pets and crohns

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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 75
   Posted 1/25/2008 5:34 PM (GMT -7)   
I have a dog and 2 guinea pigs. I am concerned about having the pets because I am taking Humira now and worried about pets (mainly the guinea pigs) giving me a bacteria such as salmonella or something else because my immune system is being suppressed. Any suggestions?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 686
   Posted 1/25/2008 5:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Wash your hands right after handling the guinea pig or at the very least use a squirt of Purell. I would also try not handle them if you have any open cuts.

Remicade and 6MP

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 1/25/2008 5:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Jodi's advice sounds about right and if you are really parinoid about it then wear a mask while cleaning cages etc.

Lady G
Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 321
   Posted 1/25/2008 6:28 PM (GMT -7)   
I have lived around dogs ALL my life (literally) and never had a single problem with them and linking up to my crohns, in fact they make me feel better, especially when I am in a painful flare and sick on the couch and they sit with me knowing I am in pain and need company, they never effect me pysically and always help me mentally.
My Father in law has immune issues and with thier dog, they just make sure to give it a weekly bath and all or such action and things go fine.
and I have 2 chinchillas right now that sit behind me when I am on the computer constantly, they are a dusty fur losing animals who poo too much and I have never had a problem with them, the dust, fur, poo and handling them ever at all. For me, pets have never had anything at all to do with my crohns.
I had guinea pigs when I was younger (hamsters, mice, guinea pigs, you name it) NEVER had a problem with them and getting sick or any bacteria or problems either back then.
So to me, pets are a safe thing to have around. Just keep them clean, take proper care and nothing bad should happen.
26 year old, married. Diagnosed with Crohns at 17, suspected of having for at least a year or so before that.  Alot of Crohns in my family history.  No surgeries yet. Taking Entocort.  Possible Fistula.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 100
   Posted 1/25/2008 6:36 PM (GMT -7)   
I was also wondering about this because we have a dwarf hamster. I was reading an article online about it but it recommends that you don't touch them. I will see if I can find it again and if so I will post it up here.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 900
   Posted 1/25/2008 11:50 PM (GMT -7)   
I have had Cd for the last 30 odd years. We had pets all during my girls childhood. At one point I was cleaning 15 hamster changes, guinea pigs and rabbits cages, a leapard guecko cage, fish tanks you name it. Granted it was a big job....but we were known for always accepting little creatures that no one else eyed eyed get the picture.I was always very careful about cleaning cages every two days because I refused to have our house smell like a zoo, which my neighbours assured me it didn't. wise, I wore rubby gloves and a mask while doing cages.....but otherwise just washed my hands really well after handling any of the pets. I don't regret one minute of fact the reason I agreed to all these pets is because it was soooo therapeutic for my children . Now I volunteer in a animal rescue foundation and handle ferrels and all sorts of abused and neglected animals. ....same thing....lots and lots of hand washing, and changing my clothes when I arrive home....but it does me such a world of good to know that I am helping some other of God's creatures that may be suffering. I think (for me) the benefits outweigh the risk.
50 yr.old retired RN,Crohn's D for last35 yrs..severe esophagitis, migraines,strictures,urethral stricture,depression,probable MS.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 93
   Posted 1/26/2008 12:05 AM (GMT -7)   
I thought this was about animals getting Crohn's. Not from us, of course, but I wonder if they can get it also through their genetics, bacteria, or whatever.

But I'm also taking Humira and am not worried dogs whatsoever, I love the creatures. I don't know about hamsters, guineas, and the like.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 235
   Posted 1/26/2008 11:28 AM (GMT -7)   
I'd give up taking Humira before I'd ever give up my beloved Umbrella Cocakatoo. (He's sitting on my shoulder watching me type, so I had no choice but to say that).
Just trying to be a "Regular Member".
Entocort 9 mg/day, Pentasa 4 gm/day, started Humira 1/22/08. I'm convinced that Prednisone is the root of all evil, and primarily responsible for global warming.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/26/2008 11:54 AM (GMT -7)   
jla, Hi there.  Of course your concerned about your lower resistance while on Humira. 
Salmonella is a gram-negative bacteria that pass from the feces of people or animals to other people or other animals.

Wash your hands with warm soapy water for 20 seconds before and after handling food and after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and handling pets. You should be okay if you always remember to wash your hands appropriately.  I have not addressed the salmonella that is spread through food not being prepared properly.

Take care and keep posting.

Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety ~ Panic  ~ Crohn's
*~* *~*
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 1/26/2008 2:51 PM (GMT -7)   
I doubt anyone would give up their kids just because changing poopy diapers is dirty right? And if you don't wash your hand after touching kid poop you can get e-coli! Just follow the same precautions and you will be fine.
26 Year old married female.  Diagnosed w/ CD 3 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD.  Currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day, hysociamine prn, nexium, and ortho evra.  Good times!!!

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 121
   Posted 1/27/2008 8:30 AM (GMT -7)   

I have been on immunosuppressants for 6 years and actually started them while I was a wildlife rehabber.  I still rehab opossums, squirrels, cottontails, jackrabbits, armadillos and songbirds in my home (no rabies-vector species like raccoons and skunks because my immune system does not hold the pre-exposure rabies vaccine) and I have never had any problems related to any of the animals.  Diligent hygiene is the key.  Also, this last year, a specialty vet told me about diagnosing ulcerative colitis in a dog--not CD, but still interesting.---Opossumgirl

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 75
   Posted 1/29/2008 8:25 AM (GMT -7)   
jla said...
I have a dog and 2 guinea pigs. I am concerned about having the pets because I am taking Humira now and worried about pets (mainly the guinea pigs) giving me a bacteria such as salmonella or something else because my immune system is being suppressed. Any suggestions?
colitis since age 6, 4 months ago diagnosed with crohns-colitis
Humira medical study, Azulfidine, probiotics, and tapering off prednisone

Post Edited (jla) : 1/29/2008 12:24:00 PM (GMT-7)

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 60
   Posted 1/29/2008 9:31 AM (GMT -7)   
I've also wondered about something similar. I have two cats and I've noticed that pregnant women are discouraged from handling cat litter. I'm assuming basic hygeine should keep me safe (as I'm not pregnant and just on Prednisone). Am I right?
Erin, 25
Dx w/ left-sided UC June 2007
(Flaring since June 2007)
Meds: Asacol 400 mg x 9; Prednisone (since 01/09/08) 20 mg 15 mg 
Supplements: Iron, Multivitamin w/ Calcium and Vit. D, Fish Oil & Probiotic Yogurt
Dx w/ Depression, GAD, and OCD in 2001
(Currently in therapy)
Meds: Paxil Lexapro Zoloft 100 mg

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2003
Total Posts : 1017
   Posted 1/29/2008 10:21 AM (GMT -7)   
Birunji, the cat litter thing and pregnant women, deals with airbound stuff and birth defects. It is just wise to be safe. Most of what I read about washing is the best advice.
Red (Lee Ann)
 Happy Bunny 
      When life gives you lemons, squirt juice in your enemy's eyes.

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