American Fancy Rat & Mouse Association

This article is from the Win-Spr 2018 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.


E. Coli Rat Death

Elena Nikora, e-mail
We lost Helga a few hours ago, our Russian Blue girl. She was perfectly fine and then collapsed in less than 24 hours. Helga was perfectly fine on Thursday night; on Friday morning she was a bit down, looked sleepy but all vitals were OK. When we came home on Friday night, we found her very weak, she wanted to eat but couldn’t, drunk a bit of water from a syringe, her tail and paws were colder than usual. We gave her an injection if 0.1 prednisolone and she felt a bit better, but after 6 hours she collapsed and dark fluid came out of her mouth. We went to emergency vet clinic. They put her into oxygen box and were preparing to give fluids, but she passed away.

I don’t know what to think, symptoms look like she had an intestinal blockage (ileus), though her belly was soft. Maybe she ate something like sofa filling and it caused it.

Vincent (Helga’s brother) and other rats are all fine, no symptoms. But I’m still worried as it happened so fast and Helga also was fine before that.

Helga was such an exceptional baby, most social I ever had, she had been spending a lot of time with me.

We did a necropsy to know the cause and if it can affect other rats. Vets believe that death was caused by septic shock from E. coli bacteria.

Necropsy results:

Necropsy results

We never gave the rats raw or uncooked meat, and all rats ate together. I do not understand why only Helga got affected and so badly. We were giving the rats a salad mix that is not listed as organic but maybe E. coli was there? I’m not sure what we can do to prevent this from happening. *

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April 19, 2019