From Gosport, Hampshire, England:
My 11-year-old became seriously ill after having sickness and diarrhea and was diagnosed with type 1 at the age of 9.5. At that time, he was in close contact with 13 puppies' urine and faeces, which may have caused his sickness. Last week, my 13.5-year-old son was also diagnosed with type 1. He had no symptoms of any previous illness except he was drinking and urinating a lot. He had also been in very close contact with litters of puppies and their urine and faeces over the past few weeks. Both boys were quite healthy before becoming type 1 diabetics and there is no known family history of type 1 diabetes in our families. It is very rare in the United Kingdom for two children from the same family to get type 1 diabetes. I am concerned that their autoimmune reaction may have been triggered by a dog/puppy related virus, bacteria, and/or organism. Note that we have six small adult dogs, including some whose vaccinations were not up to date. The puppies are obviously newborn and therefore, not vaccinated. The puppies regularly walked in their own urine and faeces so the boys did regularly come into very close contact with the puppies' urine and faeces while playing and handling them. We spoke to another lady at my son's school today who stated that her daughter became a type 1 diabetic at the age of 11 and, at the time she was diagnosed, they had a puppy and that her daughter was in close contact with the puppy's urine and faeces. Does anyone know how many young children were in contact with puppies/kittens up to six months before they were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes? And, how likely is it that type 1 diabetes can be caused by children being in close contact with the urine and/or faeces of puppies, kittens, dogs and/or cats?
It's an interesting question, but there is no clinical evidence and also no laboratory evidence from any research studies that suggests that this is the case. More likely, it would be a genetic predisposition that both children inherited. We really do not know the precipitating causes of autoimmune type 1 diabetes but all large practices taking care of children will have one or two families where several family members have type 1 diabetes.
Original posting 9 Feb 2012
Posted to Research: Causes and Prevention
Last Updated: Thursday February 09, 2012 19:06:36
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