Selling diseased animals

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ticklechin

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I left a message at my vet if they have seen it in horses or chins, is there a vaccine for chins and emailed CAchins to see if they have seen it yet, she has horses and chins.
 

Pookinaround

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Ya know I just can't hold this one in any longer... I have only been into chins for not quite 2 years now... Starting out you are told go to shows, buy good quality stock from reputable breeders etc... OK fine great...I did that...invested a boatload of money, time and effort... That being said...the problems being mentioned in this thread in addition to the others that we recently discussed in those other 2 threads not that long ago...should REALLY make people stop and think about where the whole future of the chin industry is gonna end up...

http://www.chins-n-hedgies.com/forums/showthread.php?t=41946

and

http://www.chins-n-hedgies.com/forums/showthread.php?t=41996

The chin community is so small that A LOT of people have animals from pretty much everyone else and the cycle perpetuates... For example I personally have animals from most of the major breeders out here on the East Coast. Now considering that most of the major breeders show...if just one disease gets passed that can be carried...WE ARE ALL TOAST!!! Think about it folks...where is this gonna end up??? The big picture isn't looking too good!!! I agree a vaccine needs to be developed...I have said it before and I'll say it again...
 
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seachin

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If this is what it is a bacteria as it is claimed to be (Streptoccus equi) then it cannot be vaccinated against (being that vaccines are for viruses, not bacteria), so I am not sure why people are vaccinating against it since it is NOT A VIRUS. Its like people who have the flu and beg their doctor for antibiotics. It just doesn't work that way. You treat bacteria with antibiotics, vaccines can prevent viral infection. One does not work on the other.

Sorry, biology teacher here. :/
 

Stackie

I bite.
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If this is what it is a bacteria as it is claimed to be (Streptoccus equi) then it cannot be vaccinated against (being that vaccines are for viruses, not bacteria), so I am not sure why people are vaccinating against it since it is NOT A VIRUS. Its like people who have the flu and beg their doctor for antibiotics. It just doesn't work that way. You treat bacteria with antibiotics, vaccines can prevent viral infection. One does not work on the other.

Sorry, biology teacher here. :/

You can vaccinate for bacteria. Tetanus & tuberculosis are caused by bacterial infection and we vaccinate for that. Leptospirosis & lyme disease are bacterial infections in dogs that we vaccinate against as well. The vaccines are either made with a a form of the bacteria or a modified version of the toxin the bacteria produces. A vaccine just strengthens the immune system by introducing the body to the organism and allowing the body to produce antibodies against it - it isn't isolated to just viruses.
 

AZChins

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I'd worry about the off label usage, too, Sumiko. We need to talk to some vets to get some opinions for sure. I'll talk to my vet hopefully on Thursday just to see what he thinks about it.

If vaccinating each and every chin that comes into the herd is something that needs to be done to prevent this, I am willing to do it....provided that the vaccine isn't too terribly expensive. I vaccinate feral cats that show up here to prevent disease and unnecessary death, I care about the chins a heck of a lot more than them.

I'm concerned because I end up with so many chins that people are (I hate to say this) pretty much throwing away because they don't want them any more. I quarantine them and watch them for many months before I place them with the rest of the chins. With this it sounds like there can be chins that harbor it without displaying symptoms. Pasturella scares me...this is worse. I have to worry, I just wish someone would have told me about it a long time ago.
 

seachin

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Yes, I stand corrected, and embarassed. Now this has me more interested to know what vaccines are used to treat this. Keep us posted.
 

Stackie

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Many medications in the vet industry are used off-label, though I can't recall ever using a vaccine off label. The vaccine for horses is intranasal which is good because many are intramuscular. From my research it looks like the vaccine contains live bacteria, which often times can result in symptoms of the actual disease after vaccinating. In horses they may be minor, but in something as small of a chin, I'm afraid of what the reaction/symptoms would/could be. I would definitely want to see a vaccine developed specifically for chins rather than using the horse vaccine.
 

Spoof

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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...
You can do it yourself and it is available over the counter at feed stores.

I personally am not going to vaccinate 70+ chinchillas with an intramuscular injection yearly. It's expensive and time consuming and all it does is give them a modified version of it (live vaccine) that is only about 90% preventative. The site injection side effects when they happen are horrible and if you get a case of bastard strangles it's pretty much a guaranteed death. Also, the older they are the more likely it is that they will get bastard strangles and die. They only vaccinate here if it is a young horse. The older horses have a higher chance of surviving strangles than the vaccine if it goes wrong.

For those that have never vaccinated anything; you'd be giving your chinchilla Strangles and hoping they built up an immunity to it. That isn't a solution.

Personally if I did get it I'd put them down, sterilize the heck out of everything and start over (or retire). No point in messing with it. If it is your pet, just keep them away from other chinchillas and practice good personal hygene.
 

Spoof

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The vaccine for horses is intranasal
The intranasal one is not very effective, it isn't even offered in the south any more.

Again, this isn't going to protect your chinchilla, it's going to introduce it into your herd. There is no cure and no treatment, just good husbandry when the (horse) gets it. Antibiotics have a very limited effect, surgery is more effective once they abscess.
 

Snickers

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I would like to know if people have it go through some of their herd and then go to shows what are the percentages your animal will catch it? I am now debating on showing at the CA State show and Nationals.

Also the people that have it going through their herds or had it go through how can they keep selling them.

I myself would put them down and not even start over.
 
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RDZCRanch

RavenousDeadlyZombieChins
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Why in the blue blazes would you recommend killing an entire herd for a bacterial infection with a 1% mortality rate??????

You do know we have things for fighting bacterial infections. They are called antibiotics.
 

mark miller

Miller Chinchillas
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Last March I picked up about 30 chinchillas for a friend of mine that lives about 2 hours away from me. He hadn't brought in any new chins into his herd in about 15 years and contacted me to see if I could get him some new bloodlines to work with. I contacted 2 other larger breeder's and was able to get what he wanted from them. In August, I received a call from him telling me that he was having some problems with some of his chins and wanted to know if I would come take a look at them to see if I could recognize what was going on. I went to his place a few days later and saw 2 chins with large lumps under their chins and 1 chin with the same large lump back around the genital area that appeared to be abscesses. I also saw at least a handful of chins that had swollen eyes that were very infected with sticky pus or completely swollen shut. He told me he believed the symptoms were related because a couple of the chins that had the swollen eyes had the abscess under the chin previously. I told him I had never seen these symptoms before but, would contact some of my chin friends to see if anyone else had. I started making calls and sending emails and messages out to many of my chinchilla contacts around the US. At first I wasn't having much luck but, then I finally got someone to talk to me and tell me this was a disease that had showed up in some chinchilla herds a few years ago and they were able to point me in the right direction to gather more information from those that had previously dealt with this. I literally spent 2 months researching this disease, talking to as many breeder's as I could that had firsthand information about this disease in chinchillas. I was amazed the more and more information I received about it that I had not even heard about it till now and it had been around for a few years already. I made it very clear to everyone that I talked to that I was not going to mention any names or point any fingers. I was just trying to collect all the good useful information I could from those that have dealt with this disease in order to help my friend treat his herd effectively as well as possibly submitting an article to both Breeder Magazines to help anyone else out there they may encounter this in their herds.

As for the information I've gathered to this point, 3 different breeders had this tested at University labs and all 3 got the same findings that this is a Streptococcus Bacteria similar to what is commonly seen in horses. It is a very contagious bacteria most commonly spread through saliva animal to animal, can also be spread from human to animal very easily after handling an infected chin and then handling another chin. It can become airborne but, can not travel far as an airborne bacteria so only chins in very close proximity could possibly contract from airborne bacteria. It often starts with a itchy wet irritated eye that just wont seem to get better. Some chins will then develop cysts that will abscess and fill with pus most commonly from the lymph nodes under the chin but, can actually show up anywhere on the body. Not every infected animal will develop the abscesses but, when the abscess is drained the pus is highly contagious and the bacteria can live in the pus for up to 2 months. Often the eyes will continue to worsen becoming swollen shut with a sticky pus, this is also a highly contagious state for spreading the bacteria. Infected animals can carry the bacteria in their saliva which can live for up to 2 weeks on anything the animal puts its mouth on. When any of these symptoms are present, the animal is contagious. It is also believed by many that some animals that have been exposed to the bacteria that never actually show any of the symptoms may be carriers of the bacteria and may be able to infect other animals. This is based on the information confirmed with horses and this type of bacteria but, has not actually been proven true in chinchillas to my knowledge.

I have spoken with 3 different Veterinarians regarding this bacteria in chinchillas (2 of which raised chinchillas) and they all agreed that the symptoms chinchillas show are very similar to that in horses with strep equi. They all 3 agreed that a vaccination for this bacteria would not be practical in chinchillas and recommended treating with Sulfadimethoxine in the water mixed 3/4 ounce to 1 Gal water treating all the animals in herd for 5 days, then 5 days of just water, then 5 more days of Sulfadimethoxine in the water. This will treat the animals only. They also all agreed that the cages need to be disinfected during this time to prevent reinfection of the bacteria leftover in saliva on the cage, feeder, or waterer. This regimen has been proven effective in treating this bacteria in 2 different chinchilla herds that have had it.

This disease does not typically kill the chinchillas. Most of the infected chins will improve and heal and go back to normal with treatment. Some have stated they believe once an animal has had the symptoms and gotten better, that they are immune to it reoccurring. I can not confirm that, though I did here it from more than one person. There were only a couple of reported cases where a tumor growth with pus in it grew internally and actually killed the chin from this disease. Most of the time this bacteria is not life threatening to chinchillas. It has also been reported that it may cause sterility in some of the infected chins. I have not encountered any proof of this from those that I've talked to in fact my friend has told me that since he has treated his herd that 2 of the females that were infected have littered and are raising the babies fine and 2 males that were infected have produced breeding plugs recently with their females.

This is a serious disease that no one should ever take lightly. It is very difficult to control when it gets into a herd of chinchillas. It is not just in one area of the country. It has affected several chinchilla herds in many different states already. I would not put it in a epidemic category yet but, it has affected a few fairly large scale breeder's. It is possible to get under control with diligent treatment of animals and disinfecting entire environment and strong husbandry.

In light of all this information I was able to gather on this disease as well as the other health issues that have been being discussed about chinchillas lately, I contacted ECBC and recommended changes be made to the show rules requiring all chinchillas to be visually inspected by a experienced person appointed by the show chairman upon arrival at all the upcoming shows before animals are allowed to be entered and caged at the show. Any chin showing any abnormality, wet eye, runny nose, lump anywhere will not be allowed in the show room. My suggestions were well received and I was told ECBC would attempt to have these rules implemented soon. No one wants to bring anything like this home from attending a show and even though this rule isn't a catch all, it at least is a measure that can be taken to help prevent a sick animal being entered into a show.
 

RDZCRanch

RavenousDeadlyZombieChins
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Mark, I have never loved you more than I do tonight. Your response is incredibly detailed and gives all of the correct information on this infection in chinchillas. Hopefully your response will clear up some of these misconceptions and keep people from jumping to killing entire herds over this.
 
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Very well said Mark - Thanks so much for helping me to understand this disease. It is frightening but not as frightening as I first read. Hopefully I NEVER see this disease but will be on the look out
 

ticklechin

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modesto CA
Marks information is good, but I commend Spoof for bringing this up-This is the kind of thing that scares me, it is a known issue that has been kept quiet. CAchins has seen one potential case of this, it can effect rescues and pet owners, those that would not have this info to help a vet diagnosis since it was kept quiet. What other issues are there??? Where is the info that states its a 1% mortality rate in chinchillas, is that secret too? I have not found it, it kills a heck of a lot of horses
 
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chinsNdobermans

Humble Acres Chinchillas
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Mark, thank you very much for your information.

I believe we, as chinchilla breeders and owners, need to be more open about things like this. Disease happens, especially when chinchillas are stressed from being moved to a new place or having gone to a show; it does not automatically mean we are bad breeders. If the information you have gathered is made easily accessible, the disease does not seem as terrifying, although it is still scary. Certainly not worth killing your whole herd over, IMO, but that's just my feeling.

It doesn't benefit anyone for us to be secretive.
 

Spoof

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Really the whole point of this thread is because I'm angry nobody has said anything about it in the last three years. It has been around for a long time but I could only verify what it was recently.

Why in the blue blazes would you recommend killing an entire herd for a bacterial infection with a 1% mortality rate??????

You do know we have things for fighting bacterial infections. They are called antibiotics.

I would put down the infected animals and anything they came into contact with because you can not visibly identify carriers and it is "silently" carried. If you read the articles I posted you'd see there is a documented case of this in chinchillas within the last few months.

During one of the original outbreaks two years ago it wiped out about 30% of the owner's herd when they brought the new animals in, antibiotics and all. It wasn't immediate, it ran on for about six months. Guess what? Ya'll bought those animals and it infected other herds so clearly it is silently carried. Why would you do that to another rancher? Now instead of 3-4 herds with it we've got a couple dozen (or more).

For each animal that "survives" you are potentially harboring a carrier that you are now going to sell back into the population... that is not kosher no matter how you look at it. At least be honest and say yea, I have had it. Then the buyer can decide if they want to take the risk.

In modern times it isn't too bad on horses, many do survive but it often takes both surgery and antibiotics. I believe the death rate was so high in the original outbreaks because they didn't know what it was and were only hitting it with antibiotics.

How you chose to deal with it is up to you. If it is your pet, the surgery and antibiotic combo appears to have the best success rate. If you are a breeder that wholesales... you are doing the chinchilla and horse world a great disservice. If you sell overseas you need to think real hard on what this disease will do to the chinchilla and horse populations. There are some countries that don't have it yet and it could cause a huge financial and biological mess.
 

mark miller

Miller Chinchillas
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Some additional notes:

All of the breeder's that I talked to that have dealt with this in their herds were very adamant about how they would never want to give this to anyone else because of their animals being sick. All of them stopped selling chins and attending any shows while they were treating their animals for this disease. They did not sell or show chins again until they're entire herd visually appeared to be healthy again. The notion that there are Empress or MCBA registered breeders maliciously selling their sick or contagious chins to the public I just don't believe to be true. It is always possible that a chin could be sold and then develop the symptoms a short time later but, all of the breeder's I talked to based on their comments to me are doing all they can to ensure that they aren't the cause for continuing to spread this disease.

All of the breeder's that responded to me that have had this disease enter their herds of chinchillas can trace it back to specific chins that they brought into their herds. Not even one person has reported getting this disease from attending a show or just being around other people's chins without bringing home new chins. I have not heard of anyone actually contracting this disease in their chins from airborne bacteria.

It is believed that stress plays a large role in the development of symptoms with this disease. Any animal with a weakened immune system is most susceptible to developing the physical symptoms of the disease.

Most common infection occurs animal to animal through bacteria in saliva, next common transmission is human to animal by handling other chins after handling a infected chin without washing hands. I was very surprised to find out bacteria is not active in their feces. I was told that by 2 different Vet's. This disease is not typically passed from animal to humans, though it has happened in a couple of rare cases with the strep equi in horses.

Limiting animal contact as well as movement from cage to cage is imperative to treating a infected herd of chinchillas since most of your transmission of bacteria will occur through animals saliva and human's handling.

Sulfadimethoxine 12.5% liquid solution can be purchased through most Vet's. It comes in a 1 Gallon jug and does not require a prescription to get. It generally runs about $40 a jug.

This is a serious but, treatable disease. It can be controlled within a herd with treatment of animals and disinfecting cages and environment. It is not easy to completely eliminate in a herd and can reoccur from time to time in stressed or weakened animals. So, you need to constantly be on lookout for any of these symptoms to appear once you've had it and treated it in your chinchilla herd. It is not uncommon to have to treat the herd repeatedly from time to time if symptoms arise.

I have additional information that I've gathered as well on this disease. I hope to have it all detailed in a informative article very soon. I will submit the article to both MCBA and ECBC Magazines.
 

ticklechin

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So why the HECK has this info been secret until Spoof brought it up, seems there has been ALOT of behind the scenes action and yet, SQUAT has been said about it, its so wrong on so many levels.
 
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