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Date of last update: 10/19/2017.

Forum Name: Pneumonia

Question: Cystic fibrosis and exposure to ^ concentration of animal e

 DebCat287 - Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:11 pm

My 14 month old Granddaughter was diagnosed from mother's cord blood with CF. She is getting the best care available at our local Children's hospital. She has had two different antibiotic inhalation treatments, twice per day, each lasting 30 days. 1st infection was pseudomonas aeruginosa, second infection was staph.
Throat swab was used to collect sample. She is normal height, weight, appetite, and learning landmarks.

My question is this:
They have 2 bunny rabbits in cages inside one of their two bedrooms. The room smells awful. The concentrated odor is stifling when one opens the door and walks into the room.They keep this door closed to the rest of the apartment. They sometimes open the bunny room windows to exhaust the odor. I have tried telling my son (age 33) that there is fecal bacteria and urine ammonia in the odor, as well as pet dander and most likely dust mites, and that he (they) should get rid of the bunnies. The bunnies kick up dust in their cages, which covers every surface in that room. I am of the opinion that this dust can migrate into other rooms of the apartment, and into the central air and heat system. I think that this environment is not healthy for a special needs toddler who has been diagnosed with CF. By the way, my fifteen year old Grandson sleeps in this room for tow nights about once a month when he comes to visit his Dad.
Do you agree or disagree?
Thank you very much for your time.
A concerned Grandma.
 John Kenyon, CNA - Sat Apr 18, 2009 8:44 pm

User avatar Hello --

You're absolutely correct in your observations, as all the detritus from the bunnies can potentially cause problems in healthy people, and the risk is multiplied in those with CF, especially very small ones.

Now then: fastidious maintainance of the bunny room could very well minimize the risk to everyone involved, but this is the problem, at least according to what I infer from your post. And knowing that people who do not tend to domestic animals properly usually are more willing to give them up than get with the clean program and stay with it day in and day out, this is probably the best approach, if followed up with a very thorough cleaning of the room. It is actually possible, in many cases, to keep animals in situations, but not if they're being kept this way. It's also not goof for the rabbits, who, while not immediately endangered nor human, do also deserve some consideration. All in all, this is a real mess, and especially a problem with the small one with CF being exposed to this. Your conclusions about various bunny detritus and its spread throughout the dwelling is correct, although, again, this could be minimized with proper animal care, which seemingly is not being given. This is a serious concern, and may well need to be brought to the attention of child protection services, who could assess this objectively. However, this would no doubt cause a painful rift. It might be brought up as a veiled threat, and might get the attention of the parents, but it's still likely to cause family strain at least. It's difficult enough just being a grandparent and trying to pass along helpful insights without this very complex additional situation.

I hope this is helpful to you. Good luck with this, and please follow up with us here as needed.
 DebCat287 - Mon May 18, 2009 1:25 pm

Thank you, John, for your response.
Fortunately, the bunnies were
"discovered" during a routine
apartment inspection by the Manager
of the complex where they live.
So, the bunnies and their odor are
gone, the carpet and room got cleaned,
and my grandchildren will be breathing
cleaner air.
I appreciate your suggestion regarding
Child Protective Services. Unfortunately,
they are not much help as their caseloads
are staggering and they only have time for
"serious" abuse. Also, as you stated, if Grandma
called them (CPS) in for child endangerment, it might
have caused a long term or even permanent break
in the family relationship. I babysit my grand-
daughter every Thursday on my day off.
She has been diagnosed twice with active
infection of pseudomonas aeurginosa (sp?) and
the info the parents downloaded from the Internet on
this resistant bacterial infection was scary.
Again, thank you for your reply! Best wishes to you!

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