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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-31-2004, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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Mycoplasmosis taking its toll?

I work in a pet shop, and we had recently accepted a large litter of hairless rats. At least 10 males and 8 females. The woman we got them from, also gave us a guinea pig pulled too early from the mum and we had to feed it.

All the rats are sneezing, and one of the workers there says its probably myco and that it can't be cured.

I'm worried because both I and my boyfriend now have two of these rats, who are sneezing. We also have other rats and i read that it is contagious and incurable. I also have a mama rat with rat pups, and i don't want them to catch this.

Basically all they are doing are sneezing, but i will be making a vet appt tmw for Friday morning. Are there any other symtoms of this disease that we would notice? She told me she had noticed blood around the nose, but i have checked the rats over good and i did not notice it. They don't have runny eyes, and are full of life but just sneeze a lot.

Can anyone offer any advice, other than the typical "take them to the vet" seeing as i am already doing this? If it is Myco, we might have to get rid of the rats because we both can't risk 12 other rats getting this disease.

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-01-2004, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
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It's really hard for me to post this, but after talking very long and hard with my boyfriend, we have come to the conclusion of giving the 4 rats we have up. We will be trying to contact some rat rescues, letting them know CLEARLY that they do have myco.

We only are doing this because of our other rats and other animals. If we had only them, myco wouldn't be such a big deal and we'd give them the best life we can. However, we can not risk our other animals, so sadly we had to come the this decision.

Thanks for everyone reading, time will heal us however
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-03-2004, 10:53 AM
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You need to get Panmycin Aquadrops ,liquid tetracycline, from your vet. Just keep everything and your hands clean. And of course sick rats don't play with well rats. I have an antibacterial waterless hand wash near the cages. The main thing is to treat it early so that the lungs don't get scared really bad and make life miserable for the rat. Also I see most folk like to use a fish tank for a cage (the air quality is poor) I perfer (small wire or bar) cages. You can get inventive and connect them. The higher you go the more they like it. You can also take sections apart if you have to use one to carry them to the vet. I also have a large outdoor condo for mornings and nice days when the heat isn't too high. I run a large Hunter air cleaner at all times. Dust is annoying to small rat noses and it helps a lot with any stray odors.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-05-2004, 02:29 PM
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i have two rats with very scarred lungs due to myco and not only is it misrible to the rat, but it is to you. i cant sleep for them, so i had to move the cage to the kitchen. it gets on my nerves worse than anything, but i know they cant help it
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-17-2004, 06:51 PM
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Actually all rats are carriers of myco unless they are bred in a sterile labratory environment and the kittens taken by c-section. Myco lays dormant in most rats until they become stressed or until their immune systems are weakened and then it kicks in sometimes leading to pneumonia. Myco flare ups are most commonly treated with baytril or doxy and if caught on time the ratties can make a full recovery. The "blood" around their nose and eyes isn't really blood, but rather porphyrin. Rat saliva and tears are tinted red by the porphyrin and it often shows up when a rat is stressed.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-21-2004, 01:01 PM
Romping Ratties
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I would also be worried about the possibility of these new rats carrying virsues such as SDA, Sendai or KRV, especially with rat pups present in the home. This is why EVERYONE who takes in new rodents must (if possible!) quarantine them in a seperate household for at least four weeks before bringing them to your home and introducing them to your current rats. Sometimes there is no way to use a seperate household, of there is an urgent need and the animals must be brought home without quarantine. If you cannot quarantine in a seperate household it is best to keep them in another room with the door shut as far away from the others as possible. There is no reason why you need to give the rats up, as Christy said all rats are Myco carriers unless bred pathogen free. It's not airborn but spread by direct contact, highly contagious and there is no cure.

I DO NOT recommend treating Myco rats with Tetracycline. The best meds for Myco outbreaks are Baytril (should not be given to younger rats due to stunted growth) and Doxycycline. There is also a new drug out on the market not yet prescribed for rats but I do not recall the name. It works better than Baytril, which is the best meds for Myco. Tylan is also an OK medication to treat them. But until you assume it is a Myco outbreak think of all the things that cause sneezing. Is or was the bedding dirty with amonia buildup? What bedding were the rats on? Rats should only be housed on aspen, no pine or cedar due to toxic phenols which cause respiratory distress. Carefresh is also a good bedding but can sometimes be dusty, and Tek Fresh is also recommend, as well as Yesterday's news etc. Are the rats overly stressed? That too can cause staining and sneezing. Rats do sneeze on accasion, and it's completely normal, but over sneezing is not a good sign. I would give them a few days to settle in and try to keep them away from your rats as long as possible. Just remember that the next time you introduce any new rodents into the home proper quarantine must be done.

If you want to keep these rats you can ask your vet about running an Eliza test panel on the newbies, to test for Sendai, Myco, CARB, SDA and Rat Parvo Virus. This will let you know what you are deaking with. Rats who have both Myco and CARB tend to suffer more than rats with just Myco. Wtih a clean stress free environment Myco can be held at bay for a very long time.

Last edited by Romping Ratties; 06-21-2004 at 01:03 PM.
post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-21-2004, 02:33 PM
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I recently lost my littlegirl named littlefoot to myco i have treated her for six months for the disease as well as Pneumonia She was sick prctically from the time i got her. It is a horrible disease in the end stages she would have a couple weeks free and clear then back to the vet again for more meds and treatment option. Sadly last week was the last cet visit she made as i was told there was nothing else that could be done for her the disease finally took its toll and i had to put her down
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-21-2004, 06:09 PM Thread Starter
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All rats have Myco? Well when we brought the hairless that were showing severe signs of myco, my boyfriends other rats started sneezing...and they weren't stressed. We changed nothing. So how could this be? How can they catch something they already carry i guess is what i'm asking?
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-06-2004, 01:04 PM
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yes this is true.. ALL RATS HAVE MYCO NO MATTER WHAT unless they came from a sterile lab, and the mothers had C-sections!!! because it can be given from mother to baby through birth!

ALSO if you had SDA you'd know in a while.. it can kill them rather fast. SDA doesn't kill, but secondary infections (Myco) will.. because it severely weakens the immune system of the rat.

one HUGE thing with hairless rats... true hairless never shed SDA. they can't. they're a HUGE risk factor to other rats if not from a reputable source because they can reinfect the rats with SDA again and again and again!! I should also note that NOT ALL SDA symptoms will show up.

you'll need a baytril/doxy combination from the vet to properly treat them... and with TRUE hairless.. I just don't know..

a helpful article could be found here: it explains the different types of hairless rats and how true can't produce antibodies to properly fight off sendai or SDA and will just keep reinfecting everyone who can and has shed it
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-24-2004, 03:18 PM
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Can rats spread myco to OTHER animals like cats, hamsters, gerbils and degus?
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