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Tyzzer's disease in Rats

Tyzzer's disease is more often seen in mice than in other rodents but it can occasionally infect rats and should be considered as a possible cause in cases of diarrhoea and sudden death in this species.

Tyzzer's disease is caused by a bacterium called Bacillus piliformis. This bacterium cannot be cultured because it has to live inside the cells of the animal, so diagnosis of this disease can only be confirmed by post-mortem examination. Recently weaned animals are most susceptible to this disease.

The signs of this disease are diarrhoea, lethargy, anorexia and death; unfortunately the prognosis for affected individuals is very poor. Try to prevent this disease by employing excellent hygiene regimes and reducing stress to the animals. If you have several rats in your colony and some of them are affected with Tyzzer's disease you could try treating them all with tetracycline to try to prevent the spread of the disease.

If you do decide to treat your rats affected by Tyzzer's disease they will need excellent nursing care. Keep them in a warm draught free environment isolated from all other pets. Your vet will advise you on the drugs which will be required but these may include antibiotics, fluid therapy, corticosteroids, and vitamin supplementation. Always take care of sick animals after you have seen to your healthy pets and wash your hands and all equipment afterwards to prevent the transmission of disease.

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All Rights Reserved | Content is provided for information only. All content on vetbase.co.uk is protected by copyright and therefore may not be copied without specific written permission from the author. Disclaimer: The content of this website is based upon the opinions of Samantha Coe, unless otherwise stated. Individual articles, extracts, and any links to external sites are based upon the opinions of the respective author(s), who may retain copyright. The information on this website is not intended to replace a consultation with a qualified veterinary professional and is not intended as medical advice. The purpose of this site is the sharing of knowledge and information - Samantha Coe encourages you to make informed healthcare decisions for animals in your care based upon your research and in consultation with your vet.