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Leptospirosis questions

Posted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 4:10 pm
by flash-gordonette
Hi there, just got a few qus re: Leptospirosis

A "stray" has been handed into the vets. However she is very tame (licky, boggley, snuggley) but she does have a lot of porph around her eyes (her right eye more so) and slight square tail. I'm not used to girls but I couldn't imagine her being more than 8 weeks old?

The vets have had her for 2 weeks, no contact from the owner (if indeed she is lost) and fortunately no weight gain so fingers crossed not pregnant.

I presume she will need testing for leptospirosis?

- How much does the test usually cost?
- Is this in addition to quarantining (does veils have any symptoms?)?
- Is quarantining 4 weeks?
- If she is positive, what is the treatment?
- In regards to the porph, the vet is not sure what it wrong. Would a long course of baytril be sensible?

Sorry for all the questions!

Cheers

x

ETA, the vets hadn't even sexed her yet, let alone think about performing any tests!

Re: Leptospirosis questions

Posted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 7:21 pm
by Stovokor
Nobody else ever bothers to test for lepto on other stray rats, even on bigger rescues such as the 'Park rats' etc, and that was deemed okay, so just treat for lepto as a precaution.

Me personally? I treat for:

Internal parasites
Panacur aka Fenbendazole dosed at 0.1ml per 100g of bodyweight, just once is enough to clear worms, I use the 10% liquid for worming dogs, as it tastes nice it seems!

External parasites
Stronghold aka Selamectin or just Ivermectin, though I am finding that lice from rats who live outside, are quite resistant to Ivermectin and it makes no difference to them at all, and twice I have had to repeat treatment with Selamectin instead.

Antibiotics
For leptospirosis in animals, the first choice of antibiotics is penicillin-based ones, I use Synulox/co-amoxiclav/clavulanic acid & amoxicillin at normal dose for 3 weeks. I use the suspension/liquid form mushed in wet food, and it's never been refused, even with seriously neophobic rats.
Dose at 10mg per kg of bodyweight, twice daily ideally.
Some people use Doxycycline which will also work, but getting the rats to take it, can be difficult.

If you DO go down the testing route, testing can either be via blood test (0.5ml needed usually) or via PCR urine test, which is much cheaper and easier as it just involves the rat peeing in a clean container and the urine sucked up in a clean syringe and then put in a little pot, and voila, can be tested quickly and often 'in-house' with many UK vets.

Re: Leptospirosis questions

Posted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 8:01 pm
by flash-gordonette
Hehe, I had a feeling that you would be the one to reply Stovokor :hearts:

Thank you so much for the info and advice :) I really appreciate it! x

Re: Leptospirosis questions

Posted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:47 am
by Caza66
What is the recommended quarantine period?

Re: Leptospirosis questions

Posted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 10:38 am
by Stovokor
I do 3 weeks in a separate airspace, but there are no real guidelines for stuff like this to be honest.

Re: Leptospirosis questions

Posted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 1:17 pm
by Caza66
Stovokor wrote:I do 3 weeks in a separate airspace, but there are no real guidelines for stuff like this to be honest.
Thanks Laura. I have just picked the little girl that flash-gordonette saw at the vets, she knows I'm a softie for lone rescues. They have given her some fucithalmic for her eyes, they looked very porphy when Michelle saw her but now they are clearing up they look like they have a few cuts around them. Will keep on with the ointment.

Took her to my vets for a check up, apart from her eyes everything is ok. Got some ivermectin for internal and external parasites. They didn't want to give any abs for precautionary treatment of lepto. I mentioned your recommendations (hope you didn't mind). She said they don't like to give penicillin based abs and didnt think doxy should be given to rats so young. She went and checked her books as they haven't dealt with this before and couldn't find reference to treating as a precaution only as a treatment.

She is now upstairs away from my other rats. She has been at the vets for 2 weeks so will reassess her in a week.

Thanks for your advice. I have named her Mika, which means new beginnings and she looks like an agouti based roan.

Re: Leptospirosis questions

Posted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 1:24 pm
by Stovokor
Ivermectin does not cover all internal parasites btw.

Re: Leptospirosis questions

Posted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 1:31 pm
by Caza66
Stovokor wrote:Ivermectin does not cover all internal parasites btw.
The vet said it does :roll: I did ask for panacur as per your recommendation. She wasn't the rat savvy vet though. I will do the ivermectin and speak to them again this week.

Re: Leptospirosis questions

Posted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 2:21 pm
by flash-gordonette
Aww glad to hear her eye is getting better :hearts:

My offer of contributing towards meds still stands! I feel a bit guilty for taking advantage of your soft nature :lol: xxx

Re: Leptospirosis questions

Posted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 4:10 pm
by Caza66
flash-gordonette wrote:Aww glad to hear her eye is getting better :hearts:

My offer of contributing towards meds still stands! I feel a bit guilty for taking advantage of your soft nature :lol: xxx
Thanks for the offer but I only work to pay vet bills :lol: no seriously, thanks but its ok. I'm not glad that you went because of terry but glad you saw her. :hearts:

Re: Leptospirosis questions

Posted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 4:20 pm
by flash-gordonette
Caza66 wrote:
flash-gordonette wrote:AI'm not glad that you went because of terry but glad you saw her. :hearts:
She was the only thing that stopped me sobbing in the waiting room, lol :hearts:

Re: Leptospirosis questions

Posted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 6:19 pm
by Stovokor
I gathered the vet wasn't rat-savvy, due to not wanting to give rats anything penicillin based, or using doxy on young rats :lol:

Re: Leptospirosis questions

Posted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 10:17 pm
by Caza66
How important do you think it is that she gets abs as a precaution for lepto, so I know how much to push at the vets? I know they don't show any symptoms so I am not sure what is the best to do.

Thanks for any advice you can give me.

Re: Leptospirosis questions

Posted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 11:19 pm
by Stovokor
Well, if she does have Leptospirosis, it would be very easy indeed to spread it around if rats ever needing ratsitting or at shows, being visited by other rat owners and whatnot, and with Hantavirus already abound, I don't think the rat fancy really needs any more bad media coverage or any more notifiable diseases.

Leptospirosis in the fancy would be very VERY bad indeed, and not worth the risk of leaving it to fate, when you can easily cover all bases and eliminate the chances of it, and I am genuinely shocked that a vet would try to fob you off over it....antibiotics wouldn't hurt or impact the rat negatively, and give you (and others) peace of mind.

Re: Leptospirosis questions

Posted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:28 am
by neotoma
I agree with Laura, and I'd insist. When we had a half wildie (who was 6 weeks old), my vet recommended and provided a course of precautionary co-amox with no wibbles.

Some vets don't like to use penicillin based ABs in rats because they are fatal to guinea pigs (and other dietary similar animals), and therefore have a reputation of being bad in small furries. I've dumped vets over that before, as there are some situations in which it can be a necessary life-saver. The flaw in their reasoning is that rats aren't guinea pigs, and so don't have the digestive set up (gut fermentation) that makes it dangerous. As broad spectrum omnivores, they have bowels much more like ours, and accordingly penicillin has similar risks in them as it does in us.