Rat/Mice Diseases - Salmonellosis

  • Salmonellosis is a diseased condition that is brought about by infection with the Salmonella bacterium.
  • Salmonella is a Gram-negative, toxin-producing, invasive, enteric bacterium.
  • Salmonellosis is very rare in pet rats and mice and infection is usually found to have been spread via ingestion of food and water contaminated with infected feces, urine, and bedding material.
  • Pregnant females and infants are at higher risk of infection.
  • Salmonellosis can infect humans. Washing your hands before and after every contact with your mouse and rat and its cage will help prevent the spread of this disease. Using disposable gloves when handling infected animal or cage contents provides additional protection.

    • Symptoms:
    • Depression
    • Dehydration and rough body coat
    • Distended/swollen abdomen
    • Diarrhea and weight loss
    • Spontaneous abortion (in pregnant rats and mices)
    • Fatal (in most cases)

    • Treatment for this bacterial infection is often not an effective option.
    • Broad-spectrum antibiotic drugs may be used in some recovering cases, along with administration of supportive therapy with fluids and electrolyte supplements to aid your pet in its recovery.
    • Consult your veterinarian regarding the care and diet to be given to your pet during the recovery period.
    • Infected mice and rat should be isolated and the cage should be sanitized and disinfected to eliminate any potential source of contamination.

    • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling rodents or their cages and bedding.
    • Buy animals that look lively and alert, with glossy coats free of droppings.
    • Don't buy a pet that shares a cage with other animals that have diarrhea or look sick.
    • Always wash hands thoroughly after cleaning up pets' droppings.
    • Make sure children wash their hands immediately after handling rodent feces.
    • Supervise young children if they clean the pet's cage.
    • Don't smoke or eat food while handling your pet.
    • Don't handle pets in areas where food is prepared.
    • Don't kiss your pet or hold it close to your mouth.