Ro­dent in­fes­ta­tion

EQUUS - - Prevention -

Rats and mice are re­spon­si­ble for spread­ing 35 hu­man and an­i­mal dis­eases world­wide, ac­cord­ing to the na­tional Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Preven­tion. Dis­eases can be trans­mit­ted di­rectly from the an­i­mals them­selves, via con­tact with their urine and drop­pings, or in­di­rectly, by way of fleas, ticks, mos­qui­toes and other vec­tors. Here are a few of the more se­ri­ous dis­eases that can af­fect both horses and peo­ple:

Lep­tospiro­sis is a bac­te­rial dis­ease trans­mit­ted when urine from in­fected ro­dents comes into con­tact with mu­cous mem­branes or dam­aged skin of another an­i­mal. Con­sum­ing tainted feed or wa­ter is another mode of trans­mis­sion. Lep­tospiro­sis causes se­ri­ous ill­ness in foals—and, oc­ca­sion­ally, ma­ture horses—and it is also im­pli­cated in equine abor­tions as well as equine0 re­cur­rent uveitis.

Salmonel­losis, a bac­te­rial dis­ease that can be caused by con­sum­ing hays or feeds tainted with ro­dent fe­ces, is one of the lead­ing in­fec­tious causes of di­ar­rhea in adult horses. The dis­ease is more likely to de­velop in horses ex­posed to the bac­te­ria who are also un­der stress, by ill­ness, trans­port or other means. Salmonel­losis may oc­cur in in­ap­par­ent, mild or acute forms, with signs in­clud­ing de­pres­sion, fever, loss of ap­petite and ab­dom­i­nal pain as well as di­ar­rhea.

Lyme dis­ease is a po- ten­tially de­bil­i­tat­ing and pos­si­bly fa­tal in­fec­tion caused by the bac­terium Bor­re­lia burgdor­feri, which is spread by deer ticks. The white-footed mouse is a pri­mary reser­voir for B. burgdor­feri in the North­east and the Mid­west­ern states. Signs of in­fec­tion in horses in­clude lethargy, fever, swollen joints, shift­ing leg lame­ness, lamini­tis, oc­u­lar in­flam­ma­tion and hy­per­sen­si­tiv­ity of the skin and un­der­ly­ing mus­cle. SOURCE: Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Preven­tion

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