Hantavirus Infection

Jacquelyn8b(8b)August 3, 2006

My sister lives in a neighborhood in Cypress, just NW of Houston. One of her Dachshunds became very ill and the vet couldn't figure out what was wrong with her. They ran all kinds of tests but Sadie died. The autopsy revealed she had been infected by the Hantavirus.

Apparently, rodents such as rats, mice and squirrels carry this virus. (It is more common up North.) They contaminate a pet by drinking or eating out of a pet's dish. There are no symptoms at first. Then it affects the internal organs causing something like Hepetitus. Kidney and liver failure. It is contagious to humans!

My sister has a yellow Lab that stays out back. Sadie would get a drink from that dog's water bowl while she was outside doing her 'business'. So did all the other dogs and cats! Everyone at my sister's house is on antibiotics now, human and critter.

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pjtexgirl(7b DFW)

Your family is in my prayers!
The spread of Hanta virus is directly linked to the death of predators that kill rodents. Snakes, Coyotes,and other vermin eating animals.PJ

    Bookmark   August 3, 2006 at 10:17AM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

Wow - thanks for this information. I will be much more careful about my pets drinking outside.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2006 at 11:25AM
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Yikes, I had no idea, thanks for posting this.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2006 at 5:34PM
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You might consider posting this over on the pets forum. They may be interested in learning about it. I thought it was a virus found more in the southwest - I guess because it was so prevelant on the Navajo reservation a few years back.

I hope all goes well for your family. Your sister is in my heart and prayers.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2006 at 11:20PM
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My vet's theory is the virus is becoming more common around Houston due to the rapidly expanding population. Neighborhoods have replaced the farms and ranches. Thousands of people and their pets occupy an area that used to hold a few families. The predators are gone or being exterminated but the 'cute' little squirrels are thriving.
There are plenty of folks from other places that unknowingly bring the virus with them. In short, the natural balance is gone. Virus in - no predators - virus multiplies = bad for all of us!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2006 at 9:57AM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

I agree with you, Jac - we are slowly but SURELY destroying the balance of nature in the name of PROGRESS.
We build our cities and our neighborhoods on prime farm land and try to grow vegetation in the desert with irrigation.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2006 at 1:50PM
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pjtexgirl(7b DFW)

I'm kind of ticked about the whole spreading out thing with new houses. There are vacancies in my older neighborhood. Plently of sound houses waiting for a new owner and maybe a little upgrade here and there.
Meanwhile, they're tearing up the countryside building NEW houses for people that don't want to live in an old neighborhood. Mature trees etc aside! A new cr*ppy built house with a stick tree! Whatever. The vacancies in the old neighborhood causes deterioration and crime. It's all so useless and stupid. I'm done whining now. PJ

    Bookmark   August 6, 2006 at 2:34PM
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Lol! It's interesting to see a post go in unexpected ways!

Sally, I did post it over in Pets. They seem to think you need a rodent infestation for this to be a problem. As much as I deeply dislike my sister...she doesn't live in unsanitary conditions. Her kids keep the yard picked up, the only 'problem' would be the firewood. It is up off the ground in a big steel frame-thingie to keep the snakes out (ha) but what little beastie could resist making a home in the Cords of Oak Condominums?

As far as neighborhoods ~ you know I'd rather chew my arm off than live in one. However, my mother lives in a new neighborhood and her gardens are all she can handle. They have guys that mow, weed eat, pull weeds and lay mulch. (Yep, Jac is jealous!) Even there, in the Land of Tidy, there are rodents. She leaves the snakes alone, although she does call and fuss at me whenever she sees one - like I have any control over them!

Like most things, it boils down to education and tolerance.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2006 at 10:51AM
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Bev__(z7/8 TX)

I wonder if Katrina helped the virus hit the Houston area. Those slum critters (rodents) that survived went some where...they're survivors.

I live in a neighborhood in a new house and I love it...different strokes for differnt folks!!!
When I was younger I had the energy to maintain an older home and larger property. I'm wore out and my health has been in a downward spiral. This works for me.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2006 at 5:29PM
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I don't think you have to be unsanitary to have rodents. Even water will attract them when it's hot and dry. I guess in the case of Houston, it may be dry land that attracts them. I have found that bird feed attracts them. I don't know enough about hantavirus to know whether it's only spread by rodents, but I seem to remember that's how that outbreak in the southwest was spread.

I sure hope your sister's family and pets are okay.


    Bookmark   August 8, 2006 at 7:48PM
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pjtexgirl(7b DFW)

Even unseen mice droppings , aerosol urine(they "spray" when they're frightened)and dust can spread Hantavirus . There are stores near me and everyone kills snakes in this neighborhood out of ignorance and fear. It's a perfect place for rodents and most of my neighbors and I have them. PJ

Here is a link that might be useful: Facts about Hantavirus

    Bookmark   August 9, 2006 at 1:26AM
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Remember a few years back there were several people that died in the Four corners area of Arizona. Finally they figured out it was hantavirus, drought that year and the spreading of mankind into the wilderness were blamed.
It's not that common so don't panic over a few rats/mice, and some kinds of rats/mice are more likely to be carriers. Tally HO!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2006 at 4:07PM
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Jac, I'm sorry to hear about your sisters pet and will pray for the others and your family.

Yes, Tally I remember that. Scary

    Bookmark   August 9, 2006 at 10:38PM
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