Bacterial Urinary Infection in Rats

Cecilia de Cardenas
Oct 1, 2008
Image: Photo Grapher / via Image Bank

Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis is a bacterial urinary infection in rats. Though more common in wild rats, it is highly contagious and quickly transmitted to any pet rat that comes in contact with urine from an infected animal. Leptospirosis can be transmitted to humans (zoonotic) or other animals. It is therefore recommended that a rat or rat colony infected with the disease be euthanized.

Symptoms

Both rats (and humans) with leptospirosis present flu-like symptoms. These include:

  • Upper respiratory tract infections
  • Nasal discharge
  • Cough
  • Sneezing
  • Weakness
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite and weight
  • Increased thirst

Causes

This urinary infection is caused by the Leptospira spp. bacterium, and is transmitted by the urine of an infected animal; in this case, a rat.

Diagnosis

The veterinarian will diagnose leptospirosis by identifying the Leptospira spp. bacterium through blood and urine tests.

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