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Amy104
08-09-2010, 03:53 PM
My Hubby is being tested and treated for this after falling unwell following coming into contact with rats at work. He's advised his employeer that the other staff may need to take extra precautions, wear gloves etc. It seems they are trying to blame it on my rabbits. I am primary care giver and in top health. Does anyone have any info on this in rabbits?

Elena
08-09-2010, 04:01 PM
I believe there are very few, if any, diseases that can cross from rabbits to animals. :)

alio71
08-09-2010, 04:07 PM
It seems unlikely. On the fancy rat forum when the question was asked, even though rats are main carriers there has not been a case of a domestic pet rat being a carrier. I think it is possible for you to have had it though and have no symptoms.

Amy104
08-09-2010, 04:20 PM
If they did have it could it cause them any harm?

Santa
08-09-2010, 05:09 PM
I think leptospirosis is a rat-borne disease and is not carried by rabbits, sounds like an excuse to me! How did he come into contact with rats at work, is that a normal occurrence?

It sounds as if they are a bit twitchy because I think they legally have to notify the HSE if an employee contracts leptospirosis and they know they may get into trouble for not protecting their employees adequately.

prettylupin
08-09-2010, 05:21 PM
I think leptospirosis is a rat-borne disease and is not carried by rabbits, sounds like an excuse to me! How did he come into contact with rats at work, is that a normal occurrence?

It sounds as if they are a bit twitchy because I think they legally have to notify the HSE if an employee contracts leptospirosis and they know they may get into trouble for not protecting their employees adequately.

Absolutely I agree. Failure to provide safe working conditions - employment law minefield and one they could get into a lot of trouble for if your husband got poorly due to their negligence and failure of duty of care. Sounds like they are trying to pass the buck to me.

Kittykat23uk
08-09-2010, 05:59 PM
Hi

this site has lots of useful information:

http://www.leptospirosis.org/topic.php?t=45

Also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leptospirosis

Sounds like the most likely cause would be contact with contaminated water.

What does your partner do for a living? I hope he gets better soon. x

parsnipbun
08-09-2010, 06:31 PM
as far as I know this is not a disease rabbits carry - why not contact a vet and ask?

Rats are carriers and especially through rat contaminated stale water (ie puddles that rats have peed in)

Employers should warn their employees against any possible contact with contaminated water - my OH carries a card with warnings and symptoms on it given to him by his employer (he is in the Environment Agency so deals with waterside sites). Professions like archaeologist are also given warning cards and H&S talks including this.

Kittykat23uk
08-09-2010, 06:51 PM
From having read a bit about it on the site I posted it sounds like a rabbit could theoretically catch it in the same manner as a human (see wiki entry rabbits can be intermediate carriers as can birds, dogs etc.) I.e. from coming into contact with water contaminated with rat or cattle urine. It could then, again theoretically, pass that on to a human, in the same manner. So highly unlikely that your husband caught it this way! Its much more likely that he caught it directly from a contaminated water source or direct contact with rat urine. cattle are also another source of infection in the UK. If he knows he's been in contact with rats or cattle then it doesnt take Sherlock Holmes to work out where he got it from!

It is a notifiable disease as well looking on the HPA website:

http://www.hpa.org.uk/Topics/InfectiousDiseases/InfectionsAZ/Leptospirosis/GeneralInformation/lepto005GeneralInformation/

Mudgy
08-09-2010, 06:53 PM
I was reading about this last night, on a link Jane posted yesterday. I didnt save the link, and cant remember where she posted it, but it said that although wild rabbits are an important reservoir for lepto, there are no recorded cases of it in domestic rabbits.

Fifibutton
08-09-2010, 06:57 PM
Dogs and livestock can contract and pass on leptospirosis too, it is a zoonotic disease. However its unlikely to be the rabbits though not impossible. You could go to your vet to get them tested and also request a letter from the vet to state the probability it wa snot your buns who passed it on.

Mudgy
08-09-2010, 07:41 PM
From the link posted yesterday.

http://wildlife1.wildlifeinformation.org/S/00dis/Bacterial/Leptospirosis.html

Amy104
09-09-2010, 08:52 AM
Thanks Mudgy, I found that link yesterday via google and have kept it just incase. None of my bunnies appear sick and I certainly am not going to cart them all off to the vets for the sake of it as stresses them out.

He hasn't had the test results back yet so we don't even know thats what he has, but just wanted to give them the heads up so other staff can take precautions.

mia'n'patch
09-09-2010, 09:41 AM
We're having this argument with OH's work, and at the minute it looks as if we are winning.

It may be worth you looking into the Health and Safety at Work Act Section 2.
If it's confirmed and proved that is was down to his job, it could mean that his employers are not providing the right safety precautions, and they could end up in a fair bit of doodoo. My father has just completed his courses for H&S at work for the company he works for and printed off loads of info for me covering Lepto and Weils disease.
I'll see if I can find it for you.

Amy104
09-09-2010, 09:58 AM
Thanks that would be great.

mia'n'patch
09-09-2010, 10:17 AM
Right, have found one of the bits of paper I was looking for, info as follows....

Leptospirosis and Weil's Disease is caused by bacterium in the urine of rats. In humans, the kidneys and liver are attacked causing high temperatures and headaches followed by jaundice and, in up to 20% of cases, it can be fatal. (Sorry, i know you don't want to read that, but i'm typing what is written in the H&S book). It enters the body either through the skin or by ingestion. The most common source is contaminated water in a river, sewer or ditch and workers such as canal or sewer workers are most at risk.Leptospirosis is always a risk where rats are present, particularly if the associated environment is damp.
Good, impervious protective clothing, particularly wellington boots, is essential in these situations and the covering of any skin wounds. For workers who are frequently in high risk environments, immunization with a vaccine may be the best protection. (Since found out that the company should pay for these). Weil's Disease is, strictly, a severe form of Leptospirosis. The symptoms of Lepto are similar to influenza, but the symptoms of Weil's Disease are anaemia, nose bleeds and jaundice. While the most common form of infection is from the urine of rats, Weil's Disease has been found in other animals, such as cattle; therefore farm and veterinary workers may also be at risk.

This is reportable under RIDDOR. The Reporting of Injury, Diseases, and Dangerous Occurances Regulations 1995.



Blimey! Haven't typed that much since I left school!!

Hope you find some of this helpful.

If I can find the rest, i'll scan and post.

mia'n'patch
09-09-2010, 10:21 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leptospirosis

that has a bit in it about other animals that can carry the disease.

Amy104
09-09-2010, 12:08 PM
Thank You. Doc has said he is going to be fine. The first few days he hardly got out of bed and had me really worried but since starting the antibiotics he's been so much better. So fortunately if it does turn out to be that it seems he's been lucky with a mild case.

mia'n'patch
09-09-2010, 01:17 PM
Glad to hear that your hubby is feeling better. :)

ETA: Mild case or not, I think the hospital will report it and if proved to be work related, one of your hubbies superiors will be in for a ear bashing if not worse.