Selling diseased animals

KissThis

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2010
Messages
65
To clarify, the sulfa can help to some extent. The link I have in my first post shows that 43 out of 103 of the tested strep equi zoo were sensitive to smz/tmp which means there is some resistance. This disease will also clear up on it's own, which helps add to the confusion. In the interest of figuring out what this was, since I heard rumors of it before it showed up in my herd, when I had two chins show up with the abscesses I treated one with smz/tmp and left the other alone to compare the results. The one treated with the smz/tmp maybe cleared up a little faster, but it was not significant compared to the untreated one. Both cleared up in a week and a half to two weeks from once I noticed a large abscess under their chins. This is also very stress related as after these two chins cleared up, I thought my herd was done with it, but it has since popped up again after I did some major cleaning and re-arranging of the chinchilla room and the weather changed significantly. I think the use of the wrong antibiotics or no antibiotics may contribute to the number of carriers, but I can't yet prove it.

Something to remember is that strep equi subtype zoo is something that is common in the environment and in chinchillas. What is different is that this is a strain that is more pathogenic. This has been seen before with this subtype, some strains of it cause runny noses and issues in young horses.

Anyone that cultures will likely get results back that say there is s Beta-hemolytic streptococcus species and that the recommended treatment is smz/tmp or one of the other sulfa drugs because in general streptococcus is very easy to treat with these. It is only with subtyping that it can be determined that it is streptococcus equi subtype zooepidemicus which is resistant to the sulfa based antibiotics. Hopefully this makes sense and helps clarify things.
 

6Dusters

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
1,813
Location
Richmond Virginia
Thanks "Kiss" for coming forward and helping the chin community with the knowledge you have gained thus far. This is very helpful!!
Very sorry you have had to experience this. Best wishes to your herd's recovery.
 

Godins Chinchillas

Godin's Chinchillas
Joined
Jan 30, 2009
Messages
1,389
Location
Albany, NY
KissThis- Kudos to you for bringing it forward! I'm glad you went through the proper protocols in determining what type of bug you had and what the best antibiotic to use was. A lot of times people treat their animals based on what others say. I am a firm believer in cultures and sensitivities. Without them we are just building antibiotic resistance.

There is no reason to flame you. I respect you for coming forward.

Jessica
 

KissThis

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2010
Messages
65
Thank you all for the support. We will find an answer to this that is not culling whole herds. Two more abscesses are being cultured as we speak to verify that they have the same bacteria as the first and to do further sensitivity tests on. Also a couple of different treatments are being tried to access effectivity. Once I have a better idea of what works and what doesn't I will post more information.
 

jags

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 29, 2009
Messages
1,061
Location
Michigan
I have confirmed use of Uniprim powder to treat strep in chinchillas. It was used at 3 tbs for every 12 oz of supplement.

Uniprim Powder is an equine antibiotic for use in horses where potent systemic antibacterial action against sensitive organisms is required against abcesses, wound infections, urogenital infections, strangles and respiratory infections in horses.
 

AZChins

Pro Cage Cleaner Champion
Joined
May 18, 2009
Messages
5,726
Location
Sahuarita, Arizona (a half hour south of Tucson)
KissThis...sorry this is ongoing. :( We're all hoping that this clears up completely for you.

Jags - GOOD JOB! It's very good to know that there is something that can be used for this problem. Hopefully it won't ever happen here, but it's great that there is something that I can use if it does. Thank you. :) So, this is something to feed with dry supplement, correct? I just want to make sure to file this away just in case.
 

jags

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 29, 2009
Messages
1,061
Location
Michigan
Yes it was mixed dry. Still waiting to find out if strains are the same or if more than one is going around. Testing needs to be done with animals showing symptoms.
 

KissThis

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2010
Messages
65
The strep equi sub zoo is one strain (or class) of Beta Hemolytic Strep. Strep in General is easy to treat with the sulfa drugs, of which the uniprim is, but strep equi sub zoo tends to be resistant to it. Basically some of the papers show that of 100 strep equi sub zoo samples cultured that 57 of them were resistant to smz/tmp (typical sulfa antibiotic used). So it may not work for everyone. I tried treating the animals in my herd with an smz/tmp solution and it helped a bit but definitely didn't completely clear it up. Right now I am trying gentamicin which is a fairly general antibiotic, which in the same studies was shown to be effective on 93 out of 100 of the cultures. It can be harder on their systems and is best given subcutaneously which is not easy for everyone to do. I am currently testing other routes of administration and will report back when I have some results, likely in a week or so.
 

3CsMommy

My babies Rock!
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
2,663
Location
Western NY aka: Our Zoo. (We only lack a bird.)
Since there's so much information here, I want to try to sum up the key points in layman's terms (mostly to make sure I get it).

There is a more infectious than usual strain of zoonotic Strep appearing in some chinchilla herds in the U.S. While it *can* be deadly, it is also treatable. Any animals showing the following symptoms should be taken to a knowledgeable veterinarian to have the infection tested for bacterial sub-type to ascertain what sort of antibiotic with which to treat: runny or sticky eyes, abscesses near the lymph nodes. (Is this all of the symptoms?)

To prevent the spread, chinchilla owners should: 1) Observe proper quarantine of at least 6 weeks with any new animals. 2) Regularly inspect all animals for signs of stress or symptoms and immediately isolate any potentially infected animals. 3) Practice proper sanitation of common areas, feeding and watering equipment, and anything that might come in contact with more than one animal in a herd, 4) change clothes between populations of animals (i.e.: after a show or field day) and sanitize/wash hands before handling chins/other potential vectors (horses and other equines, guinea pigs, and possibly other species yet to be determined).

If someone has access to a good veterinary reference of chinchilla anatomy, it might help others to be able to see approximately where the lymph nodes are in chinchillas. They're easy to find in a human, but not always in a small animal with that much fur.
 

KissThis

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2010
Messages
65
3CsMommy, almost right. The strep is not zoonotic, it is Streptococcus equi subtype zooepidemicus. Zoonotic means that the disease passes from animals to humans or humans to animals, which is not the case here. The abscesses are generally under the chin or on the front of the throat. They can also occur on the inside of the hind legs, but those are more rare. I have seen animals with just runny sticky eyes, just an abscess, or both.

Quarantine is good, but may not completely solve the problem. I brought the causative animal into my herd in January and did not see this disease until April. Also the animals that I brought into my herd never got sick, their cage mates that had never left my ranch were the ones that developed abscesses first. Every other animal that has caught this has had direct contact, either caged with or caged next to, an animal that has gotten sick. The animals are contagious before they start showing any symptoms.

Again, I have not lost any animals to this. It is ugly and a pain, but it hasn't been deadly for me.

The rest is spot on.

I will try to get pictures of some of the abscesses later this week. Those that have large, well furred animals will have the hardest time spotting abscesses before they are rather large as they tend to be hidden with how the animals usually sit. Breeding collars can also hide or irritate the developing abscesses. Generally by the time the abscesses are large enough to rupture on their own they are about the size of a large shooter marble or slightly smaller than a ping pong ball so they are harder to miss. Hope this help clarify things.
 

saphire

Christiane's Chinchillas
Joined
Jul 4, 2009
Messages
1,954
Location
Montréal, Québec
Haven't been on here for some time.... did a fast read, will be back to read more thoroughly when I have time.

Anyhow, KissThis BRAVO!!! for sharing your experience. Can't say how excited I am that we are getting out there to improve health..

Love the sharing of the information and respect of this thread. We are growing.

Awesome!!
 

Tagna

Chin lover
Joined
Jan 29, 2009
Messages
899
Location
Mississauga, ON Canada
I have read over this thread and just had something pop into my brain. A few years ago I was at a chin ranch. That chin ranch is no longer here and was sold off. The rancher had died and the son didn't want to carry on with it anymore. So when I was there last I remember seeing chins with a lot of abscesses. NO idea if it was this but boy that is a scary thought as I know a lot of people did get chins from them and who knows where they ended up.
 

BooBoo*TheKiddo*

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
2,891
Location
Southern Kentucky *miles from normal*
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.
Speaking of dogs, is it possible that Streptoccus equi can be passed to dogs? While we do not have horses and I have not brought any new chins (or other pets) into my home, my sister does visit her fiances family who does have horses; which worries me that she could bring it in? If good hygiene helps, should she be made to shower as soon as she gets home and avoid contact with the dogs as she comes inside? The chins have their own room and she doesn't have anything to do with them, but the dogs are mine and the chins are mine.
 

Spoof

Kung Fu Chinny!
Joined
Jan 30, 2009
Messages
2,591
Location
San Antonio, TX
Speaking of dogs, is it possible that Streptoccus equi can be passed to dogs?
If you google it you'll see there are cases where it has jumped to almost all species but it is unusual. Strep equi Zoo has been documented more frequently, oddly in many cases the sick animals have never been near a horse.

I'll keep everyone up to date as we test cases that appear in Louisiana. Now that the vets know what we are looking for and that we wish to pursue the zoo vs. equs test we'll probably hear/learn more.
 

KissThis

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2010
Messages
65
Just got the two latest cultures back and both can back as strep equi sub zoo. I am now sure that this is the problem bug in my herd. It has shown up in cultures from 3 separate abscesses in 3 separate chins that we're not caged together. The first culture was not a clean culture, I lanced the abscess and took the sample myself which was hard with only two hands. So the cultured turned up a few bacteria, including the strep equi sub zoo, the others were most likely environmental contaminants. So I had two more cultured, this time with me holding the chins and my horse vet sterilizing and lancing the abscesses. These cultures showed only strep equi sub zoo. One other herd that I know go has also found strep equi sub zoo when they cultured and subtyped.

As far as treatment goes, so far subcutaneous gentamicin is working really well. I have been giving 10mg/kg once daily for 4 days to each chin. Before treatment the abscesses were very firm and felt hot to the touch. After treatment the abscesses are softer, not hot, and decreasing in size even once the 4 days of treatment were completed. I am currently trying to treat the water of the chins not showing any symptoms to see if I can eliminate the a-symptomatic animals that may be acting as carriers. I will keep everyone posted on how that goes.

So far I think the best treatment so far is to drain any active abscess and then treat those chins with ~10mg/kg of gentamicin subcutaneously once a day for 4 days. Abscess draining should be done with gloves and in an area that can be easily sterilized afterward. The pus seems to be the most contagious part so treat it with care so you don't spread it to the rest of your herd. For those not comfortable treating themselves your best bet is to go to your vet, but take as much of this information along with you as I doubt any of them have seen this.

I am happy to answer questions both here or through PM. Hope this helps.
 

saphire

Christiane's Chinchillas
Joined
Jul 4, 2009
Messages
1,954
Location
Montréal, Québec
Thank you sooo much for this info. Much appreciated. This is something I will send to my vet for future reference if needed.
 

6Dusters

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
1,813
Location
Richmond Virginia
Thank you Kiss. I too will be sending this information to my vet to keep on file. It just may help another chin owner out there in the future.

I hope the water treatment takes care of the rest of your animals. You have been very helpful. Thank you for sharing this information.
 

Latest posts

Top