Chelonian Infectious Agents - from Stuart Macarthur

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Re: Chelonian Infectious Agents - from Stuart Macarthur

Postby lorna » Wed May 18, 2011 10:02 am

Very good article, Andy.

You mentioned staining as occurring with povidone-iodine, but you might want to stress that this occurs on any surface it's used on, including floors and worktops. So that might not go down too well with anyone house-proud! Our floors in theatre are badly stained, that's even with heavy duty floor-cleaning machines.

Lorna
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Re: Chelonian Infectious Agents - from Stuart Macarthur

Postby Tortoise Trust » Wed May 18, 2011 10:47 am

Thanks, Lorna.

Yes - Jill used to look like she smoked 160-a-day sometimes from that stuff. She also got quite a nasty dermatitis from it. Some people seem to get a bad reaction very quickly.....

The real problem with disinfectants in practical use seems to be that there is a direct relationship between how 'nasty' they are and their effectiveness... bleach is good stuff, but not pleasant to handle.... the little "spray" bottles people so often rely on really just don't cut it with some of the pathogens you can find on reptiles, and, as you know yourself, all of these things have to be used correctly to be any good at all. So often, you see amateur keepers giving a quick spray + wipe down and believing that now everything is "sterilised" and completely safe. Just not so. That is very common mistake indeed, and can turn out to be a fatal one.

Someone sent me some mobile phone video of a "weigh-in" last year... they were using F10 in a spray bottle. I timed it. 35 seconds before the next animal was on that measuring jig. That product requires at least 10 minutes and preferably 20 minutes before a reasonable level of disinfection occurs....

They may as well not have bothered at all.
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Re: Chelonian Infectious Agents - from Stuart Macarthur

Postby Steve C » Wed May 18, 2011 12:18 pm

Copying and pasting from the TT Article:

"Household bleach (5.25% Sodium hypochlorite) has the advantage of being readily available almost everywhere and it is highly effective against an extremely wide range of pathogens, including enveloped viruses. Used at a 1:10 dilution (1 part bleach in 10 parts water, or approximately half a cup of bleach to 1 gallon), household bleach may be sprayed or wiped onto surfaces to produce a high level of disinfection. A thirty second exposure is generally recommended. It is effective against a broad spectrum of bacteria, lipid and non lipid virus particles, fungi, nematodes, protozoa and algae. It is important to recognise, however, that some pathogens are resistant to bleach, such as Cryptosporidium which is killed only by exposure to ammonia or hydrogen peroxide. Used at a 1:100 dilution (approximately one quarter cup of bleach per gallon of water), bleach may be used on pre-cleaned non-porous surfaces and left to air dry."

In the interests of getting it right, and I don't know which one is, if half a cup of bleach in a gallon of water gives a 1:10 dilution, then a quarter cup of bleach in a gallon can't give a 1:100 dilution. Surely it would result in a 1:20 dilution, or am I missing something?
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Re: Chelonian Infectious Agents - from Stuart Macarthur

Postby Tortoise Trust » Wed May 18, 2011 12:47 pm

Well spotted, Steve.

Corrected.

I have removed the 'cup' and 'gallon' references as they are rather confusing anyway, meaning different things in the US vs. UK.
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Re: Chelonian Infectious Agents - from Stuart Macarthur

Postby Sue Doxat » Wed May 18, 2011 1:24 pm

This has been really useful reading. I know that some people may react badly to iodine or have allergies. Re The chemicals mentioned, Im assuming it would be best to remove the animal during cleaning to reduce the effects from the smell would it be any help to rinse well and ventilate well. I have 2 small grand children aged 1 and nearly 3 who are curious of course. I try and reduce any risks to tortoise and the children by keeping them apart and careful handwashing but when can I relax a little and perhaps let them touch or feed the tortoise whilst supervised. Thank you for your help Sue D
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Re: Chelonian Infectious Agents - from Stuart Macarthur

Postby Tortoise Trust » Wed May 18, 2011 2:47 pm

Sue Doxat wrote: Re The chemicals mentioned, Im assuming it would be best to remove the animal during cleaning to reduce the effects from the smell would it be any help to rinse well and ventilate well.


Yes. Absolutely. Remove... clean... disinfect... rinse... allow to dry before replacing animal.

We keep tortoises in plastic tubs while this is going on. Those tubs are then in turn put through the process.

The key thing is that this is not exactly a quick process. You can't do it adequately in just a few minutes, much less seconds.

There is a follow-up article on handling techniques and the use of disposable gloves, clothing. I will get that up in due course.
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Re: Chelonian Infectious Agents - from Stuart Macarthur

Postby Graham Ray » Wed May 18, 2011 3:12 pm

Thanks Andy for your excellent advice on this subject and your inclusion of the topic immediately to the Tortoise Trust website. There is no other organisation I know who responds to questions/issues so quickly throughout the tortoise world. You also are open to suggestions/comments when an error/oversight is mentioned. The Tortoise Trust also does not take 3/4 years to alter information which is obviously wrong. Keep up the magnificent work and there are many who see you as the "first port of call" with issues or problems that need expert advice immediately. Thank You. ;)
Please consider the environment before printing this post!!

Graham.
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Re: Chelonian Infectious Agents - from Stuart Macarthur

Postby Sue Doxat » Wed May 18, 2011 11:01 pm

I will definitely second that. Im sure many torts and turtles have benefitted from TT experience and advice over the years. Im just so surprised that tortoises and turtles can have such affect on their keepers in that we will do virtually anything to improve their lives. The quest for more knowledge seems insatiable. I got such a high when I first started to find out about them. I do wonder if I would have been frightened off from having one had I known that they have such complex needs. What is also strange is that the "non tortoise people" just dont get what the fascination is all about do they? Keep up the good work. Sue D
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Re: Chelonian Infectious Agents - from Stuart Macarthur

Postby Tortoise Trust » Thu May 19, 2011 6:35 am

We all still have a lot to learn. There is much we certainly do not understand about them... that much is clear when you watch them in the wild for extended periods. They are remarkably well integrated into their environment.

The problems really start when you take them out of their environment...

One of the things we don't know is the full extent of infectious and contagious diseases that can affect them. Put simply, "we only now what we know". It is clear that there are many viruses and other pathogens out there that we know very little, or even nothing about. We don't know how contagious or infectious some of these may be. More are being discovered all the time.

One thing we do know is that the more animals from different backgrounds and origins you bring together under one roof, the greater the risk of contagion/infection. That is simple straightforward, common-sense.

We also know, from looking at the practicality of disinfection requirements, is that what is claimed to be "disinfection" at mass tortoise meetings is rarely anything more than mere window dressing. It might look impressive, but it does very little to mitigate the risk.
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Re: Chelonian Infectious Agents - from Stuart Macarthur

Postby Madtortlady » Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:35 am

Was interested to read all this - particularly the 'earlier' pages! I am still a member of the British Chelonia Group, but DON'T attend any meetings. I only went along once to the Three Counties one, but this was NOT involving bringing torts along. (they are NOT listed in the BCG groups any more - told when I enquired 'you'll have to ask them why we're not included in their mag.'!) So I 'left well alone'!

I only joined the BCG when I lived in Surrey - there was a nice lady, Glenys, -no longer active as far as I can tell - think it was she who had you (Andy) over for a talk some many years ago now about tortoises in Turkey I think!. I only really went along to their meetings in Beckenham, Kent, to meet other tortoise owners, as friends, family etc. seem to think I'm quite 'batty'! :mrgreen: :lol: They did many years ago I recall have people bring their torts, but (I'll have to check their mag) they probably don't do this now, to be fair, - in this particular regional group.

However, my own vet (who has been so good to me in treating my own torts) and I would rather not name her, does send letters out for dates available for 'pre' and 'post' hibernation checks/'parties'! I never go! However, I believe she is generally 'receptive' to advice and has previously 'taken on board' some advice/suggestions given to me by Andy about treating at least 2 of my torts. She has been 'kindness itself' to me, in particular, knowing how devastated and extremely worried I can get! She has actually been very good re. their treatment & happy to research what she may not be sure about! She is, I know, extremely busy - treating/operating on - other animals, so she may not log on very often (although she does have some T. Trust literature in a general 'folder' in the waiting area). I will attempt to 'have a gentle, discreet, word' about this issue when I'm next in touch with her.
Claire Manigrasso (Madtortlady)! Been keeping Med. spur-thigheds since 30 April 1960. Never ever, sold any! Due to unforeseen circumstances, sadly needing to rehome some of my 'family'!
TORTOISES ARE STILL 'PETS FOR LIFE & BEYOND'!
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