Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard
Snow Leopard cub (7 mos old) - Cape May County Zoo

Sunday, July 31, 2011

And I Thought It Was My Age...

What I am referring to here is a quote from an article that says this: "The parasite may also sway human behaviour, with research suggesting it turns men into aggressive, jealous ‘alley cats’, while transforming women into ‘sex kittens’. "

I'm in my late 30's...sexual peak and all...but hey, I guess it may just be a parasite..LOL.

Well, this article certainly poses a more interesting theory and in some ways very scary to me - from the standpoint that cats do  not need any more reasons to be abused and treated like second class pet citizens. 

Can the cat give you cancer? Parasite in their bellies linked with brain tumours

Last updated at 8:45 AM on 27th July 2011

Cats may be spreading brain cancer to their owners, scientists warned last night.

They have linked a parasite that breeds in cats’ stomachs with brain tumours in people.

While they can’t prove that our feline friends are to blame, they say that properly researching the link could spare some people from developing the deadly disease.

Brain cancer, in its various guises, claims more than 3,500 lives a year in the UK alone, and its causes are largely unknown.
The parasite in the frame – Toxoplasma gondii – is carried by around a third of the world’s population deep inside their brains and has been linked to personality changes, in people as well as animals.

The parasite, which infects up to 34 per cent of Britons, has a complicated lifecycle but can only breed inside cats, which then pass their microscopic eggs, spreading the infection.

Pregnant women are already advised not to empty cat litter trays, as the parasite can be fatal to unborn babies, and now it seems the health risks may extend to other people.

Read more:

We in the veterinary world are VERY aware of this parasite. Veterinarians are the number one resource for zoonotic diseases, or those that humans can get from animals. There are many human physicians who are woefully misinformed in this area and have given wrong advice to their patients in regards to pets/animals. Example: you can't get pinworms from dogs/cats (people have been told they can for years and have gotten rid of pets because of it!). 

With regard to this parasite - Toxoplasma - the big concern has always been in regards to pregnant women as it can cause birth defects or be fatal to a fetus. However, the key thing is that cats only shed this parasite (if at all) for a 2 week window, the eggs need 1 entire day to become infective (so if you scoop the box even just 2x a day you are fine) and the most common source is undercooked meat and gardening without gloves.

In any case this is certainly not enough evidence to indicte our poor feline population. No good scientist I know would take this as proof positive. Is it interesting, yes? Do parasites possibly cause behavior changes? I'm sure if they involve the brain they could. 

I'm going to continue to enjoy my "friskiness" - no matter the cause however! :) 

No comments:

Post a Comment