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Animals post transplant

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had0171 Total Reaction Points: 3
Hello
I was just wondering about how people coped with having pets around post transplant. I have dogs and rabbits and I'm the rabbits primary carer - hubby is taking over whilst I'm in hospital but I will take over again when I'm back home.
And obviously there's the dogs - mainly under hubbies care but I do play and groom them as well.

No point saying - rehome them - hubby would move out with them :-) - so how did you cope with them in terms of infections etc?

Thank you

Comments

  • Dieseldrinker62Dieseldrinker62 Total Reaction Points: 254
    edited June 16
    Hi there,

    This is a good question and it's one I asked my transplant team myself, as a dog owner.

    There was no time during my treatment that I was ever asked to avoid contact with my dog and in fcat he was great company during my recovery and helped me get some fitness back by walking him daily and building up my strength.

    I recall my team telling me that my body has a built in resilience to the bugs we normally find around our home, even when on immuno-suppression and that being around our close family and pets is a good thing to maintain that resistance. The main warning I had was to be cautious around people or animals I didn't see regularly as they would be more likely to carry 'foreign' bugs that my body may be less familiar with, so I needed to be more cautious about being out and about.

    It goes without saying that you need to be cautious about hygiene, so hand washing after handling your pets or cleaning up after them is important. In fact I've become quite obsessed with hygiene since my transplant and seem to be constantly washing my hands.

    But as far as I am concerned and aware there is no need to avoid your pets during treatment and certainly don't need to exclude them from your home.

    Hope that helps,

    Steve
  • had0171 Total Reaction Points: 3
    Thank you so much for your reply - and for allaying my concerns. My animals are an integral part of my life and will play a big part in my recovery so that is a huge relief.
  • beckybrambeckybram Total Reaction Points: 20
    Hi
    I have a dog and a cat, as Steve said hygiene is the most important thing but no need to exclude your pets from your home, the only thing I was told was not to handle the pets toilet side of things for a while after transplant, if you have someone who can do this for you great if not then just extra care and some gloves! pets are a great source of comfort and having a dog keeps you up and about even when you don't feel like it, it gives you a routine to stick too.
    All the best for your upcoming treatment
  • Hayley_Anthony Nolan Hayley_Anthony Nolan Total Reaction Points: 66
    Hi,

    I am the nurse specialist in the patient services team. I just want to support what both Steve and Becky have said. Its fine to have pets and in most cases they play a big part in the recovery either through just the comfort in having them around or encouraging you to take the dog out for walks and exercise. You just need to use good hand hygiene which by this point I am sure you do without even thinking about anyway.

    Keep in touch

    BW
    Hayley
  • Rachelj01 Total Reaction Points: 21
    Hi

    When I was in hospital my brother kindly looked after my dog and friends fed my cat. Obviously, there are potential health concerns with animals post transplant, cleaning out the litter tray etc. I simply did best practise hand washing, wore gloves etc. when such jobs arose.

    What I can tell you, is my animals were a blessing to me whilst I recovered. The routine of letting out them, walking my dog etc gave my day a structure and purpose. Plus, if you look and feel awful your dog will still cuddle up to you for you. I truly believe animals are nurturing and every day I thank my two for their love during my recovery as I feel it kept my spirits up.

    Rachel
  • Mrsb83 Total Reaction Points: 2
    My consultant said not to do anything different with my pets, I have 2 cats. I sanitise my hands after giving them a fuss and don't deal with food bowls or litter trays because of the potential for infection (husbands job). I find nothing nicer than having a purring cat on my lap to relax me, I'm sure the benefit outweighs any risks.
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