How Rat URI’s are Treated: Bacterial, Fungal, and Parasitic

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How Rat URI’s are Treated: Bacterial, Fungal, and Parasitic

bacteria-156869_1280Once a urinary infection sets in, the first course of action is to diagnose the cause of the infection. A rat will suffer greatly if it is not taken to the veterinarian as soon as symptoms are noted.

Mink/Blue rats sleepingA urinary infection can spread to the rat’s kidneys quickly, which can in turn lead to a full body infection. Rats can both heal quickly and get sick quickly; they can go downhill incredibly fast. Knowing the symptoms of a UTI will help owners to catch on much more quickly.

Antibiotic Treatments for Infections of the Rat Urinary System

There are a few different types of antibiotics that are used for rats. Some are bactericidal, while others are bacteriostatic. Some antibiotics used to treat URIs include: tetracycline, enrofloxacin, trimethoprim, augmentin.

antibiotics for pet rat eye infectionA bactericidal antibiotic works by killing off bacteria, assisting the immune system quickly. This is usually used for rats who are in a dire situation. This antibiotic type is the quicker acting of the two, useful for a full body infection where the rat is succumbing to infection. If possible, bacteriostatic drugs should be used instead.

Bacteriostatic drugs are slower to treat the infection, but they can be much more preferable to lessen the chances of a bactericidal immune strain of bacteria from evolving. They work by preventing reproduction among bacterial cells, essentially spaying every bacterial cell within the rat’s tiny body. The existing bacteria will die out over time.

cleaning pet rat toys

Treating Fungal Infections in the Urinary Tract

Fungal infections can really pull a number on pet rats. It's the same kind of Candida yeast infection that any human can get.
Fungal infections can really pull a number on pet rats. It’s the same kind of Candida yeast infection that any human can get.

Generally, fungal infections are not treated in the way that one might think. If the rat becomes infected with a fungal urinary or kidney infection, such as a Candida infection, it probably has an underlying condition. The immune system is most likely compromised by a primary infection, underlying health problem, or an injury.

Once the primary ailment is identified, the veterinarian will either treat the condition or provide medication. If the fungal infection does not clear up after treatment, further exams and tests will be necessary. Fungal infections tend to clear up if the animal is healthy, as the naturally occurring beneficial bacteria in and on the rat’s body keep fungal growth in check when healthy. Should issues continue, a fungicide may become necessary, even though that is fairly unlikely.

How Parasites Are Eliminated from the Rat’s Bladder

Soybean_cyst_nematode_and_egg_SEMUnfortunately, there are some very nasty parasites called Bladder Thread Worms that will infect pet rats. An infested rat may not show symptoms during the earlier stages of infestation. However, as the worms grow out of control, it will begin to take a very serious toll on the small animal’s body. Getting rid of the worms is important, otherwise the rat will face major complications and even death.

healthy rat eyesTrichosomoides crassicauda is a fairly common parasite with rats that have lived in a home with frequent rescues coming through the home. Therefore, a rat obtained from a rescue has the potential to be infected. This is true of rats who come from pet stores as well. The eggs are transmitted via urine, making it easy for other rats to become infected with this parasite.

A veterinarian will take a sample from the rat, or the owner will be requested to catch a sample for testing. The sample is then sent to a lab, and if the results are positive, the vet will prescribe medication. Ivermectin is usually the go-to anti-parasitic recommended by most vets.worm-34968_1280

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