We lost our beloved Rocky last week to what we suspected was a pituitary tumour. However I did research some and found a condition called Degenerative Rat Disease that a rat rescuer in England is researching and documenting as it has some specific symptoms of pituitary tumour that don't show up.
Is there information out there about meningitis in rats? The warning about human meningitis got me thinking. This is something our vet had said it could be when we brought Rocky in to be put down. He had been on homeopathics and antibiotics so I would have thought anything viral or bacterial would have been beaten but I do know the meningitis and encephalitis type diseases can be very tricky to treat.
Is there any info or websites you know about? I'm adopting two new rescue ratties this weekend and if Rocky died of a brain tumour there is no risk to new rats. But it is a different story if it was meningitis.
I haven't heard about meningitis, but that's a very valid concern. I'll see what I can dig up. Have you posted to the Vet Techs yet? If not I can re-post for you there too.
Here's the info I found most relevant: How is the virus spread? Enteroviruses, the most common cause of viral meningitis, are most often spread through direct contact with respiratory secretions (e.g., saliva, sputum, or nasal mucus) of an infected person. This usually happens by shaking hands with an infected person or touching something they have handled, and then rubbing your own nose or mouth. The virus can also be found in the stool of persons who are infected. The virus is spread through this route mainly among small children who are not yet toilet trained. It can also be spread this way to adults changing the diapers of an infected infant. The incubation period for enteroviruses is usually between 3 and 7 days from the time you are infected until you develop symptoms. You can usually spread the virus to someone else beginning about 3 days after you are infected until about 10 days after you develop symptoms. Can I get viral meningitis if I’m around someone who has it? The viruses that cause viral meningitis are contagious. Enteroviruses, for example, are very common during the summer and early fall, and many people are exposed to them. However, most infected persons either have no symptoms or develop only a cold or rash with low-grade fever. Only a small proportion of infected persons actually develop meningitis. Therefore, if you are around someone who has viral meningitis, you have a moderate chance of becoming infected, but a very small chance of developing meningitis. How can I reduce my chances of becoming infected? Because most persons who are infected with enteroviruses do not become sick, it can be difficult to prevent the spread of the virus. However, adhering to good personal hygiene can help to reduce your chances of becoming infected. If you are in contact with someone who has viral meningitis, the most effective method of prevention is to wash your hands thoroughly and often (see “Handwashing” in: “An Ounce of Prevention: Keeps the Germs Away” at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/op/handwashing.htm). Also, cleaning contaminated surfaces and soiled articles first with soap and water, and then disinfecting them with a dilute solution of chlorine-containing bleach (made by mixing approximately ¼ cup of bleach with 1 gallon of water) can be a very effective way to inactivate the virus, especially in institutional settings such as child care centers. (See more about cleaning and disinfecting in general at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/op/cleaning.htm).