American Fancy Rat & Mouse Association

This article is from the WSSF 2015 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.


Vaccines For Rats

Hamiis Mukose, Uganda, Africa, Facebook
Q I am keeping rats on a large scale. Which vaccines can I use in order to prevent them from getting diseases?

A Unlike dogs and cats, there are no vaccines needed for pet rats. However, the two common problems they have are respiratory issues and tumors (see our Medical Health Care section for more). So keeping their cages clean, using a non-toxic bedding, good food and fresh water, and not having them in crowded conditions will help. Also, don’t breed rats that get tumors when very young or there are a lot of tumor issues in the lines. Another thing, diet can play a factor in forming tumors, so a good diet is important. Only breed healthy, strong rats to minimize problems. You can have your rats tested to see what viruses/bacteria they have (Charles River, IDEXX/RADIL - University of Missouri, and Sound Diagnostics are research animal diagnostic facilities here in the States that do serology testing). Getting samples to send in for testing is much easier now than it used to be. Karen Robbins

A Karen is correct, there are no vaccines approved for rats and gave a great answer. I am not sure what veterinary care and diagnostic testing is available where you live. While I know all of the rodent diseases in the USA, there are likely diseases where you are that are not present here. I suggest you contact the closest veterinary school and see if they would be willing to work with you to look at your housing and husbandry to see if there are areas for improvement. Many of the diseases can be tested by molecular diagnostic testing (PCR). Carmen J. Booth, D.V.M., Ph.D. *

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December 3, 2018