• During chemo, do I need to do anything different when handling my pets?

    Asked by JoyV on Monday, June 4, 2012

    During chemo, do I need to do anything different when handling my pets?

    I recently read in a cancer handout that during chemo, I should wash my hands after touching my pets. I have a dog that is my constant companion (sleeps on the bed, sits on the sofa with me, etc.) I know I can't clean a litter box and I can't pick up dog poop--but, washing after each time I touch him will keep my hands constantly in the sink. Thank you for any advice.

    8 Answers from the Community

    8 answers
    • markmather's Avatar

      You will get so used to washing your hands all the time. It is just about keeping germs to a minimum while your immune system is low. I didn't have any problems with my kitty. Just use good judgement and you will be fine. Blessings.

      almost 9 years ago
    • PPaseka's Avatar

      We didn't do anything special however when my wife was doing chemo, our dig refused to take her treats out of her hand.

      almost 9 years ago
    • NanciHersh's Avatar

      My dogs were a great source of comfort to me during chemo. Like you, they were my constant companions- and our big lab did sleep up on the bed with me.

      Our vet suggested that I have someone else apply their flea and tick treatment each month which made sense. If that is not an option, then wear disposable gloves and then still wash your hands.

      Enjoy your pets. :)

      almost 9 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      markmather hit it on the head. It isn't so much about handling pets specifically as it is about germ management in general. You need to wash or sanitize after handling people and inanimate objects as well. Chemo kills blood cells that fight infection. So during that time, you need to minimize exposure to anything that has bacteria, viruses, fungi, or can cause injuries that can result in infections. Keep bottles of hand sanitizer by the bed, the sofa, etc. so you don't have go to the sink each time you touch the dog, but still wash frequently.

      almost 9 years ago
    • judalou's Avatar

      I have found a cat litter product called Feline Pine. It is a wood product consisting of small pellets. As the animal uses this litter it gradually breaks down to fine sawdust. Find it at Walmart pet section & local grocery stores. Not much is needed & was answer to keeping my companion during treatment....Give it a trial....

      almost 9 years ago
    • Jackie's Avatar

      Keep your lovies close by but those germs at bay. You'll quickly learn if you need to wash your hands.

      almost 9 years ago
    • Bashiemn's Avatar

      I think you should handle your pets more when you are on chemo for the healing affects. :) I didn't do anything special either except make sure to wash my hands more often as I should anyways. My dog continued to lick my face every time he would see me. And actually he became more protective of me and guarded me with his life...

      almost 9 years ago
    • mspinkladybug's Avatar

      Our bodies are used to certain germs it is when we try to get rid of all germs do we have an issue I have 3 dogs all whoms slept with me during cemo just wash your hands and pratice good hygeine I even got lost of kisses too they knew i needed them

      almost 9 years ago

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