me to Weber OBGYN, specialists at the Harrisburg Hospital. From there they took more blood and sent it to a lab in California. It takes some time (if I recall like two weeks) for it to come back. The more specific tests told me that I did not get it while pregnant and had it for some time aparently... which is what you want, you do not want to get it while your pregnant.

What happens is it is a parasite. Your body never gets rid of it, but builds up the ability to fight it. You don't want to be fighting it as a new issue when you are pregnant, but if you already have it your baby shouldn't be impacted or affected.

Of course, read, read, read, and get all the info you can from the doctors. It is very scray when you hear all the problems it can cause for an unborn baby, but being informed is the best way to deal with it. Know that the tests are very expensive (like $700 I believe), but certainly worth it if you have the money and can gain the peace of mind.

VERY IMPORTANT - and you don't need to be scooping the litter boxes to get it! When the cats leave the litter box, they can carry the parasite all over the house... you can still do the litter if you wash your hands after! And, you can get it ever if you never go near the litter!

Best wishes!!!



answers from Tampa on

It's a simple test that your OB should be able to tack on to any routine blood work that's done, I think I got tested at my first visit. It's possible, although probably more expensive than it's worth, to have your cats tested too.
Interesting note, I had no antibodies even though I've worked as a vet tech and in rescue for ten years and my boss also came up negative with even more potential exposure than I.


answers from Chicago on

If your cats don't go outdoors, you probably haven't gotten it from them. You can actually get toxo, though, from handling raw meat such a ground beef, and also from gardening. It's actually a more common way to get it, but people don't realize that. You can just have your doctor request a blood test to see if you've been exposed to it.


answers from Minneapolis on

If you have had cats and been around cats, its likely you already have the antibodies. Just have your husband tke over the duties while pregnant and it will all be ok.



answers from Myrtle Beach on

I have cats, in fact we breed Burmese, so we have anywhere from 4-15 cats at any given time. I figured I had probably had it somewhere along the line, so i go tested with my second child just to see. Turns out I hadn't. But I also had to figure that if I hadn't before it was highly unlikely I would now either. I had hubby take some of the duties on litter box, but I took care of it some too. I just washed my hands after. I also tried to do it more regularly, as one physician told me it could go airborne after a couple days. So, I tried to scoop daily and wash hands. If you look at how that is transmitted that should pretty much take care of any worries.



answers from Harrisburg on

I don't think there is any need for you to get tested before hand. You can wait until your first OB visit.

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