Are there any communicable diseases between rats and other rodents? - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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Are there any communicable diseases between rats and other rodents?

So here’s the scoop. I remembered that I had an old cage. Very similar to this, but I believe it is larger, because the specs on Petco’s site do not match up to what I measured.





I also have the same one that a friend had given to me when I was a kid. She had ferrets in it. I do not really remember what happened to them. I didn't bother dragging that one out but I might. She did something weird, as some pieces of the wire top are missing and they are wired up with chicken wire. Needless to say, it is not as nice.


I was very excited. I do not have the levels for it any more so I had my dad build plexie glass shelves in it and plan to put a hammock and some cardboard tubes on the walls. Over all, it will be very nice. (Only problem is I think everyone is too small for the one-inch apart bars. Only Gwen and Juliet for surely would not escape from it.)


I washed/scrubbed it with hot water and anti-bacterial soap. I didn’t want to use diluted bleach so I wiped/scrubbed it with alcohol. I let it dry then I washed it again with anti-bacterial soap. I washed and wiped the bars in the same manner. Needless to say, it is clean.


However I am still a little worried. My neighbor gave it to me, she used to have ferrets in it, then I used it for guinea pigs. It has been around eight years since the cage has had any animals in it. Most things die over a period of time of being air borne. Most things would have died with the cleaning I did. However, things can be tricky and with stand a lot.


I have looked all over and read a bunch of things. I have not really found anything. (I found a few things but not quite what I was looking for.) What I want to know is. Does anyone know of any disease or illnesses that a rat can get from a ferret or a guinea pig? Or even mice because we have mice in our attic. The pets kept in it were clean and healthy. No one was sick who was in it. My neighbor gave her ferrets away when she became pregnant and my guinea pig died at 5 years old in it. So I highly doubt it was from sickness. It was washed and sanitized before it was stored in the attic.


Another side note. The bars around where the door is are a litter rusty. So little of speckling that I should probably not even worry. But as any good rat mom does… The door closes shut but rubbing against the other bars and popping into place. So where all that rubbing took place it worn off some of the white coating allowing it to rust. I sanded it, taking a lot of the rust off. I am sure there is still some rust and I am sure if it gets wet or humid the rust will grow. As that is the nature of rust. I am trying to think of something I could use to seal it with that would not flake off or be harmful if ingested. I do not want them to have any chance of ingesting rust and getting tetanus or another illness from it. I know rust is alive, per say, and can be very harmful to humans. (I have seen people use bits with some rust on it and their horses are doing well, every vet check up passes with flying colors. And I have seen other animals chew on or places rusty things in their mouths.)

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 11:37 AM
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The cages should be fine to use.
Afterall they were not used for yrs and you scrubbed them clean.
And no a rat cannot catch anything from a ferret/GP or even mice.


I had mice/rats/hamsters and GP's in the same room for yrs and if say the mice get sick,the rats never catch it.Most things are species specific.
I never had to deal with rusty cages,so I looked it up for you (I was curious too - in case I ever need to deal with rust).This is what I found.


http://answers.yahoo.com/question/in...0234342AA8qmRs


Everything else I came across,just said basically the same things.One site said you can use a non-toxic paint,but I don't know if I would trust that...




* Lisa *

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you. The first idea that popped into my head was clear nail polish, but then I thought better of it. I will just keep an eye on the rust and keep it under control. I do not think they will chew on the bar, and the chance of them chewing on the spot where there is rust should be slim. Hopefully I can take a bunch of pictures tonight.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 01:32 PM
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if you use pastikote, or those spray paints that form a plasticcy layer rather than chippy paint, it should be fine.

if you're still worried about germs/bacteria, although i don't see any problems with the cage myself, you could steam it in the shower put on HOT.


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Babies:
rats: girls:belle, beauty and sweetness Boys: ronnie and oscar
Dogs: Cassie, Jazzmin and Buddy
Cat: Pebbles
Hamster: Skye
gerbils: Tremor and Sparkle
quails
chickens
9 ducks
3 guinea fowl

R.I.P. Cheryl & Kim
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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That's how I washed it first. I steamed it in the shower, scrubbed it with a scrub brush and antibacterial soap. Steamed it again then dried it. Scrubbed it with alcohol, let it dry, steamed it, scrubbed it with antibacterial soap, and steam washed it again.


Thanks for the idea about the spray. I will look for it at the stores. They seem to be fine though, they haven’t chewed on the bar yet and they’ve been in there for about three hours. They’re not as excited as I hope they would be. Maybe it is just because they are old.


I have another question for anyone. I have another wire cage top that the boys won’t be able to get through, but no bottom. Do you think that if I used a semi shallow hard plastic Tupperware bin for the bottom that would be fine? Otherwise I would have to try to build a bottom out of plexi glass.


I am trying to switch everyone from tanks to wire cages. I will always keep my 40 or 50 gallon, I can’t remember which, reptile tank. It was $140. It is so large, the biggest one Petco sells. It is great for the tiny ratties when the mom is still nursing them. I am going to add a half level to one side. I am going to make holes in the plexi glass so it breathes. Or I might put down a wire shelf type thing and cover it with fleece. I am not sure. Ideas are welcomed on how to add a half level.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 03:55 PM
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what about one of those roll-along storage boxes? they would be quite deep and the material wouldn't shatter, so you could add a layer before the top.


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Babies:
rats: girls:belle, beauty and sweetness Boys: ronnie and oscar
Dogs: Cassie, Jazzmin and Buddy
Cat: Pebbles
Hamster: Skye
gerbils: Tremor and Sparkle
quails
chickens
9 ducks
3 guinea fowl

R.I.P. Cheryl & Kim
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 06:36 PM
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I have added shelves to cages by getting a piece of wood,punching holes in it (actually my ex done that part) and using those strong zippy ties to hold it in place.It worked for awhile.


As for the bottom of the cages...I don't see why one of those thick tupperware bin bottoms wouldn't work.As long as it is the strong plastic.But then you still always have the risk of the rats chewing it.




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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-23-2008, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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With adding a half layer to the tank I am a little worried that it won't get enough circulation of air under the layer. The shelf/layer would be inside the cage, not above it. So the screen top would still slide shut. Do you think putting holes in the shelf would be enough to help with airflow? My boyfriend doesn't think so. I don’t really want to use wood. It soaks up their urine and starts to smell.


I think as long as they couldn’t get to the lips of the Tupperware they couldn’t chew it too much. I have seen them try to chew something but their mouths were not the right shape and couldn’t really chew it. I would get a bottom that was as similar to the real thing as possible. Plus, my rats do not chew much. They only thing they chew is their wooden toys. They do not touch their water bottles or igloos. (I love igloos. I wish there was a size between the smallest and next size. It goes from hamster to guinea pig. They really do not have a nice one for two rats, around me at least.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-23-2008, 09:27 PM
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Hmmmm...honestly I am not sure.There is no harm in trying.However I haven't done that myself,so I have no advice.
I can't picture it...sorry!


I love wooden shelves,cause they are easy.But that is the only downfall,they soak up pee and stink.Fortunatly they are easy to replace!




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* To the world you are ONE person,but to a rat you are the world *


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