Leptospirosis, Have Lost 2 Animals, Now Wondering About Our Chickens

MomJones

Songster
Feb 22, 2019
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South Carolina
First our cat, that was before we realized it was lepto. Three weeks later one of our dogs was not looking perky, kept coughing so we took her in for an appointment. That's when the veterinarian did a blood test and informed us we had leptospirosis on our property and to bring the remaining pets in immediately (we were behind on vaccinations). So one cat and one dog gone.

In case you're wondering how we came to have this fairly rare disease pop up on our 2 acre farm, it now makes perfect sense: We bought this place out of foreclosure--it had belonged to hoarders who were also running a puppy mill. Rats were everywhere. Also wild bunnies but mostly rats. It's been 4 years since we first moved here and things are much better than they were, but the signs of rats are still noticeable in the barn, or dark corners of the garden area.

Now I'm wondering about our chickens. 30 birds currently, and everyone looks and acts perky. I change their water twice a day and make sure they have fresh pine bedding, clean food, etc (they live like royalty). So far, so good as far as our girls go.

Maybe it's because I'm still grieving over losing two of our family pets, but some times I fear the entire farm may be under a sentence of death since this stuff cannot be eradicated.

Now for my question: Regarding chickens, has anyone else dealt with lepto and what was your experience? What worked or didn't work for you?
 

dawg53

Humble
Premium Feather Member
Nov 27, 2008
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I read a few articles regarding leptospirosis and it looks like there are different strains. Livestock including chickens as well as humans are susceptible to the bacterial disease. Antibiotics can be used to treat it especially if caught early, otherwise higher doses are required later on.
I havnt dealt with it, but it's something to certainly be aware of. Here's a link for you to read with good info:
https://www.cdc.gov/leptospirosis/
 

MomJones

Songster
Feb 22, 2019
324
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South Carolina
Thanks guys, it's all a learning curve I realize. I have read everything I can get on it. Bottom line: we need to go find the remaining rats' nests.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
Sep 13, 2011
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So sorry!
I don't think that chickens are going to get sick, but you all certainly can!
Only poison bait stations will eliminate your rat population, trapping just won't get them all. There are many 'serovars' of Leptospirosis, and different mammals are more likely to carry different ones. The vaccine for dogs carries the four commonest ones affecting dogs, needs annual boosters. It has saved many dog AND HUMAN lives, as fewer people are being infected from their sick pets.
Have you talked to your MD, or Public Health?
And it's not a rare disease at all...
Mary
 

MomJones

Songster
Feb 22, 2019
324
570
192
South Carolina
So sorry!
I don't think that chickens are going to get sick, but you all certainly can!
Only poison bait stations will eliminate your rat population, trapping just won't get them all. There are many 'serovars' of Leptospirosis, and different mammals are more likely to carry different ones. The vaccine for dogs carries the four commonest ones affecting dogs, needs annual boosters. It has saved many dog AND HUMAN lives, as fewer people are being infected from their sick pets.
Have you talked to your MD, or Public Health?
And it's not a rare disease at all...
Mary
Thanks Mary. I have only spoken to our vet. We have 4 dogs left and need to get them in as soon as [financially] possible. Missed their vaccinations last year :he
 

Eggcessive

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Apr 3, 2011
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TinaMarieofFL

Songster
Apr 29, 2018
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Hilliard, FL
First our cat, that was before we realized it was lepto. Three weeks later one of our dogs was not looking perky, kept coughing so we took her in for an appointment. That's when the veterinarian did a blood test and informed us we had leptospirosis on our property and to bring the remaining pets in immediately (we were behind on vaccinations). So one cat and one dog gone.

In case you're wondering how we came to have this fairly rare disease pop up on our 2 acre farm, it now makes perfect sense: We bought this place out of foreclosure--it had belonged to hoarders who were also running a puppy mill. Rats were everywhere. Also wild bunnies but mostly rats. It's been 4 years since we first moved here and things are much better than they were, but the signs of rats are still noticeable in the barn, or dark corners of the garden area.

Now I'm wondering about our chickens. 30 birds currently, and everyone looks and acts perky. I change their water twice a day and make sure they have fresh pine bedding, clean food, etc (they live like royalty). So far, so good as far as our girls go.

Maybe it's because I'm still grieving over losing two of our family pets, but some times I fear the entire farm may be under a sentence of death since this stuff cannot be eradicated.

Now for my question: Regarding chickens, has anyone else dealt with lepto and what was your experience? What worked or didn't work for you?
My sincerest condolences for your loss. Other than ridding your property of wildlife (and can one ever really do that?) early treatment is the only action I can see.
 

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