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#156006 - 10/11/06 05:53 PM Why we quarantine... (sorry, long.)

A little background for those who don't know my story:

I picked up Piper from Alicia on Sept. 22 planning to have her be a cagemate for Peepers. Peeper's cagemate Jeepers, had died in August.

Shortly after Jeepers died (2 days) Peepers came down with her 3rd bout of trichomonad infection. Trichs are a parasite that cause diarrhea, loss of appetite, and sometimes (as in Peep's case) vomiting and general lack of activity. I treated Peepers with metronidazole for 3 solid weeks and have been "religious" about keeping her cage sanitary during and since the treatment. I had a fecal run on Peepers a couple of weeks or so before I got Piper (this was a couple of weeks after I finished her metro) and it was clean. We're good, right?

So on the 22nd I picked up Piper. I had decided to follow the 1 month quarantine period before introducing them even though I'd had at least one clean fecal on Peeps and I knew Alicia takes very good care of her gliders so it wasn't like I was getting her from a pet store or a breeder whom I couldn't trust. The Friday after I got Piper, like a good glider owner, I took her in for a well check including fecal and while I was there, I had them run another fecal on Peepers. Both checked out fine. Super! Peeps is still clean and Piper's nice and healthy, just as I expected.

Fast forward to last Sunday night. Syd is complaining (good naturedly) that Piper always manages to poop on her when she plays. I look at the poop and think maybe it looks a little soft, but it's hard to tell because it's smashed. I also think about the fact that Piper hadn't been cleaning her plate the past couple of nights, but then again it was a full moon and she seemed fine otherwise. The next night we get a fully formed but still a little soft poop. Still not eating great, but she was eating all of her PML, just not the fruits and veggies. She'd still take licky treats like yogurt and even mealies. Last night I checked her poop and it was definitely soft, but holds its shape. Not liquid but not firm either. I'm getting the feeling that this is starting to seem familiar, but am I just being paranoid since I just went through several bouts of trichs and losing Jeepers?

So last night I thought that I'd make an especially tempting dinner for her and if she didn't eat well, I'd take her in. She ate all her PML, most of her pears and very little of her avocado (but I think she's one of those rare gliders who isn't crazy about avocado). I almost decided to watch her one more day (hubby's getting grumpy about the over $700 I've spent on glider vet bills in the past few months) but I came home at lunch and got her out to weigh her and she gave me a nice stool sample (fully formed but still soft) and I just had time to get it to the vet's before I had to pick up the kids. Okay, I'll run it across town and get them to run a fecal direct and float.

I get a call a little while later and what do they say? Piper has trichs!!!!!!!!! tant AAAARRRRRRGGGGHHHH! mad need_hug Here I thought I was doing everything right, and she still got them! At least I'm glad I haven't put her together with Peepers, but I had been switching pouches. I thought if I kept them in separate cages, across the room from each other and didn't mix food dishes or water bottles or let either of them be exposed directly to each other or to each other's poops, we'd be okay. I didn't even really believe the quarantine period was necessary since they both appeared to be so healthy. I was just kinda going through the motions because that's what everyone says to do (although it's not necessarily what everyone does do) and the vet still recommended doing it even as he was looking at their fecals and saying they were clean. You just never know.

So far Peepers is showing no signs of being infected herself, but if she's not, where did Piper get the trichs? I'm starting to suspect my water supply. Both of their cages have been disinfected with 10% bleach water as recommended by the vet more times than I can count. Almost every morning I wipe the cages down with Clorox wipes. I just don't know what else I can do!

The moral of the story: Well, actually there's two morals. 1.) Follow quarantine procedures and get well checks on all new gliders no matter how wonderful the person is that you got them from and 2.) If your gut tells you something is wrong, go with it. The signs this time were so subtle and I was really doubting myself, but last night I lost a lot of sleep worrying, so I just took the fecal in for my own peace of mind. I'm so glad I did because now I can get her started on treatment and not end up (I hope) with a really sick glider in the middle of the night on a Friday when no vets are open. Hubby may grumble about a $35 fecal test, but it's a lot better than a $100 midnight run to the e-vet!

#156017 - 10/11/06 06:09 PM Re: Why we quarantine... (sorry, long.) [Re: ]
Xfilefan Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 8899
Loc: Jacksonville, FL
Awww...TONS of hugs, Sundra hug2 hug2 hug2

At this point I'd look for another source as well-they've got to be coming from SOMEwhere. I'd also treat both gliders, just in case, so if Peepers has been exposed, it doesn't have a chance to get a foothold.

Go thru everything you do-besides water-and list. How do you wash/trim your fruits/veggies? Do you cut a washed item when it's still wet? When you make your PML, what are the sources of the ingredients, and have they been the same throughout this whole thing?

Also, I know some communities offer water testing, if not, maybe your vet can do it to see if your water is at issue. Get different samples from ALL sources in your home. It is POSSIBLE there is a break or something in an underground or hidden pipe allowing these little buggers entry-that could contaminate, say, your tub, but not sink, or vice versa. If it is in your water, ask the vet if boiling it will kill them, and you may need to rinse with boiled/sanitized water. Let's try and cover all the possible sources, so we can keep your babies safe. heart hug2 Let me know if I can do anything else to help.
Jen/Colin :bb: Commander Riker 12 16 02-10 04 12 you will be FOREVER missed :wfb: Sinbad, :wfb: Gabby, :grey: Baby, and :grey: Alley

#156033 - 10/11/06 06:51 PM Re: Why we quarantine... (sorry, long.) [Re: Xfilefan]
queenduck Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 03/06/02
Posts: 6249
Loc: Kansas
Gosh Sundra, I sure don't know where they could be getting it. Since I have never had any sickness here, I don't know as much as I should. I hope someone comes around to give more clues. I know your going to take the best care of her, I knew that when I let you have her. If she had been with someone else, they may not have even noticed a change in her appitite and bowel movements. I am so glad she has you and I am confident the sorce will be found. Hugs to all of you.
Alicia aka Queenduck, Bentley's Nana

We need role models who are going to break the mold ~ Carly Simon

#156048 - 10/11/06 07:09 PM Re: Why we quarantine... (sorry, long.) [Re: queenduck]

~~hugs~~~Im so sorry what your going through!!
hopefully you can get the starightened out soon

#156050 - 10/11/06 07:12 PM Re: Why we quarantine... (sorry, long.) [Re: ]
Xglider Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 11157
Loc: Tampa, FL
hug2 hug2 hug2 hug2 hug2 hug2 hug2 hug2 hug2
* ~ * John * ~ * Sorry store is closed at this time.. <br>
Link -> ~~ XtremeGlider ~~ Home of the original Re~set Toys! ~~ <br>
Oct 2012 update.. miss my gliders and my
glider family and think of my friends often!!!

#156065 - 10/11/06 07:38 PM Re: Why we quarantine... (sorry, long.) [Re: Xglider]
sugarglidersuz Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 08/28/04
Posts: 14788
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
I'm so sorry you're going through another bout with Trichs...
hug2 hug2 hug2
Suz Enyedy
:bb: Carina & Coobah
Allira & Gizmo :grey:
:grey: Picasso, Trinity Joy & Luna
:rbridge: DaisyMae; Darwin; Mareki; Mambo; Pika; Cricky; Reggie & Bobo, Pepe & Bittah

Suz' Sugar Gliders

#156071 - 10/11/06 07:49 PM Re: Why we quarantine... (sorry, long.) [Re: Xglider]

Are these the same trichamonads that also infect humans? Seems like I read somewhere that water was contaminated more often than we realized.

Maybe think about where your produce comes from. Some countries still use night soil as fertilizers. I always think of that with produce that is not cooked or peeled. Of course, the e-coli spinach came from California; last I heard it was still part of USA.

They are certainly lucky to have such an observant and caring momma.

good thoughts and prayers your way

#156097 - 10/11/06 08:36 PM Re: Why we quarantine... (sorry, long.) [Re: sugarglidersuz]
Anmaw Offline
Glider Guardian

Registered: 08/03/05
Posts: 659
Loc: Hernando, MS - USA
I don't know anything about parasites, but is it possible that your dog is bringing it in from outside? Just a thought.

Hope to see Piper on the mend soon.
Guardian of Stryder,
my Grandson's Sugar Glider

#156265 - 10/12/06 06:50 AM Re: Why we quarantine... (sorry, long.) [Re: Anmaw]
Charlie H Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 11/13/03
Posts: 1659
Loc: Wallis Texas
Becky, you may have the right idea. The parasite may not be originating within the house but could have infected the area outside. Outside animals or humans could be the carriers that are spreading the parasites. It is quite possible that the outside animals are infected and handling them causes the human to spread the parasites to the house where the animals are housed. Humans are very likely suspects to spread parasites unknowingly. If this continues it may not be a bad idea to have the people on the proberty checked.

There are a million possibilities and just a guessing game to try to discover the source. Sorry but this is very much like giardia and extremely difficult to eliminate once it is established in an area.
Charlie H
Rescue & Rehabilation

#156274 - 10/12/06 07:32 AM Re: Why we quarantine... (sorry, long.) [Re: Charlie H]

Well, I spent about 4 hours last night disinfecting cages, toys, dishes, etc. Used a Lysol clean-up product with bleach on the cage first, scrubbed, rinsed and then sprayed it down with plain 10% bleach, let it sit and rinsed well. Found out I have lots of plastic toys that don't hold up to being boiled (gotta make a run to the Dollar Store now) so kept the "survivors" and soaked the next batch in 10% bleach instead of boiling. Same thing with the water bottles and dishes.

I then moved Piper's cage into the upstairs shower to keep her separated from Peepers for whatever that's worth. I didn't have time to disinfect Peeper's cage yet, so I'll do that tonight. They've both had two doses of metro now. Piper was very playful in the tent last night while I was cleaning her cage. She didn't eat a darn thing, but I wasn't that surprised about that since she's never had to stay in a shower before and I used a different dish from what she's used to. She still ate a mealie after her meds this morning and took yogurt from Syd.

Any suggestions on how I should sanitize the tent? I don't think I can use strong cleaners in there. I could wipe it down with Clorox wipes, I guess. I can't leave it in the hot sun like I did in the summer because it's cooled off now. dunno

#156275 - 10/12/06 07:33 AM Re: Why we quarantine... (sorry, long.) [Re: ]

Oh by the way, Peggy's vet, Dr. Tristan suspects Uno could be the carrier. I'm going to have him checked soon.

#156307 - 10/12/06 08:49 AM Re: Why we quarantine... (sorry, long.) [Re: ]
glidrz5 Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 06/13/01
Posts: 7297
Loc: Quincy, IL
Don't have a clue on sanatizing the tent.....I don't suppose you could turn it inside out, wash it down with the bleach solution & then hose it off really well??????
Illusion, Malcom, Isabell, Annabelle, Zach, Isis, Aly & Indy
AND Miss Emmy & Miss Chloe kitties

:rbridge: My Angels: You are always in my heart.

You've flown to the rainbow
and wait there for me
Someday I will join you
together to be

#156375 - 10/12/06 10:56 AM Re: Why we quarantine... (sorry, long.) [Re: glidrz5]
Charlie H Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 11/13/03
Posts: 1659
Loc: Wallis Texas
I am sorry you are having to go through all this frustration. Think about this, while you are going to all the work of trying to de-contaminate you are brushing against items and handling items that are contaminated. You could un-intentionally be spreading the parasites. Scary huh?

This is why I never liked the idea of quarantine. To begin with most people do not realize what would be required to properly quarantine an animal. This is a very complicated process and we could write a whole chapter on it. It would require housing the animal in a separate building with it's own ventilation system. To enter the building a person would have to sanitize themselves and completely change clothing and foot ware. When exiting the building you would have to undress, dispose of all your clothing and decontaminate yourself. You can see how involved this could be. Quarantining is over emphasized with gliders and not really explained. If a new glider comes into a home and is housed in a separate room you really haven't accomplished a thing. It shares the same ventilation with other animals. The same person is caring for the new animal as well as the animals that already live there. Germs are free to be passed from one room to the other through the ventilation system and caretakers will provide them with transportation from one area to the other.

It is my opinion that your pets are going to be exposed to more germs by a visit to a vet's office than they will be in your own home. After all the vet's office is a gathering place for diseased animals.
Charlie H
Rescue & Rehabilation

#156420 - 10/12/06 12:50 PM Re: Why we quarantine... (sorry, long.) [Re: Charlie H]

Once upon a time, long, long ago, my human children played sports. Some of their althletic equipment was impossible to thouroughly disinfect, very expensive, and would develop its own unique and pervasive aroma. We found that placing the offensive items in the deep freeze for 24 - 72 hours would kill off the organisms creating the odor.

I dont know if trichamonads die when frozen, but if they do, you could freeze the tent and other items too fragile for other methods of disinfection.

so sorry you are going through this.

#156861 - 10/13/06 12:41 PM Re: Why we quarantine... (sorry, long.) [Re: ]

Charlie, you make some good points. As I admitted, I realized it wasn't a totally pathogen-proof quarantine, but not all pathogens are airborne, so keeping them in a separate room would stop most of the pathogens I would think, especially things like protozoan parasites. Add to that thorough hand washing between rooms and you give another level of security. Sanitize food dishes and water bottles and you may stop a few more. In doing the amount of "quarantining" I did do, I thought I was at least cutting down the likelihood of anything getting passed on. The reason I made this post was to show people that there are things you can do even if you don't think it's necessary, you just might save yourself a full blown outbreak by being cautious. We may not be able to set up a complete biohazard "bubble" in our own homes, but doing what we can cuts down the possibility of cross-infection.

I, myself had been doubting the need for a quarantine period, so that's why I didn't take ALL the precautions I could have. They were in the same room, but in separate cages about 5 feet apart. I didn't mix food dishes or let them play in the same area where they would have access to each others' feces. I didn't swap cages, but I did swap pouches. I knew there was a possibility that swapping pouches could pass something on, but since the main pathogen I was concerned about was protozoans, I thought they would have to be passed on through direct contact with feces or some sort of moist environment. I probably could have been better about washing hands between handling each of them and/or wiping down cages and washing food dishes, but again, my heart wasn't really in the whole quarantining idea.

Now Piper's cage is in the upstairs shower (which we don't use) and Peepers is in the downstairs glider room. If the trichs are coming from a source other than Peepers herself, maybe my quarantine did work because Peeps has not gotten sick. I am, however, treating both of them with metro to be on the safe side. I have gotten more cautious with washing my hands between them as well.

#157206 - 10/14/06 08:58 AM Re: Why we quarantine... (sorry, long.) [Re: ]

Sundra, I wasn't sure whether to post this on this thread or your other - but thought here might be better...

You know when I went through that bout of giardia with my gang - I was using Clorox all the time to clean everything.

One thing I did find interesting on-line was that when sanitizing with Clorox - don't mix it with any soap, especially not dish soap.

I had been soaking everything in a Clorox and Anti-bacterial dish soap mix. Supposedly when you do that it decreases the effectiveness of the bleach. It is best to wach the dish/toys/etc. first and then soap in just a water/bleach mix.

I'm not sure how strong the bleach has to be to kill this trich or giardia bugs and whether that info is even accurate - but just maybe something for you to look into if you were sanitizing the same way I was.

Good luck and hope to hear Piper is feeling better soon! hug2


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