Friday, June 24, 2011

No reason for Leptospirosis scare in pet rats




“Leptospirosis is treated with 
antibiotics and is rarely fatal.” 





PET RATS ARE SAFE TO KEEP 

Pet rats are absolutely safe and free from the disease. Wild rats should be left alone, however, since we do not know their source or origin. Wild animals are often associated with Leptospirosis. Yet, it is NEVER heard from in pet rats. If your pet has not been exposed to an infected animal, you do not have any reason to worry then.



AT A GLANCE 

It is usually found where an animal gets into contact with filthy water or muddy fields, where harmful bacteria thrive. At a glance it:
  • Is transmitted by direct exposure to urine or tissue of an infected animal. 
  • Typically progresses through two phases of nonspecific symptoms. 
  • Can be diagnosed by culture of infected blood, urine, or spinal fluid, as well as using antibody testing. 
  • Is treated with antibiotics and is rarely fatal



SIGNS 

The first phase
Flulike symptoms occur: watering and redness of the eyes, headaches, muscle aches, eye pain with bright lights, followed by chills and fever. The symptoms may seem to improve by the fifth to ninth day.

The second phase
A few days after recovering, initial symptoms recur with fever and stiffness of the neck. Some patients develop serious inflammation of the nerves to the eyes, or other nerves. Abdominal pain may also occur. This stage is characterized by jaundice (yellowing of the eyes).



TREATMENT 

Fortunately, it is highly treatable with antibiotics (doxycycline, penicillin), especially in the early stages. Patients may require hospitalization in worse cases, but full recovery from the illness is not difficult.




If your pet has not been exposed to an infected animal, 
you do not have any reason to worry then.




Bibliography
Does Leptospirosis virus live in pet rat’s urine? Yahoo! Answers. Retrieved from http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20091027233649AA5R9oX 

Todd, S. (2010 June 14). Pet rats and Leptospirosis. Retrieved from http://en.allexperts.com/q/Pet-Rats-3537/2010/6/Pet-Rats-Leptospirosis.htm 

Weese, S. (2009 April 14). Weil’s disease from a pet rat. Retrieved from http://www.wormsandgermsblog.com/2009/04/articles/animals/pocket-pets/weils-disease-from-a-pet-rat/ 

What is Leptospirosis? Retrieved from http://www.medicinenet.com/leptospirosis/article.htm 





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