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Discussion Starter #1
I wanted to pass on this link to everyone to try and stress why quarantine is so very important.
https://www.facebook.com/notes/863849600389797/

*This is not my site

This is a really huge scary deal happening right now that many rat owners are dealing with. Thank heavens I was not actually able to go to the meetup this year and it didn't touch me but I was in the groups and saw how badly this hurt everyone. Watching their new babies get sick and die :(

This is a link on proper quarantine that everyone should read.
http://ratguide.com/health/basics/quarantine.php

I would say by far most pet rat owners do not use a proper quarantine when introducing new rats. I'd even say most do not even attempt to do a quarantine at all. I get it, when I was new to rats I admit i did not either.
We tend to get this feeling that anything bad can't or won't happen to us. We shrug it off as some tiny minuscule possibility to worry about.



But the truth is that by not doing a proper quarantine every time you are putting your rats health and lives at risk!!

i can not imagine how I would feel if all of my rats got sick or worse died because doing a quarantine was too much trouble.

There have also been a bunch of outbreaks of sendai all over the US, many coming from pet stores. This is very deadly.

There are two types of quarantine:

In home & separate location.

In home if done properly can help against some bacteria and parasites but will do nothing against airborne viruses like SDA, Sendai or Parvovirus.
If doing in home they should be in separate rooms, farther apart the better. Use nothing like the same cleaning supplies in between the two. Always wash your hands in between handling them.

A separate location or other building- like an air controlled garage, is far more ideal. Having the new rats stay with a friend or family member. Waiting three hours in between handling the rats, changing clothes, taking a shower.

other important things are not visiting pet stores or friends with rats. If you do... take the same care by waiting the three hours, etc...


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Now I know some people are thinking this is insane and going over board. But this is because you probably have been lucky so far. Watching your babies get sick and die would be heart breaking, and that is to not even touch on the topic of very expensive vet bills and medications to try and save them. Losing your entire mischief..... Because this IS happening to people.

You can't prevent every bad thing from happening. We can't seal ourselves into a protective bubble lol but there are real measures we can take to protect our babies.



Also if you have come into contact with outside rats or brought in new rats and see any symptoms, acting fast is the most important thing. Get them to the vet, start them on the right meds asap.


I also want to say while this "started" in Ohio those involved came from all over. From Canada and even touched people in California.



Be safe!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
more on Sendai & SDA

Sendai and SDA are 2 highly contagious and deadly viruses that can kill entire colonies of rats overnight.
SDA is short for Sialodacryoadenitis virus or Rat corona virus.

SDA, SENDAI
Contagious Rat Viruses:
http://animals.pawnation.com/rat-viruses-2114.html
Rat & Mouse Gazette: Sendai, Not Just a Mouse Disease
http://www.rmca.org/Articles/sendai.htm
Finn Mouse: Sendai Virus (scroll down)
http://hiiret.fi/eng/health/?pg=2&sub=1
RMCA: Dos and Don'ts of Sendai and SDA Quarantine
http://www.rmca.org/Articles/dosanddonts.htm


here is also a list of SOME recent known outbreaks
https://www.facebook.com/RatNationP...y_comment_id=347343295454536&total_comments=2
 

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Hey Moonkissed the facebook link does not work. Could you some up what had happened? Thanks for this information I think it's super important to quarantine your rats. I won't need to do this for some time (I still need to get rats!) Anyways I've also been reading that a lot of folks aren't doing the quarantine properly and it gets very confusing on whether or not to do it. However with deadly viruses like this one it can put things into perspective.

I have a question regarding how to quarantine. If you're getting more rats from a breeder, and they been keeping an eye on their health would that be considered quarantine enough? Or will you need to do it when you get home because illness can come up when they're out of their original living area?
 

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I have copied and pasted the text from the link she posted. This was originally posted by Atlantis Rattery on their facebook page and all text below is hers from her post that was linked above. Note: I do not know if the links will work as they were copied from FB into word, then here. (so that formatting would allow it to be posted here).

"SDA Alert and how it affects you
November 5, 2015 at 1:01pm
I thought it was about time that I make a post informing everyone about the rumors going around about mice, rats & the viruses the breeders who attended Ohio not too long ago were exposed to. Ohio was a meeting location of breeders and pet owners to adopt & exchange rodents. Since the meet some breeders who attended have reported various health concerns in the animals that they acquired, and some that had spread to their colonies who had not carried out a proper quarantine, or had accidentally cross contaminated to their pre-existing animals. Of these reports one really serious one has been convirmed; SDA Virus (http://ratguide.com/health/viruses/sda.php). SDA Virus is very contaigous and should be taken seriously. I can be passed amongst rats & mice. Being airborne, an in home quarantine is not effective for a virus.

High Risk Scenarios for contracting illnesses to avoid:
§ Rat-inclusive events (shows, swaps, meetings)
§ Acquiring rats from multiple sources at once
§ Letting people visit with rats
§ People visiting after contact with other rats
§ Acquiring rats from pet stores
§ Handling rats at pet stores or other colonies
§ Visiting pet stores and returning straight home
§ Allowing exposure to wild rats (House pet rats indoors)
§ Rescuing rats and other animals
§ Breeding during quarantine
ALL breeders who attended or have been in contact with those who have attended need to test their animals. I urge all pet adopters to ask your breeder questions about the infection and if they have tested their animals before adopting from them. Any breeder who has handled this situation responsibly should be happy to share their negative test results.

Any breeders who DO test positive:This is not a death sentance or a reason to close your doors for good. A post-infection quarantine needs to be initiated. A full post-infection quarantine consists of absolutely no rats in or out (including no litters born). It is recommended that the quarantine be 6 - 8 weeks. In a breeding colony the 6-8 week quarantine, begins after any weaned babies have ceased to be symptomatic, should be sufficient as long as no litters are born. Generally 8 weeks is considered the minimal post infection breeding colony quarantine.

SDA Virus and BreedingThe breeder has a special responsibility to the rat community. A breeder with a viral infection can spread the disease like wildfire and have a deadly impact on local fanciers. A breeding colony that has a viral infection MUST be completely shut down. Once it has recovered the breeder must observe a full post infection-quarantine.

There has been confirmed positive test for SDA. It's from an anonymous source who tested their animals purchased in Ohio that are currently in quarantine. This is not something to be taken lightly, symptoms can vary from little to no symptoms to death. Should you bring an infected rat home, you do run the risk of it dying or killing your current animals.

I have tested multiple animals at Atlantis Rattery, both my colony & animals in quarantine. My colony has tested negative for SDA Virus. I WILL still be shutting down for the Holidays. I will be taking a break for personal reasons as well as to ensure the safety of my animals and adopters. I will not be recommencing breeding until 2016.


Here is a link to IDEXX's Rat Serology Panels. You can also select individual test to build your own, or add to a smaller panel. http://www.idexxbioresearch.com/.../Rat.../index.html

Here is a link to the Collection Kits (free) http://cdn2.hubspot.net/.../IDEXX-BioResearch-RAP-sample...

Allillnesses that have been reported to be aware of:

PneumocystisCarinii (P. Carinii):http://ratguide.com/health/lower_respiratory/pneumonia.php)

Ringworm: http://ratguide.com/.../integumentary.../dermatophytosis.php

SDAV/RCV(Sialodacryoadenitis virus or Rat corona virus):http://ratguide.com/health/viruses/sda.php

ParvoGroups (KRV, RV, Rat Virus, RPV, parvovirus r-1):http://ratguide.com/health/viruses/kilham_rat_virus.php

CARBacillius / Cilia-Associated Respiratory Bacillus (CARB):http://ratguide.com/health/bacteria/car_bacillus.php "
 

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If they are from the same breeder as rats in your household and there hhave been no new additions, I would think that quarantine would be pointless (they'd already be exposed).

Along with quaranting your new additions, do not forget to follow proper quarantine with yourself. If you are visiting pet stores that sell live animals, visited a family member with them, a humane society, anything, please be sure to refrain from going home for 3-4 hours and to be sure to clear your nose.

Not all rats with SDA are going to show symptoms. A rescue I work with rescued two males who had never been ill and lo and behold they were subclinical carriers. Wiped out most of her rescued babies and the old ones in sanctuary. It was devastating.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Artgecko, not sure why the link isnt working. They said it was posted publicly lol

Hey Moonkissed the facebook link does not work. Could you some up what had happened? Thanks for this information I think it's super important to quarantine your rats. I won't need to do this for some time (I still need to get rats!) Anyways I've also been reading that a lot of folks aren't doing the quarantine properly and it gets very confusing on whether or not to do it. However with deadly viruses like this one it can put things into perspective.

I have a question regarding how to quarantine. If you're getting more rats from a breeder, and they been keeping an eye on their health would that be considered quarantine enough? Or will you need to do it when you get home because illness can come up when they're out of their original living area?
We shouldn't panic but something like this really can hit the community hard as to the importance of quarantine. I am probably a bit over terrified right now lol Mostly because I got to read all the panic and dread when everyone's rats started dying off. Coupled with the fact that I had wanted to go to the event and just wasnt able to make it.

But definitely anyone who says there is no need to do a quarantine is very much wrong. If you can not do a separate location at the very least always do a proper in home one where you keep them in a far off other room, don't share anything between the rooms, even cleaning supplies, always wash your hands and change clothes IMO between them.


As for breeders... I want to first say I am a breeder myself. The events that are occurring right now happened within the breeder community. A breeder is believed to have started it with giving people sick rats. And atleast one breeder did not follow proper quarantine themselves after the fact. Not all breeders are created equal. Being a breeder in itself doesn't make one ethical. Making sure the breeder you are working with is legit and responsible helps alot. But many breeders are bringing in new rats often. If it is a good breeder you will have nothing to worry about, they will have done proper quarantine and it should all be fine.

But I always suggest still doing a quarantine just in case.

With my last litter, someone asked me if they had to quarantine the babies they were getting from me. And my response was that I would never tell anyone not to quarantine, that choice is theirs. But I haven't brought in any new rats, I haven't visited any pet stores or other rats. All of my rats are healthy. So I felt they were safe.

I wouldn't be afraid to ask the breeder about their quarantine practices or if they brought in any new rats. IMO a responsible breeder would be more than happy to answer those questions and give you advice on the need to quarantine.
 

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Thanks Moonkissed it's something I've been wondering about ever since I read about quarantining new rats when you introduce them to your own. I'm glad you didn't end up going to the event! Sounds like you dodged a bullet.
 

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Another one to be aware of which can be just as devastating in your group is bordetella, this is a form of kennel cough in dogs that can wipe out rats or make them very ill. If you have dogs who are recently vaccinated or I'll with kennel cough you need to quarantine too. We've had a couple outbreaks of this in the uk as well as Sendai and SDAV
 

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As a former tropical fish breeder, I can say with complete certainty that the way disease works is that it is a strange kind of statistical certainty once you get enough animals in a place together.

I reached a point where I was getting new imported fish from all over the world and even shipping fish around the country... Everything went well up to a point and then things started going wrong.... I mean wrong in a massive way... we're talking about hundreds of sick and dying fish all over my breeding set up... Glugea, bacterial and fungal infections and a resiliant strain of velvet all at once. It was devastating... and no one I got fish from actually admitted that their fish were sick. Well to be honest, I didn't make a point of it either.

It was rather remarkable when a couple of years later at a gathering we all compared notes on our quarantine strategies and how we all went through bleaching out our entire fish rooms how rampant the disaster really was. One breeder went mega scale and imported and distributed sick fish... and started the chain reaction...

It's important to note that someone that keeps a few fish in an aquarium might never see a sick fish... but once you reach a certain size it's simply inevitable... If only one out of 100 fish is sick and you move 500 fish through your setup there's no way at least one disease isn't going to affect you. The same thing will happen with rats where enough people gather who have or are exposed to rats. By instituting strict quarantine and eliminating the diseases from my set up, people that bought fish from me were safe. And as everyone in our group did likewise we haven't seen the same kind of disaster in over a decade. But people will forget and someone new will forget the lessons of the past and it's going to happen again. It's a statistical certainty.
 

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How long is the incubation period for these virus? My daughter got a male rat on the 19th of Sept and unfortunately quarantine lasted 7 days, she assumed he was okay. Fortunately for us 3 wks later he's not had as much as new house sneezes. My established mischief who were isolated got myco flare ups and are being treated with baytril. But go figure, new boy has NO issues that we see almost a month later but the girls and neutered boy that I'm religiously careful with have myco flares For the record though, what's the incubation period on these virus so I can tell her and know for my own peace of mind
 

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How long is the incubation period for these virus? My daughter got a male rat on the 19th of Sept and unfortunately quarantine lasted 7 days, she assumed he was okay. Fortunately for us 3 wks later he's not had as much as new house sneezes. My established mischief who were isolated got myco flare ups and are being treated with baytril. But go figure, new boy has NO issues that we see almost a month later but the girls and neutered boy that I'm religiously careful with have myco flares For the record though, what's the incubation period on these virus so I can tell her and know for my own peace of mind
You should read the links I posted.

Mostly this one:
http://ratguide.com/health/basics/quarantine.php

The minimum quarantine time frame is 2 weeks, 3 weeks for parasites. Myco is 2 weeks.

A postinfection quarantine is performed in the rats home colony and begins only after the following criteria has been met:[/h]
  • All of the rats have recovered
  • All rats off medications that may mask signs of illness
  • All breeding is ceased
  • Any rats born or conceived during exposure are weaned

Post Infection for Specific Pathogens (for more detail use the highlighted links):[/h]
  • SDA- The accepted minimal quarantine is 30 days (after all babies are weaned, all rats are recovered, and all rats have completed their full course of treatment) even though the virus is not usually shed for that long. In a large or breeding colony it is not unusual to see a two-month quarantine just to be sure that the virus is no longer present.
  • Kilham Rat Virus- Minimum quarantine is 60-90 days and involves draconian methods of sanitization. Other factors can affect post infection time frame such as persistent infection in prenatal or postnatal rats.
  • Sendai- The accepted minimal quarantine is 30 days (after all babies are weaned, all rats are recovered, and all rats have completed their full course of treatment) even though the virus is not usually shed for that long. In a large or breeding colony it is not unusual to see a two-month quarantine just to be sure that the virus is no longer present.
  • CAR Bacillus- Persistent contagious infection that will not be resolved through quarantine.
  • Mycoplasma Pulmonis- Persistent contagious infection that will not be resolved through quarantine.
For myco you do not want to introduce new rats to yours until they are off all medication and showing no more signs. Then I would wait another 2 weeks after that.

I'd read this link for myco http://ratguide.com/health/bacteria/mycoplasma_mycoplasmosis.php

During a 2 week quarantine you will be able to notice symptoms of SDA, Sendai, Myco, parasites, infections. Other stuff like CARB or Parvovirus may not show any signs.
 

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I did ferret rescue for a lot of years and wondered about those who do rat rescue and how it works. With the ferrets there is quarantine, but some things can be tested for that don't necessarily show. ADV was the big one with the ferrets. We were able to do blood tests and send them in while they were in quarantine at a very reasonable cost. This is good too, we ended up getting rescue's from a breeder/horder situation that t urned up positive. I was lucky enough to work with a closed adv rescue who could take those. From my own exposure and though I was careful, I still closed the shelter for 6 months so we could run a few cycles of tests on all the healthy ferrets in the regular area as well. All turned out fine thankfully.

Even with quarantine, without being able to test for adv it could of been a disaster for all the animals at the shelter.
 

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Mimsy, you can test for these viruses but they are very expensive and specialized. The shelter I talked about closed for like 8 months and cannot adopt out those who were infected.
The 3-4 wk quarantine is so you can notice any symptoms. Inapparent carriers are just that and can/will still pass it along. A viral infection such as we are discussing is much more severe than a URI and is not myco -- all domestic rats have myco.
 

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Thats a shame. Has any rescues tried calling Universities that study some of the diseases of rats? This is how I was able to test my ferrets for so little. I was charged, but it was like 10 dollars each and they used the results as part of their study. I also worked with others and sent unusual tumors and other interesting medical issues to some of the vets, such as one that helped with the ferret section of Ferrets, Rabbits and Rodents medical text. this helped me by have biopsies done for free, and it helped them in their study of ferrets. As long as I wasn't sending any normal issues-like adrenal diseased adrenal glands. ;)

I don't know anything about rat rescue, but if they network between each other often, they can sometimes find resources with universities and vets that have special interests that can have a mutual helping relationship. You can never really tell where you might find some great ones. Plus if you have a vet you love who really works with the rescue, they get great contacts to work with when they have issues crop up that they are not sure which direction to go.
 

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I know the rescues in my tri-state area all work together and are in close communication to alert each other to hoarding cases, viruses and vets that work with them. Was your ferret rescue 501c3? Only two of the local ones boast that status unfortunately, which means vet discounts and the like are hard to come by.

And to my understanding, the only way they could effectively test would be like with herd animals, sample from one or two.
 

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There is testing, It is linked on the first page. It is a bit of money and from my understanding you have to have a vet working with you for them to send the results to. But you can pick and choose what you want to test for and make it less expensive if you only are looking at one or two things. Most people seem to be testing 1 from a cage. I would assume this is the best place as it is what everyone seems to be using.

I would hope and pray that rescues follow proper quarantine. I know of a few smaller home run ones that do not do a proper one and that is scary. Also a note if anyone both breeds and rescues, IMO I'd turn and run from them. Having separate quarantine places for every rat that comes in would be difficult I think. or you would have to seriously limit rats you took in between quarantines.
 

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Yes, I was a 501c3. But I didn't start that way, I probably ran for a least a couple years under an incorporated non profit business only through the state, which if I remember correctly is the first step anyways. Though I think business license work different from state to state.

something that can help the rescues that are not under 501c3 is start a network under one of the ones savy on how to go non profit and then have all the rescues join it. They can do a lot of donation stuff through the network which can help all those little rescues. You need a group that is really trust worthy for that to work and to really only be in for the animals.
 

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We looked into testing in the UK when we had a big SDAV outbreak a few years back and I've seen bordetella and Sendai tested for too. The trouble is in order to get meaningful results you need to take enough blood that its probably going to kill the rat, added to that if they've been on antibiotics then the test results are invalid. Within the fancy the way round this is if someone looses a few rats and has one near death they will take it to be knocked out and have a blood sample taken then put to sleep, but that is very limiting unless you already know you've got it, at which point its kind of too late, it just helps the fancy as a whole to know what we are dealing with.

In terms of quarantine you want 2 weeks min unless you've got a litter still with mum, then its 6-8 weeks after weaning as the babies carry some of mums antibodies from the milk, and once these run out you can get a second batch of infectious rats. Useually once you see the symptoms its too late as the rats are infectious before they show them.

I must say I am probably middle of the ground on quaretining. I am not a religious qurantiner. If I get rats (to stay or for holidays/visits etc) from breeders or owners I know well and trust, and also know do good quarentines themselves I don't quarantine. If I get rescues from a dodgy background I keep them in a separate airspace etc. I also show my guys, theres a real risk to this as despite the fact all uk rat clubs have a 2 week quarantine in place you don't know that everyone listens to that (though the way the UK rat fancy is quite small you'd soon hear if they didn't). I partially do this because I believe its important for the rats to be exposed to minor issues, in order to build up there immune system, and also to test it (as abreeder I need to know my rats don't get badly ill every time theres a minor snuffle going around). Touch wood I've been ok so far, my guys have proved resistant to most things despite being at a couple of shows where we've had outbreaks from. I am very upfront with new owners if I've been to a show etc recently, but as most of my owners are regular show goers themselves and a lot of pick ups happen there it makes little difference.
 
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