Worried about "free range" piggy who contacted wild mouse droppings

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Post   » Tue May 15, 2018 4:01 pm

My one year old piggy came in contact with mouse droppings. She was having floor time and scampered under a large desk and behind computer equipment that we haven't moved in a few years. We had to move it to get her out. In doing so, we realized there was a small pile of mouse droppings in the same little crevice she was hiding in.

I looked up diseases that guinea pigs can get from wild mice and found out about Lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV). Unfortunately, most articles on LCMV are about the symptoms and treatments for humans, and the fear mongering about pregnant women getting LCMV from pet rodents. I couldn't find out anything about what to do FOR THE PET, when the PET may have been exposed to LCMV. Even the articles on pet or vet websites only discussed the disease in humans. I'm not worried about me. I'm worried about HER!

I normally wouldn't worry so much, especially since only about 5% of wild mice carry the disease, but we lost a beloved foster guinea pig (we were just about to adopt) last January to a strange neurological disease. He went downhill very quickly despite several visits to our usual vet and the animal ER. He rallied a little after Baytril and doxy, but ultimately died. The necropsy showed an inflammation of his spinal cord and optical nerve, which sound like the human symptoms of LCMV - and LCMV is a meningitis. (We originally thought his disease must have been caused by a hay poke to his eye, but his eyes didn't show symptoms until after all the other neurological symptoms presented.) He was our explorer who lived for his out of cage time and explored the house. My other fosters stay close to their cages in an open area and linoleum floor during their floor time, so they probably wouldn't have been exposed to hidden mouse droppings. He sometimes wandered off and may have found this same crevice.

In the present case, I washed the piggy's paws and belly with a mild antiseptic before putting her back in her cage. I will keep an eye on her, weigh her daily and look for any symptoms. They give anti-inflammatory drugs to humans with LCMV. I have metacam on hand for her if necessary.

Of course, we'll keep working to make sure we don't have mice - and move and vacuum under all the furniture. I think I'll make the piggies a play pen for floor time and of course, I'll isolate the exposed guinea pig for a few weeks. Does anyone have any other suggestions? I think it is a viral infection, so I assume starting her on doxy wouldn't help. Any ideas? The information says guinea pigs don't get it very often and can carry it without having symptoms. I hope so! Has anyone had experience with a pet rodent who actually contracted LCMV? I don't know that my other piggy died from LCMV since none of the vets could diagnose it, I'm just concerned because he had odd neurological symptoms.

I didn't post this in a medical thread because right now, she has no symptoms. Also, I thought it was an issue other people who free range their pets should know about. As always, I'd appreciate your thoughts!

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Post   » Tue May 15, 2018 4:36 pm

Is this disease a virus or bacterial? You could ask your vet about it and whether it would be wise to use a preventative antibiotic if it is bacterial.

For peace of mind, I would go all out getting rid of the mice!

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