Selling diseased animals

Spoof

Kung Fu Chinny!
Joined
Jan 30, 2009
Messages
2,599
Location
San Antonio, TX
This is about Strangles, also known as Equine Strep and one of the most rapid-spreading contagious diseases known to horses.

This started in CA and is now running around almost every state in the U.S. wiping out unknowing and unlucky herds and not even a PEEP out of people. There is no cure and nothing you can do to save the animals and there are now several breeders selling carriers. The chinchillas that survive will always be carriers and always pass it to other chinchillas (and heaven forbid, horses or humans, it does happen).

It's a well known issue in horses and I vaccinate mine yearly for it.

Just found out that one it popped up in my state from a local vet. Here is a very good article on it; http://suite101.com/a/chinchillas-and-the-strangles-a282106

Here is what it does to horses, I'll let you google the pictures; https://online.zoetis.com/GB/EN/Conditions/Pages/Equine%E2%80%93Streptococcusinfections.aspx

Here is a lovely example of where it jumped to humans; http://www2c.cdc.gov/podcasts/media/pdf/EID_7-13_HorseStrep.pdf

To recap;
There is a highly contagious lifelong disease running around in chinchillas that has a 30-45% death rate, no cure, and nobody is talking but they ARE happily selling animals to unknowing buyers and infecting other herds. :(

How do you feel about this?
 

Stackie

I bite.
Joined
Jan 29, 2009
Messages
6,399
Location
Indianapolis, IN
Could you give more background on what the disease is that's affecting chinchillas? Name? Symptoms? etc? This is the first I've heard about it. Do you have any documentation from vets, necropsies?

And I think it's obvious how people with any morals would feel...it's not right.
 

Spoof

Kung Fu Chinny!
Joined
Jan 30, 2009
Messages
2,599
Location
San Antonio, TX
Could you give more background on what the disease is that's affecting chinchillas? Name? Symptoms?
It's Equine Strep/Strangles. Same symptoms as horses from what I have heard, though I did link to an article that had information on a chinchilla with it and the vet here confirmed that this was what they had seen.

I personally have only seen horses with it and had only herd rumors about it in chinchillas so didn't feel I had the right to say anything. Now that I've had it confirmed by an actual vet in my state, I'm happy to tell you this is nasty stuff.

And I think it's obvious how people with any morals would feel...it's not right.
But chinchillas are a business, if this was your source of income/investment and the only moral solution was to put down the entire herd to keep it from spreading, would you take the loss and do it?
 
Last edited:

EMSChins

Hendryx Chinchillas
Joined
Jun 12, 2010
Messages
1,243
Location
Cincinnati Area
I have heard many rumors about this illness but luckily have not yet seen it. It scares the crap out of me and you are right-not many people are talking.
 

chinsNdobermans

Humble Acres Chinchillas
Joined
Mar 5, 2009
Messages
834
Location
Western NY
While I have heard the rumors flying, this is the first I've heard a name given to the illness. I've heard of strangles in horses. Very scary.
 

EMSChins

Hendryx Chinchillas
Joined
Jun 12, 2010
Messages
1,243
Location
Cincinnati Area
It's crazy because if you have bought a chin from someone that is a carrier and they have no symptoms-how are you supposed to know if you have it in your herd or not? I can see where this could result in a vicious cycle of unknowingly selling ill animals.
 

Spoof

Kung Fu Chinny!
Joined
Jan 30, 2009
Messages
2,599
Location
San Antonio, TX
how are you supposed to know if you have it in your herd or not?
The symptoms are so extreme you can't miss it, and in a larger herd you won't not have symptoms as it is carried and can re-appear during times of stress throughout the animal's life. Rumor is it also has a high fatality and sterility rate.

There is a swab they do in horses to determine carriers but it isn't terribly accurate. It also requires swabbing the back of the nasal passage which isn't easily reachable in chinchillas. Once they are showing signs it is easy as all body fluids are contagious.
 

Twilight Chinchillas

Zookeeper extraordinaire
Joined
Jan 30, 2009
Messages
1,755
Location
Spokane, WA
To recap;
There is a highly contagious lifelong disease running around in chinchillas that has a 30-45% death rate, no cure, and nobody is talking but they ARE happily selling animals to unknowing buyers and infecting other herds. :(

How do you feel about this?
Dumbfounded, sick to my stomach,but more just pissed off than anything! Anyone knowingly selling animals w/ this disease/ and or carriers is the bottom of the barrel.
It's going to be very difficult to know who to go to for animals. I have a very small herd now, and most are nearing retirement age. Luckily I have't introduced any animals in over a year and a half, but do attend shows. Is this air borne Tara??
 

Spoof

Kung Fu Chinny!
Joined
Jan 30, 2009
Messages
2,599
Location
San Antonio, TX
Is this air borne Tara??
It is passed by normal Strep transmission methods - contact with sick animals, close proximity, handling etc. You can learn a lot by reading the horse article, it's the same thing on a smaller scale.

It can be contained by good hygiene, hand washing and due diligence etc.

Yes, it can be passed at shows due to airborne proximity and handling and has wiped out horse shows in the past. That is why everyone vaccinates for it.
 

AZChins

Pro Cage Cleaner Champion
Joined
May 18, 2009
Messages
5,726
Location
Sahuarita, Arizona (a half hour south of Tucson)
How widespread is this? I have not heard of this from anyone. We're talking about a strep infection, that's not really anything terribly new to chinchillas. How does this strain of bacteria differ from other strains of strep?

I've had chins come in with abscesses but I have never had a vet diagnose the chins with some exotic horse bacteria...
 

Spoof

Kung Fu Chinny!
Joined
Jan 30, 2009
Messages
2,599
Location
San Antonio, TX
How widespread is this?
I'm going to wager at least 10% of the animals in the U.S. currently have it/carry it. It only takes one of those going through a wholesaler to infect the holding facility animals and head out to pet stores...

I have not heard of this from anyone.
Of course not, they'd loose sales. Or, they may not have realized how bad it really was. Until you see this take down a bunch of horses you really don't have a concept of what you're sending to another herd.

We're talking about a strep infection, that's not really anything terribly new to chinchillas. How does this strain of bacteria differ from other strains of strep?
Highly contagious and carried throughout their lives. High mortality rate, not reactive to antibiotics. Check out that article on Strangles. :))
 

AZChins

Pro Cage Cleaner Champion
Joined
May 18, 2009
Messages
5,726
Location
Sahuarita, Arizona (a half hour south of Tucson)
I've had chin rescues come in, hundreds if not thousands, and I have never encountered anything like that.

There have been whole breeding herds of chins that have died of this? Are you sure? I haven't heard of anyone in CA having this as an issue. I've heard of strep causing problems in single animals from breeders years and years ago with the large abscesses and maybe some respiratory issues.

It just seems really strange that people would be able to keep something like that totally quiet without spilling the beans and tipping off others that there is a really widespread problem. Sorry, I'm just a little shocked to hear about this. :)
 

ticklechin

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 14, 2009
Messages
8,087
Location
modesto CA
There was a hush hush mass herd kill off in CA a few years ago, I wonder if this was it. This scares me because I have a large clientel of horse people as customers, can this be passed from human to chin, if the human got it from a horse? Have vets vaccinated chins for this? I think I will put a call into my vet and ask.
 

AZChins

Pro Cage Cleaner Champion
Joined
May 18, 2009
Messages
5,726
Location
Sahuarita, Arizona (a half hour south of Tucson)
I guess it would be too much to ask for people to be respectful of other breeders and ranchers to tell everyone about this type of problem. I've turned down bringing in chins with pasturella for rescue, this sounds much worse than that. There's too many precious little lives at risk, it would be nice to know if something is happening so we can all be prepared.
 

aznmexaggie

Chinchilla Chateau
Joined
Jan 29, 2009
Messages
1,667
Location
Northern California
I think a vaccine should be developed for this. I read in some older Empress magazines of chinchilla vaccinations but for what illness, I can't remember. Perhaps if we could generate funding or find a vet who is interested in researching this in chins, we could all learn more about it and protect our animals from it. I have heard of it popping up all over the US and for this reason, I haven't added any new animals to my herd for quite some time. If it ever occurred in my herd, I would put the animal down and probably every animal it had ever been in contact with. From what I have heard of it, it is not something I would even waste my time and money treating when all is said and done, they can still carry it and transmit it. I would just put the animals down and have to cut my losses.
 

Riven

Bad Chin
Joined
Jan 29, 2009
Messages
3,584
Location
Central Nebraska
I had a male, the breeder said it was a super male and I agreed, the problem is I got one kit out of him... EVER. Of course you get a great male, you put your best females with him... They all started dying... every female I put with him died. I talked with Doc Butler, he agreed he was some sort of carrier. I put him down and now he's a pelt... I lost too many good animals and got no offspring to speak of... The breeder wasn't happy and said they would've like to try him, but it was my animal and I wasn't going to spread it to any other herd... I sanitized the run several times over the next several months and left it empty for about 6 months or longer and didn't have any issues again.

It's not worth it for a breeders production, and it's certainly not worth it if you want to maintain a good reputation.
 

aznmexaggie

Chinchilla Chateau
Joined
Jan 29, 2009
Messages
1,667
Location
Northern California
If it was isolated from chins and found to be the same strain as the horse illness, the horse vaccine could be a starting point for trials on chins.

Tara, do you need to have a vet administer the equine vaccine or can you purchase it and vaccinate your horse on your own? If it's the same strain and available for purchase, I could potentially see a lot of off-label usage...
 
Top