Shelli loved to spend time with her niece and nephew and her cousin Linda’s bulldogs, which she named her therapy puppies. We love our pets and they give great joy, companionship and unconditional love reducing stress and anxiety. Pets become an extension of the family.
When you are undergoing chemotherapy, your immune system is weaker than usual so chat with your medical team and vet about your routines for caring for them as some pets might increase your risk of getting a serious infection.
Steps that may prevent germs carried by your pet from entering your body through scratches on your skin or through contact with your mouth (either directly or indirectly from your hands.
- Protect your skin from direct contact with pet bodily waste (urine or feces) by wear- ing vinyl or household cleaning gloves when cleaning up after your pet. Wash your hands immediately afterwards.
- Cover your hand with a plastic bag or vinyl or household cleaning glove to pick up waste when walking your dog and wash your hands thoroughly as soon as you return home.
- Keep your cat’s litter box away from eating areas. If possible, have someone else change the litter pan. If you must change the litter, wear vinyl or household cleaning gloves, and wash your hands immediately afterwards.
- Wash your hands with soap and water after playing with or caring for pets, especially before eating or handling food.
- Avoid being scratched or bitten by your pet. If you do get scratched or bitten, immediately wash the wounds well with soap and water. If your pet plays rough, you may have to call a halt to that until your immune system recovers.
- Stop your pet from licking your mouth or any open cuts or wounds you may have.
- Keep your pet clean and take your pet to the veterinarian for regular check-ups and vaccinations
For more advice and info check out Cancer.org: Is It Safe to Keep My Pet While I’m Being Treated for Cancer?