We are very saddened to report that rats at Evolution Rattery have tested positive for Streptobacillus Moniliformis (SBM), the bacteria responsible for Rat Bite Fever. Knowing these results, we couldn’t move forward without informing you of the possibility that our babies could make you sick, and halting all breeding for pets at this time.
There are risks involved in owning any pet, but communicating these risks to you is the first step in keeping you all safe.
Who is at risk?
Content source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID), Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology (DHCPP)
Any person who comes into contact with the bacteria that causes RBF is at risk for becoming sick with the disease. Remember, without early diagnosis and appropriate treatment, RBF can cause severe disease and death. People who may be at greater risk for RBF infection include:
How can you reduce your risk of infection?SBM bacteria is present in FRESH saliva, urine, and feces. Labs have shown that this bacteria does not survive long outside of the host, so keeping your cages and enrichment items thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis, and washing your hands will reduce the risk of transmission to your household. That means that aside from being bitten, transmission would most likely come from dirty hands or kisses from your rats. REMEMBER, please do not let your rats explore your mouth. Additional information here: Healthy Pets / Healthy People
What does this mean for EVO moving forward?
We are still in a state of shock after getting this tough news. While we have not had any adopters inform us of any illness, nor have we experienced any symptoms ourselves, we are here for you! We will take in any EVO rat that you do not feel comfortable keeping in your home. If you live too far away, we will assist you in finding a local breeder that can take them for you. If you would feel more comfortable testing your babies, we will be more than happy to coordinate with you to collect a sample (via oral swab) and facilitate sending it to the lab for testing. A single test is $97 (charged by the laboratory) but up to 10 individual samples can be ‘pooled’ at one time.
In the coming days, we will be releasing more information to the public about our status and path forward, we will continue to be honest and up front with you. You can also follow along with the testing information at http://www.rattesting.org and possible methods for ‘clearing’ colonies to produce SBM Negative rats at https://www.facebook.com/CPFRG.