Rat Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,509 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My apologies, I feel as though I'm becoming somewhat a serial poster o_O

As some of you may know, I intend on getting a little baby rex dumbo shortly.

However, my mind has been niggled with guilt since making the decision, because I don't think I can provide adequate QT. I have no one I can use to QT, so I was planning on an in-house QT - using my sisters bedroom as a QT room and not allowing the girls who usually use it as a free-range room in there.

But I've been doing my research, and to be quite honest, am quite scared. I have my 15 now and the last thing I want is to contaminate them all with some pet-shop buggy!

Here's the situation;

At home, I have a couple of rats I'm already treating for resp infections (the usual Baytril/baytril doxy mix) and the infection hasn't spread through them, it's the usual couple who are constantly flaring up. As they're already on antibiotics, should I worry about them catching anything new?

At the pet shop, these are an accidental litter that a rat in the petshop has had (so, already we know they've been in the shop for 5/6 weeks and must be showing to be healthy if they're going to be sold). They have been kept in the back room - not on the shop floor. I've been using this pet shop for years now and beyond the usual myco problems the rats I've purchased/been given/have seen there have all been relatively healthy. I'm going to be asking the girl there tomorrow about the level of QT they are receiving (the babies) already, and I know that they are/will be observed (they call it a settling in period) for a further week when they are put on the shop floor. The workers there (or all I have spoken too) all have rats, so know (reasonably) what they're talking about. If I can ensure that they have been well isolated while in the back room (the problem is I'm sure that the sick rats are also taken to the back room) would that provide me with the QT required to bring them home - then give them an in-house QT?

I have absolutely no problem with showering/changing clothes in between playing with the new rat and my remaining rats. I can't expect my mum or sister to do the same, however, I will ensure that they don't handle the new rat (and as anything airbourne would have reached the rats downstairs anyway, transfer on clothing isn't really a huge issue)

I'm honestly at a loss about what to do. I would really LOVE this new rat, and I'm fairly sure that the risks are minimal from the pet shop - but I don't know what's best.

Any input would be great...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,099 Posts
Personally... I'd think it's too much of a risk. You won't know what a pet store rat will be carrying. Could be as simple as a parasite (mites, say) or something like a URI... Or they could be carrying something scary and deadly like SDA and Sendai. Or it could be carrying nothing, and you'd be fine.

It's a huge, HUGE gamble. I guess the question is... Do you want to take the risk? I think that's something you'll have to work out... All we can do is give our advice.

Mine is? Don't do it. In-home will *only* prevent some bacterial and ectoparasites. Nothing more dangerous and life threatening, that's air-borne. Even if you could be sure there was nothing wrong with the rodents AT the pet store (and you can't), then who knows what someone who does own rodents is carrying on them while they are at the pet store.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,002 Posts
if you're in the us or canada, you absolutely have to quarantine, because of the reasons kimmiekins mentioned above. australia and new zealand dont have sda or sendai so its not as essential here. i dont know about the uk or europe though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,509 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm in the UK and I've been doing my research about it. I think we have some cases, but they aren't as common as in the US.

Gah. I don't know
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
Sorry to intrude, but when you quarantine a rat, does it have to be in a different house? 'cause the only places I may be able to quarantine any new rats would be my little brother's unused bedroom down the hall from mine, or maybe (probably not) the guest bedroom downstairs. (or the trailer in the sideyard, but that is out of the question.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,509 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, I was incredibly naughty today and came home with 3 boys (none of which are the rexs!)- after finding out that they had all been in the pet shop since birth (so that's 12-16 weeks straight away for nasties to show up) they are held every day by the girl I know at the pet shop - she said all of them have had no problems, minus Matt who has had a couple of myco flare-ups in his time there.

They were also not kept in the back 'sick' room - I learnt that the small animals have their own room while being QTd to go to the shop floor.

And I also checked and no new litters from independent breeders had been brought in during the two weeks previous, so it was only the pet shop bred rats there who are all (I think she said) from the same mother and all of whom looked healthy.

And, as I walked in from buying them (which I got two of them free of charge - so really they made no profit on the purchase) I walked in to a living room of sniffly rats. So tomorrow I'm going to be getting the antibiotics and giving ALL of them a 10/14 day course of baytril (some of the worse hit doxy too). More of a preventative measure for the healthy ones - but it will get a head start on any infections that the new boys MAY have bought with them. The boys will get a course too - to be on the safe side.

They're now upstairs in my sisters room on a strict in-house QT (I change clothes and wash my hands and any area the rats have touched and showered after their 'playtime')

So, fingers crossed. I think I covered as many bases as I possibly could

Messerschmitt - QT in a seperate airspace is the prefered (almost foolproof) method of QT as your rats cannot be contaminated by any airbourne infections or virus'. Many people ask friends, family members etc to keep their rats in their house for a couple of weeks to ensure that the new rat is healthy and to give any nasty infections that they may have to run through their incubation period.

Although, in a realistic world, sometimes that's just not possible. In that case, and you have to settle for an in-house QT, you need to be very sure of where you get your new rat from. Breeders and Rescues are usually the best choice, as they QT their rats (usually) very well and monitor their health closely. Pet shops, ideally, should be avoided as the most common method of contamination comes from commercial breeders who house hundreds of rats. These rats can pick up a virus or infection and it'll spread like wildfire - and unfortunately before the breeder realises (or whether they care or not) some of the rats have already been released to the petshops where we pick them up and tadaa contamination of our resident ratties occurs.

If, like me, you have no breeder in your area, it'd be best to do a good background check on what type of breeders the petshop uses (commercial vs private breeders) etc. So you can ensure as best as you can that your new rats have come from uncontaminated stock and an in-house QT would be safe enough.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Okay, here is my big problem with quarantine....essentially, it is ineffective if your rat is a disease carrier but not actively exhibiting signs of disease. I mean, I am not arguing against it, but you could potentially seperate them in different places for 3 weeks, put them together and BAM, right?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,509 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I guess so, although I'm sure that I've read that the reason the QT period is 3/5 weeks is because that gives any rat who has an existing infection/virus a chance to run the incubation period for that infection/virus. Or, at least that's what I've been reading about SDA. Some other nasties like Sendai are viral and it's believed that once a rats had it, they are carriers for the rest of their life.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
I know, it always makes me nervous and makes me feel like I am playing russian roulette. I always quarantine and then spend the next three weeks carefully observing everyone, but I am still paranoid the whole time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,099 Posts
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top