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  • Leptospirosis

    My mare has gone blind in one eye from uveitis caused cataract, and the ophthalmologist suspects system-wide leptospirosis. He's sent off blood to have a titre run. Lepto is a spirochete that is passed on through moist urine of infected animals coming in contact with eyes, broken skin, or infected water. Problem is that infected animals can be almost anything common, from mice to deer. If the titre is positive, there is an oral treatment.

    Disease was completely silent and caused no apparent discomfort at all. When I posted a year or so ago about an eye that did not reflect light, no one had an idea. Vet says that is one of the diagnostics for cataracts, since light is not getting through the lens.

    Any Thoughts on how to protect from lepto? I need to be sure and do all I can to save her other eye. She'll be wearing eye masks pretty constantly from now on.
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
    Thread killer Extraordinaire

  • #2
    They are still trying for a vaccine.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

    Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


    • Original Poster

      Vet says there is one for pigs and cattle already. Just not for horses because of the cost of approval. He says that in extreme cases, it's not unknown for the vaccine for the other species to be used in horses.
      "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
      Thread killer Extraordinaire


      • #4
        I believe in areas that have a really high number of horse cases it is not unusual to vaccinate for Lepto, I think with the bovine 7-way Lepto vax. I remember the Gennessee Valley of New York being one area, and I think there were a few other pockets around the US with lots of lepto cases.


        • #5
          My husband's appaloosa had confirmed lepto when the
          horse was 13 years old. He developed moonblindness
          in his early 20s. He was put on daily aspirin and did not
          lose all his sight until early 30s (lived to 34!). Only
          problem with aspirin is horse did develop ulcers which
          once diagnosed, were readily treated.
          Robin from Dancing Horse Hill
          Elmwood, Wisconsin


          • #6
            My first broodie went blind from lepto but did not lose her eyes. Her daughter aborted her second foal due to lepto. At least where I live there are so many deer that even if you left them in the stall their whole lives they could still be infected from hay. Hopefully your problems with that are over.
            McDowell Racing Stables

            Home Away From Home


            • Original Poster

              Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
              My first broodie went blind from lepto but did not lose her eyes. Her daughter aborted her second foal due to lepto. At least where I live there are so many deer that even if you left them in the stall their whole lives they could still be infected from hay. Hopefully your problems with that are over.
              What's ironic is that right after we got home, I went to get some hay from an open bale in a hay bag, and three young mice leaped out when I opened the bag. I did not feed that hay.
              "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
              Thread killer Extraordinaire


              • #8
                This was discussed quite recently on COTH. To repeat: the strains of lepto in cattle vaccines are not generally the strains which affect horses. There is some concern that a vaccine -- any lepto vaccine -- might, in fact, trigger ERU in susceptible horses.

                You can treat your horse for lepto, but ERU is an auto-immune response, where the horse's body is now mistaking the inside of it's own eye for lepto invaders. Treating for lepto will not cure the ERU.
                My Equestrian Art Photography page


                • #9
                  Originally posted by draftdriver View Post
                  This was discussed quite recently on COTH. To repeat: the strains of lepto in cattle vaccines are not generally the strains which affect horses. There is some concern that a vaccine -- any lepto vaccine -- might, in fact, trigger ERU in susceptible horses.

                  I believe the most common horse serovars are pomona and grippotyphosa, and those are covered in most bovine vaccines.