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Cats Should Not Have to Fear a Visit From the Stork

The HSUS launches educational mailing on toxoplasmosis to obstetricians

The HSUS launches educational mailing on toxoplasmosis to obstetricians

With misinformation about the risk of acquiring toxoplasmosis from household cats so prevalent, it’s important that obstetricians and gynecologists provide correct and helpful information to their patients. Studies have shown that pregnant women are more in danger of acquiring the disease from handling raw meat than from cleaning litter boxes—and yet fears of contracting toxoplasmosis continue to prompt cat relinquishments by pregnant women afraid of causing birth defects in their babies.

In December, The HSUS mailed educational materials to more than 31,000 obstetricians and gynecologists in the United States. A cover letter outlined the problem and explained why cats are often unfairly scapegoated; the mailing also included a practical guide for clinicians on toxoplasmosis, a patient pamphlet containing information about the minimal risks of cat-associated toxoplasmosis, and a list of helpful hints on introducing new babies to pets. In preparing the materials, The HSUS had the generous support of Patrick Duff, MD, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Florida, and Jeffrey D. Kravetz, MD, of the Yale School of Medicine.

To receive free copies of the pamphlet on introducing pets to new human family members, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to The HSUS, Toxo-ASM, 2100 L Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037.


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