Dazzle Rats Rattery

What is Mycoplasmosis?

Mycoplasma Pulmonis, aka Myco, is a host specific organism carried by all domestic rats. It is found in the upper respiratory tract and is responsible for the development of respiratory diseases which sadly, there is NO CURE and can be fatal. It is only contagious from rat to rat contact, not rat to human contact.
Myco is passed from mother to offspring during birth. 

Triggers contributing to a myco flare-up include: ammonia caused by a build up of urine if cages are not cleaned often enough, cages subjected to draughts and the use of wood shavings that contain phenols such as cedar and/or pine. 

Early symptoms of respiratory distress including: sneezing, snuffling, squinting and porphyrin (blood) staining around the nose and eyes. Should the inner ear become infected, head tilt (wry neck) and rolling may be present.

NB: Head tilt may also be a symptom of pituitary tumors or stroke.

If left untreated, the disease will progress to the lungs and as a result, pneumonia develops.

Advanced symptoms include: choking/gasping, laboured breathing, chattering, a hunched posture, rough coat and weight loss. This stage of the disease is terminal and symptoms may last weeks or even months, until death occurs. 

Because there no cure for mycoplasmosis and early intervention is needed to prevent the disease from entering its advanced stages. 
It can only be treated by medications prescribed by a veterinarian. 

Breeders are working towards eliminating myco flare-ups by breeding what is known as 'Myco-Resistant' rats. These rats will no doubt carry the organism but with not be susceptible to flare-ups. This requires stringent health screenings of prospective breeders and quarantine of at least two weeks for any new rat entering the rattery.