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Old 18-11-2008, 10:57 PM
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Default Ringworm warning in aph

Ringworm Warning.


Hi all, our names are Ian & Julie Miles. We are new to keeping Hogs, and so far we have not had one moment***8217;s pleasure from it.
We along with several other innocent people are going through a very unpleasant, distressing and dare I say painful time due to the GREED, CARELESNESS and INCOMPETENCE of a member of this board.


The so called Master Breeder is Michelle Viljoen aka HeavenlyHogs


A few weeks ago we purchased a young male Hoglet off what seemed to be a knowledgeable and caring breeder. We had been in contact with her for several weeks since reserving our baby. We paid our deposit at the time of reserving and all seemed to go well. Pictures and information on his progress were hard to get from her to say the least.

Six weeks ago we drove 250 miles from Merseyside to Essex to collect him early one Sunday morning.
As soon as the front door was opened I regretted purchasing from her given the conditions in which he was raised. The room was full of cages of all shapes and sizes. Eight rats or so in one cage, gliders in the next and the poor herd of Hogs were stacked in cages one on top of the other on the floor in one corner. There were obviously cats and dogs on the premises due to the condition of the sofa.
We grabbed our Hog Leo and got out of there as fast as we could, we should have known we were asking for trouble. (This description has been highly edited due to the concerns of a few friends).

On arriving home later that day we decided to allow Leo to settle into his quarters for a few days without disturbing him.
My wife Julie then began handling him and all seemed well. He loved to nuzzle his way under her blouse and go to sleep on her left shoulder. Two weeks later she began to get a severe itch there, a day later a red ring developed about the size of a 10 pence piece. I urged her to go to the doctor and after her second visit he confirmed Ringworm. She is now undergoing a lengthy treatment with Terbinafine Hydrocloride cream to rid herself of the fungal infection. Apparently there is no quick and easy fix for this infection.

We then looked around for a vet who knew African Pygmy hedgehogs and found one in Liverpool who specialised in Exotics. He first looked at my wife***8217;s symptoms then gloved up and examined Leo in a darkened room under UV light. He said any signs of the fungal infection would basically glow or fluress green. His ears, the back of his head and his back were all covered. The only true way to 100% identify it would be to take a skin scrape but this would only delay starting the treatment by two weeks or so while we waited for the results. He said with 99% certainty due to my wife***8217;s condition, his vast experience at seeing Ringworm in other Hogs that his diagnosis is correct. He also added that du to the spread over Leo***8217;s body of the fungus he probably contracted it at birth from his mother.

He also took a stool sample to send away for further examination to check for any internal parasites. This later came back showing a slight internal worm infection.


To look at Leo he is perfectly fit and well, he shows no visible signs or symptoms of the fungus, although he is always scratching, but we put this down to the fact that he may have started quilling. If my wife had not caught it we would not suspect anything was wrong with the little happy chap.
Now to put the timeframe into perspective.
The problem began to show itself approx 14 days after we began handling him. It took a further week or so before Ringworm was confirmed in my wife and Leo, bringing us up to the 4 weeks since he came home. As far as we can ascertain Ringworm has a 7 to 14 day incubation period so Julie***8217;s first itch ties in perfectly with this.

The treatment for Leo is Itrafungol an oral solution. We have to syringe feed him with this every day for a week, then a week off then a week of treatment again for 5 consecutive weeks.

He is also on anti-inflammatory medication for his ski complaint, (VERY VERY dry and itchy)

We had spent a small fortune on a beautiful house for him and a tunnel and loads of toys to keep him amused and interested. All these as they are natural fibres need to be burned. He is now in a horrible plastic igloo with paper on his cage floor so we can disinfect it daily until he is cured. The carpets and rugs in our house where he has walked need to be sprayed with F10 SC a strong veterinary disinfectant. We can only handle him until he is cured with surgical gloves which then need to be destroyed.

Due to the apparent severity and contagiousness of this fungal infection we decided to contact Michelle of HeavenlyHogs to make her aware of the possibility that the infection may have come from her. At first she seemed genuinely concerned; this lasted all of thirty seconds then it turned to defensiveness. She said it could have been my daughter that brought the infection home off the school playground. And because she knew we had two beautiful snow white Samoyed dogs, if she had got an infection in her Hogs it was us that took it to her.
We sent her several emails keeping her informed of the matter, most of the time she ignored them and refused to talk to us. We then found out that she had started posting on the Hedgehog Central Forum about this matter. She began to portray herself as the aggrieved party. Gathering as much information and support as she could muster to dam us.
We knew that Leo came from a litter of 3 so we wanted her to contact the other owners to see if they were having any problems.
On one of the board postings she was specifically asked were any of the other owners having problems to which she replied no. (Lie 1)
In another posting she said she had made an appointment to take her herd to the vets to be checked. (Lie 2)
I then posted very graphic pictures of Julie***8217;s infection.

She then said in another that after a telephone consultation with her vet she had begun to treat all her stock for Ringworm. Now to the best of my knowledge no vet would make such a decision and prescribe medication without first seeing the patient. I***8217;m not even sure it***8217;s ethical or legal to do so.
Days later she admitted she had still not taken any of her Hogs to the vet as she did not see the need to do so.
It was obvious we were going to get nowhere with the matter so I made a posting stating I wanted no further contact with her and in disgust I left the board. The following day we found out the board administrators had blocked the topic.


Private emails offering help and support then began pouring in to us.
One very interesting one came from a lady who posts under the name of Chazybabe. She is the owner of Leo***8217;s brother, Pickles. She was very concerned after seeing the photograph of Julie***8217;s infection I had posted as she had a very similar lesion on her wrist. After corresponding with her we found the timeframe of two weeks to be similar since owning Pickles.
Pickles had arrived at his new home with a massive open wound on his nose, and Chaz was not even informed of this damage before delivery by Michelle. No reputable breeders we have spoken to would let a Hog go to its new home with such a wound. Pickles also had to have a skin scrape done at 4 weeks old due to a SEVERE SKIN INFECTION.

Information was also forwarded to us that Heavenly Hogs had also illegally imported some Hogs from Germany via Ireland to avoid detection and quarantine costs. Customs were later informed of the matter by a very concerned and responsible member of the Hog community [removed: see link] quarantine fees of £4000. All of this was covered in depth by the newspapers. Below is a link to the article.

http://www.echo-news.co.uk/news/2391904.prickly_problem_for_worried_mumoftwo/

Unfortunately this was too late and the damage was done. She had had the illegally imported stock in her home for a number of weeks. It transpires the German breeder had a big ringworm problem. And this is most likely the route the infection came in. This is exactly why we have customs. But alas we also have the unscrupulous people who feel it is their right to flaunt the law and endanger us all.
As a direct result of this and other concerns over her breeding practices she was banned from the African Pygmy Hedgehog Society. She is also banned from purchasing any pedigree Sugar Gliders because of very similar concerns within the sugar glider community.

The full but BLOCKED story as it unfolded can still be viewed on Hedgehog Central under Shells heading of How The Hell did This Happen.

As a PS to this article tonight my ex wife rang to inform me my daughter has just been to the doctors and now has confirmed Ringworm. She came to stay with us a fortnight ago and held Leo once for a few moments. This goes to prove how contagious this fungal infection is. How this will affect a young girl***8217;s school and social life I have yet to find out.
How many more innocent people must suffer due to this woman***8217;s unwillingness to recognise she has a problem? To date as far as we can ascertain she still has not taken any of her herd to the vets for official conformation of the problem.

Our next course of action is to inform Essex Environmental health department of the situation. This report along with its supporting evidence from our doctor, and our vet surely must make them take action. We will also be bringing it to their attention that she was [removed] of illegally importing Hogs from Germany.

Another course of action will be to contact her vet and inform him that according to Heavenly Hogs he is prescribing medication over the phone without seeing the patient. I wonder if he will back her up when he realises his practice licence is at risk??????????????/

Ian & Julie
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 18-11-2008, 11:10 PM
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No responsible breeder would have a total disregard for their animals health like this.

This is truely shocking and very worrying that it has happened.
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 18-11-2008, 11:13 PM
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Also I am led to believe that said owner had advertised as all hogs sold will be uk aph reg. but they were not!
 
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Old 18-11-2008, 11:15 PM
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Didn't you get to see the hoglet first??

As far as I was aware, Heavenly Hogs stated that she would only sell to people that she had met and vetted beforehand.... she also said her hoglets would go to new homes with 6 weeks free insurance, so can you not claim on that - I know it's not ideal, obviously the hoglet should have been fit, but at least it would help with what is going to be a hefty vet bill!!

Hope your wife and daughter recover soon!!
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 18-11-2008, 11:15 PM
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I am horrified but not particularly surprised. It seems Heavenly Hogs has a habit of deceit and ill practice which has her banned from other forums and has earned her a very poor reputation in some circles. I wish you all the best with this Ian and Julie and can only hope that the breeder concerned finally realises she should not be breeding if she cannot do things responsibly.

I feel I gave her the benefit of the doubt time after time but this really is atrocious!
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 18-11-2008, 11:17 PM
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not to sound really picky but when did you actually get the hog? a few weeks ago? or 6 weeks ago? cos you say a few then say six, n let me get this right, your wife went to the doctors with symptoms 2 weeks after gettin the hog? your daughter came a fortnight ago and handled him? so if you got him 6 weeks ago, that would mean your daughter handled leo 2 weeks after your wife noticed she was ill, why did you let your daughter handle it after your wife had got ill and been to the doctors who confirmed ring worm? thats the bit that confuses me
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 18-11-2008, 11:18 PM
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oh what a suprise...NOT
for those GENUINE please hedgehogcentral.com post under health and how the hell did this happen...time to get educate peeps
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 18-11-2008, 11:20 PM
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Don't you mean time to get educated?

Had a quick look and its a closed thread.
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 18-11-2008, 11:23 PM
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Or time to get a vet!!

3 people have now got ring worm after contact with 2 of your hoglets and it's stated in the thread on HC that many of the hoglets from Germany are infected.... so why not be the responsible breeder you claim to be and use some of that 'millionaires wealth' you keep telling us about and help these people foot their vet fees!
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 18-11-2008, 11:23 PM
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read the info it's all there...
this is a personal vendetta and will be dealt with..
now if you dont mind i have better things to do.
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