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Discussion Starter #1
Soooo.... I had mentioned before that I had some kind of rash. My doctor just diagnosed me with "rat bite fever." Apparently, some of the symptoms include flu like symtoms, and a rash like I have. I didn't have flu like symtoms, so do you think he could be wrong? Has anyone had experience with this before? My doctor said I should give my rats away. I don't think so. I can't give them away they are like family. Please help, guys. Thanks.
 

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I've heard of this before. I guess its like "cat scratch fever". I am assuming some bacteria, or something, from the rats teeth (or from the claws) got into your skin. You really need to wash your skin if you get cut, or bitten.

I think you should solve your medical problems first, and keep the rats. Just don't get bitten or scratched again, and if you do, wash it thoroughly. I really see no reason to get rid of your rats, unless I am missing something...

Let us know how you are feeling, and what decision you come to. I bet the ratties would love to keep you as their parent... I'd say give them another shot.
 

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Were you bitten? Generally (not always... Occasionally, it'll occur with out a scratch or bite, but not often, and it can be transmitted by drinking contaminated liquids), one is bitten, and then develops an infection... I believe your doctor may be mistaken? Most people who have this infection are VERY ill... So ill, that untreated, the complications can be fatal. Symptoms include: chills, fever, vomiting, pain in the back and joints, headache, muscle pain. Those would happen generally 2-10 days after exposure (generally a bite or scratch). 2-4 days after the fever, a rash appears on the hands and feet and large joints may be severely swollen, be red and painful. I believe, though, that it can occur as late as 22 days after the initial contact. It's a rather rare thing. I believe a fever is nearly always there, because it's classified as a febrile illness. A diagnosis can be made by taking fluid from one of the painful joints, or from blood taken from the body... It should come back positive for the bacteria. Your doctor didn't test for it? If you DO have this, you need a round of antibiotic therapy.

Is it possible you're having an allergic reaction to the urine from your rats? This is very common... Many rat owners have (and live with) it. It's often a rash, quite red, and welts are common. It goes away after awhile if you don't have contact, and comes back when you do. Some wear long sleeved shirts when playing with their rats. You can talk to an allergist, and perhaps take pills or get shots for allergies.
 

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I get the nastiest hives from my girls, big welts all up and down my arms- one time I went to class after they'd crawled around on my shoulders looking like I had some kind of birthmark all up my neck, I was so red. But with time it all goes away (about half hour, max), no (apparent) permanent damage. Just saying, "regular" allergic reactions can look pretty serious sometimes, though, not trying to make a diagnosis for you.
 

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I was under the impression that rate bite fever was extremely dangerous. A man here died from a rat bite and they said that was what it was. I guess I was wrong. After that incident I was scared for a while, but yeah.

Basically it is transferred through contact with faeces or urine of the rat, orally. Sometimes through a bite but make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after handling rats.

Rat bite fever is rare, so I don't know whether you should give your rats away. Generally I would say no, but if you are more susceptible to it, then I might consider it, if your health is at risk. I hope you don't have to though.
 

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I've always been of the same impression as the other guys - if you get rat bite fever - you'll know about it.

It took my doctors (I saw 4) 8 months before admitting that the 'rash' I had developed was ringworm - and my vet did their job for them, as he told me he'd noticed it on my hand and told me what to get for it! My doctors told me catagorically that it was an allergy to my rats and I should get rid of them - the moment I mentioned rats they were of the opinion that rats were OF COURSE so dirty and disgusting that they MUST be causing my problem. Idiots.

The truth of the matter probably is, this doctor may have never seen rat bite fever before. It is very rare. He's putting two and two together and geting nineteen. IMHO anyway

Did you post pics of your rash before in another thread?

Edit:

Just in case, I did a little web surfing for you

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001348.htm

http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/ratbitefever_g.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rat-bite_fever

http://www.medic8.com/infectious-diseases/ratbite-fever.htm

I've also pulled up a few example pics by typing in 'rat bite fever rash' on a google image search

I think they all seem to agree that a rash alone is not an indicator of rat bite fever
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ration1802 said:
Did you post pics of your rash before in another thread?
Ya, I did. And in the begginning it looked like ring worm. and then it got infected and then i got a severe, i mean extremely severe, rash all over. it's actually getting better now. but i am just terrified of getting it again and having to give away my babies.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So, whenever I get sick or something my stepmom goes crazy with researching about it. My doctor still says I should give my babies away, but there is no way in **** I will do that. My dad and stepmom don't really think it is necessary. But my stepmom said that she read that the rats need to be treated as well. My dad offered to pay for it, which is nice. But, do they need to be treated? In this article, http://www.ratfanclub.org/fever.html, it says that "it seems likely that treating your rats with antibiotics will reduce the chance that they could pass on the disease." I guess I should take them then, right?
 

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Treating the rats won't do anything if you have an allergy. Have you been tested for rat bite fever? If it's not rat bite fever, you could be giving the rats antibiotics unnecessarily, and that's never a good thing. Rats can become immune to antibiotics, and that's never good since they really need them when they get URIs and the like.

Please, have your doctor actually diagnosis this legit. YOU need to be on medicine IF you have it. If you have it, and you are not treated, you can die from complications.

As I think many of us said, you would really need to have more than a rash to have rat bite fever. A person with rat bite fever would be very ill. A simple blood test will confirm or deny if you have it. First things first... Make sure this is what you're dealing with.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, my doctor did diagnose me with rat bite fever and is making me take pennicillin. He didn't do a blood test though, so I'm not 100 percent sure that he is correct. My dermatologist originally diagnosed me with contact dermatitis, but my physician had a different opinion
 

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I find it very DIFFICULT to believe that he could diagnose you that simply without a blood test.
I would go in and DEMAND a blood test for it because I am a jerk like that.
But what to do is really up to you.
 

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I completely agree with Leala and Ration. Get a blood test, get a second opinion, and never agree to give away your rats just because some guy in a white coat scared you.
 

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Honestly? I'd "fire" your doctor. If your dermatologist diagnosed you as having contact dermatitis, then s/he's probably right. That's the allergic reaction mentioned earlier. If there's any worry, the blood test can be done. I bet anything it comes back negative. Your dermatologist can help with the allergy, probably, or a good allergist.
 

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I agree, demand a test. I got diagnosed with "ringworm," took the entire regimen of anti-fungals, and when the rash was still there, sought out another doctor, who used UV light to diagnose it as eczyma.

I think you might also be dealing with a doctor who took one class is microbiology, and either has a bias against rats or is just uninformed. The fact that he basically told you to get rid of your pets instead of helping you out with suggestions on how to help the situation is pretty telling.

I say to try a new doctor, and don't let him dismiss you without some tests done. They should have a microbiologist take a swab.
 
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