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C2006-16

Dear Christopher Cat

I was shopping for cat toys when my 2-year-old son picked up what I thought was a toy mouse. After he played with it, I realized it was an actual dead mouse. Can he contract any diseases from playing with a dead mouse?

Christopher Responds

Last week, I killed a mouse in the house. Usually one of the family dogs eats my prey, but that time, I left the mouse where the dogs couldn’t reach it.

Mom found it, picked it up with her bare hands, and disposed of it.

Then, she washed her hands well – and gave me the prize I had been waiting for: a kiss.

While she didn’t seem very concerned about touching the mouse, you should ask your family doctor or pediatrician about your son’s exposure to the dead mouse.

It’s often difficult to know which doctor to ask when you have a question that involves both animals and people.

A good rule of thumb is to ask your veterinarian – or your vet’s pets – when you have a question about an animal’s health.

On the other hand, when your question is about a human family member’s health, it’s best to call your family physician.

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